Too Many Openers And Lack Of Power Hitters May Hurt The T20 World Cup Team Balance | Is India Ready?

Too Many Openers And Lack Of Power Hitters May Hurt The T20 World Cup Team Balance | Is India Ready?

For any successful team especially in the T20 game, the balance of the playing eleven becomes paramount.

England are the defending champions

With more and more T20 being played, the game of cricket in the shortest format has undergone extreme changes.

Cricket traditionally played with a lot of temperament and patience is now played with a lot of flair and gay abundance. The fear of losing a wicket or preserving a wicket has been outmoded by how many runs can be made and how quickly can it be scored.

Though England came up with the ultra-aggressive approach into the T20 Format, Australia has taken the level of aggression to a whole new level.

Austrila plays the mosit aggressive T20 game and are front runners for the cup

Squad readiness

India, with one of its huge fanbase and considered one of the tournament favouritesis struggling to figure out the best possible playing eleven. A problem India faced in the previous edition too.

Team Australia has covered all bases and is ready with their squad. They also have a few more players in the waiting if additional reinforcement is required due to injuries. This makes them a team to beat.


Flawed Approach

Team India’s approach to the T20 format has been flawed and it needs modern T20 style of play to redefine India’s approach to the modern game.

A conventional approach (A typical Text Book style cricket) to cricket is to take a single and play out the over without taking undue risk if the batsman has already hit a boundary in the over.

This approach does not work in the modern game.

The new approach is to continue the aggressive approach ball after ball and maintain the speed of the game at full throttle.

Greatbatch revolutionised ODI Cricket

In the early 90s, A revolution was brought by New Zealand in the 50-overWorld Cupwith Mark Greatbatch and later by the Sri Lankan pair Sanath Jayasuriya- Kaluwitharana who redefined cricket with an aggressive batting approach,when the field restrictionswere on. Other teams followed this newfound strategy and this changed how modern ODI Cricket is played today.


Similarly, T20 also has evolved and no matter what the conditions are or what the match situation is, teams today take an all-outaggressive style of play throughout the 20 overs and today scores of 175 to 225 runs are average scores in T20 internationals.

Does India Lack power hitters like England and Austraila

In the ongoing IPL season, some teams like the Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knightriders are showing the modern way of playing the T20 game. While it entails risk, the rewards too are worth the approach.

IPL is seeing 200+ scores in every second game, it shows that the modern T20 game has evolved into an even more aggressive sport which many teams are adopting or will need to adopt if they stand a chance in the upcomingT20 World Cup to be played in the Caribbean islands and in the USA.


India’s MundaneT20 Approach

Indian cricket is obsessed with individual scores which is so paradoxicalin a team sport.

Half-centuries or a century gets more media attention than a 20-ball 40 runs by a batsman which may in the end be the reason for the victory.

Modern T20 batters need to aim at strike rates of 175 to 200+ and not be worried about their individual scores or in being out.

The high strike rates are no longer limited to powerplay overs or for the last few overs at the end.

Why haven't India won the T20 Championship since 2007

The only reason the 2007 inaugural trophy was won by India was India had a captain who could think on his feet and the format was new and other teams were only coming to terms with how the game should be played.

Once teams understood the nuances of the game, the T20 format rapidly evolved and Team India has been playing catchup ever since.


Indian Team Dilemma – Too many openers in the Indian T20 side

Indian Team selection is based on reputation and less on the skill sets required for the format.

Rohit and virat will be key to india's campaign


India may go with Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Virat Kohli.


All the above can open or play in the number 3 or 4 slot.


None of the above play at a 200+ Strike rate as compared to the top 4 from Australia or England. England and Australia deploy power hitters in the powerplay overs and continue the momentum for the rest of the remainder of the innings. Unfortunately, this is missing in the Indian team and is India’sAchilles heel.


On the sheer weight of their reputation,India will go with these top 4 followed by Surya Kumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya.


Please read: Who will be the Team India wicketkeeper for the 2024 T20 World Cup?


After the wicketkeeper slot, Place is left only for 2 spinners and 2 pacers which means, India’s best player for the middle overs, Rinku Singh, may not even find a place in the playing eleven nor would current IPL’s best spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.


rinku singh has been sensational form in the T20 Format

This is the mismatch or lack of balance in India’s T20 Side.


This also sums up India’s lack of planning for the T20 World Cup.


In the last few months, India’s best T20 players include Rinku Singh, Shivam Dubey, Yuzvendra Chahal, Rituraj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson, Dhruv Jurel, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoiand the 2024 sensationRajasthan Royal’s Riyan Parag. None of these players may find a place in the playing eleven.


Players have been selected on their reputefrom other formats and not on their T20 performances.


In the pace bowling department, barringJaspreet Bumrah, no one has impressed and India may be forced to pick Mohammad Siraj and Arshdeep Sing. Both bowlers are currently having a below-average IPL so far.

AN Injured SHami may hurt the pace attack

Hardik Pandya, considered India’s best all-rounder is having a horrid IPL season so far, both with bat and ball. If Hardik Pandya doesnot regularly bowl in the IPL, he may also not find a place in the playing eleven. But this scenario is highly improbable.


Is Hardik the only all rounder ption India has


With India’s squad for the T20 World Cup likely to be announced in a couple of weeks, a meeting with the captain, coach and chief selector has happened.


Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee is keenly looking at IPL 2024 performances.


While most spots are taken, there is still scope for some surprise picks when the final list is announced.


Will India take an extra spinner, pacer, power hitter,or pick a backup for Hardik Pandya? Only time will tell.


Keep checking this space for more.

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