From the Viewsroom

It’s time to look ahead

B Baskar | Updated on November 11, 2021

The World Cup is done. For the Indian T20 team, it’s time for reboot

India’s early exit from the ongoing T20 World Cup has not surprisingly led to a lot of hand wringing and finger-pointing. The reasons — bubble fatigue, constant cricket since the beginning of the year, IPL spilling over two phases, wrong selection choices, bad luck with the toss — will be thoroughly dissected in the days to come. But the reason may simply be that this team in the T20 format has run its course is due for a regeneration.

Veteran cricket writer Suresh Menon in a recent column wrote that T20 is a young person’s game and a player over 30 can be deemed “old”. With Rahul Dravid taking over as new coach signs of change are already visible. Ruturaj Gaikwad, Venkatesh Iyer, Avesh Khan and Harshal Patel have been included for upcoming the T20 series against New Zealand. Seniors such as Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja have been rested.

But not too much must be made out of the World Cup disappointment. This team has played some exhilarating Test cricket in the last few months. The Test series win against Australia earlier this year is perhaps India’s best ever. Coming back after the Adelaide debacle and winning the series was truly remarkable. The draw at Sydney Test with both Hanuma Vihari and Ashwin carrying injuries was a story of grit and gumption. Then winning the last Test at Brisbane with a third string bowling attack was another astonishing feat. This form was carried over to England in the summer where the yet-to-be concluded series still stands 2-1 in India’s favour. Virat Kohli will have to live with the disappointment of not winning the T20 World Cup under his captaincy. He still has a chance in the 2023 ODI World Cup. Despite the success in Tests, for the Kohli-Shastri duo not winning a single white ball ICC tournament in the last four years will be hard to bear. But then not all sporting tales have fairy tale endings.

Published on November 11, 2021

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