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Should India Look To Have A Completely Different T20 Setup?

After an eye-opening campaign in the 2021 T20 World Cup, plenty of questions are being asked regarding India’s yet another failure to win an ICC trophy. The coaching staff of Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun and R Sridhar are moving on and Rahul Dravid is taking over as the head coach. Another major change would be Virat Kohli relinquishing the captaincy of the T20I team. So with plenty of transition taking place in Indian cricket, it is high time that the team looks to strengthen their T20 credentials as well.

Our suggestion would be to have a completely different T20 setup and limit the number of players that play all three formats of the game. Here are the reasons why.

WORKLOAD MANAGEMENT

Most of the players who played in the 2021 T20 World Cup are players who play all three formats of the game. With the current cricketing calendar, expecting these players to be on top of their game in every format is unrealistic. Players need to get breaks to recover both physically and mentally. Hence, most of these players take rests in the bilateral T20 series and the roles in the team aren’t defined when the major tournaments come up.

Rather than having these players slog out every inch of what is left in their bodies, the team should look to manage their workload by having a different set of players for the T20 format. There is an abundance of talent in Indian cricket so finding these players who are more than capable of doing the job at the international level won’t be an issue. Having these players consistently come together in the Indian camp for the T20I series in the future would build camaraderie in the squad and would bring about absolute role clarity.

FEARLESS APPROACH BY YOUNGSTERS

We’ve seen in the past how this next generation of Indian cricketers is not fazed by anything that comes their way. We’ve seen some swashbuckling innings on debut and seen batters open their international account with a six. These players come into the Indian ranks on the back of solid performances in the Indian T20 League which features the best international cricketers. They already have experience of playing against these top players and international cricket won’t feel like an alien place for these talented players.

IN-FORM PLAYERS GET A CHANCE AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL

Currently, the Indian team is selecting players from the Indian T20 League but also has certain players who irrespective of their form in the league would get picked in the T20I squad. What happens with this policy is that the players who had super seasons in the Indian T20 League end up not getting picked.

We saw this happen in this World Cup as well. Ruturaj Gaikwad, who finished as the highest run getter in the tournament was nowhere near the World Cup squad. Same thing with Venkatesh Iyer who single-handedly changed Team Kolkata’s fortunes in the second leg of the Indian T20 League. With the ball, Avesh Khan and Mohammed Siraj were in handy form leading up to the World Cup but were overlooked. Someone like Yuzvendra Chahal who missed out on the team on account of poor form got back to his best in the Indian T20 League but missed the cut.

The team could have done with the likes of Sanju Samson or Ruturaj Gaikwad’s ability to play spin in the middle overs but the management went with tired and tested players irrespective of their form and it didn’t work.

There is no guarantee that these players will win the cup for the nation but what this approach would create would be that the format won’t be overlooked anymore and can be played in the manner that other nations have started to play it in.