The First & second T20 game was a classic example of Indian team management & leadership group not putting to use any learning from the past nor doing the right experiment to build a solid team towards 2020 T20 WC. The first game was won by Top 3 firing in Rahul & evergreen chase master Virat finishing the game in style. But what take away or improving aspect was from that? Virat has been doing it from 2014 in this format and one of the opener scoring big on few occasions is also not new except that it was by Rahul & not Rohit. It was just the same old same old else isn’t. The bowing was bang average & no proper strategy was used to rotate the attack or we had any variation in the attack.
The second T20 exposed us to all the aspects said above, isn’t it? When are people responsible for this mess going to be held responsible, when I say people I mean the coaching staff, selectors and Leadership group on the field? There is no rocket science to understand the drawbacks we have & we must experiment to address them. It is basic commonsense do they lack that or is it reluctance to change the approach which might mean they are to accept they have been wrong all along for years? So many questions pop up into our minds but no answers to be seen.
As a T20 outfit, you need to possess some serious X factor as a unit in both batting & bowling to win big tournaments. The two X factors we have are Virat & Bumrah, take them out of the unit any day we will lose to a decent T20 opposition. Let me call this out again post our 2007 T20 WC triumph we had an abysmal run in this format 2009,2010,2012 we were knockout in group stage 2014 & 2016 take Virat out of the equation we would not have made it to knockout stages for sure. Post 2016 the T20 series we have won on the back of just Bumrah & his magic in death bowling. This stats is enough to show us underlying issues we are having for years & still, it serves to exist. It is very on the eye to catch those 1. No dynamic Opening Pair to give us a quick start. 2. No good pace bowlers to support Bumrah 3. No reliable middle or lower-middle order to push the scoring rate even if a decent platform is set 4. No variation in spin department but we end up picking 3 spinners. But none of this is addressed to date, if Shikar was not injured again Rahul would have been in bench with no fix being found to address. This classic example is enough to show that this team & management are not working towards any improvement or to get better. They keep saying they are offering an opportunity to youngsters in this format, what kind of opportunity it is when you don’t change your boring opening pair, to not giving enough opportunity to new spinners like Rahul Chahar/Shreyesh Gopal but bring back Jadeja to the format which is least useful for? There is something technically wrong in their heads while making such selections. The 2nd T20 is again a classic example, dew is a big factor & West indies have enough left-hand batters in their lineup, Virat could not even consider the factor of bowling second, had he thought 3rd spinner in Jadeja should have been replaced by a pace bowler. This brings back a memory of 2019 WC SF against NZ, overcast weather & prediction but we ended up playing 2 spinners which ultimately costed us. When are we going to leave this obsession with spinners? To win big ICC tournaments you need 3 decent pace bowlers to do it. History suggests the same, we won in past too by the brilliance of our Pace attack, not 2 spinners running circles around batters even in 2011 right?
Going into the 3rd T20 what to expect, can we find any improvements or changes in selection policy to address these issues? I don’t expect it to change much but a 3rd pacer might come in if Virat thinks before selecting the team. I do agree on the standpoint that apart from Bumrah, Shami(in ODI alone) we don’t have even a half-decent white ball pace bowlers but then what is IPL doing for the last 11 years if no good Indian talent has emerged.
Big questions in front of the Indian team also Ganguly has been outspoken to say we need to win ICC tournaments as we are too good not to. Will he at least take notice of these in his 10 months tenure? If he does & gives a push to change the thing I would say give him a 5-year tenure directly. We need to move away from being a team depending on a couple of stars to win us big tournaments into a unit that is strong to fight & perform together when big guns fail. 2007 &2011 are team victory hope we look back into it.