We are officially in the third decade of the 21st century and just like the start of every year or decade, people are busy making a list of new goals that they can realistically aim to achieve in the upcoming years. And, so, I thought of why not jot down a few resolutions that we fans want Team India to achieve this decade.
Team India ticked off a lot of unchartered territories besides improving on a lot of fronts- notably fast bowling- in the 2010s. They won their maiden Test series win in England, embraced a culture of fitness-championed by their skipper Virat Kohli besides winning an elusive ODI series in South Africa and a 50-over World Cup on home soil.
But there still remains a few things and some territories that the Men in Blue would want to improve on and scale respectively in the 2020s.
On that note, here’s a look at five resolutions that Team India must take in the 2020s:
Stop picking or dropping players in a format based on their performance in another
This was a common theme in Indian cricket throughout the 2010s where a player was picked or dropped from other formats due to their performance or lack of performance in the other. The most pertinent example of it was Dinesh Karthik. Following his maniac knock of 8-ball 27 in the 2018 Nidahas Trophy final, Dinesh Karthik not only received a call-up in the ODI team but also in the Test side.
His Test return, however, was short-lived as he was dropped after just two matches in England in favor of Rishabh Pant. Karthik continued to remain a part of the 50-over set-up though till the 2019 World Cup. He was made the scapegoat following Team India’s semi-final exit from the World Cup and just as he was picked in all the three formats back in 2018 based on his performance in one format, he was dropped from the set-up entirely for the same reason.
And, this is the problem that India needs to address. Kartik may not have succeeded in the longer formats but he was still a more than handy option lower down the order in T20I cricket. Since the start of 2018, DK has 228 runs in 14 innings at an average of 57 and a strike-rate of 160.56.
DK is just one example. Recently, Team India picked KL Rahul in the Test squad for the tour of Australia based on his form in white-ball cricket and even though the discarded Test opener had played just 1 FC game since he got dropped in 2019. Mohammed Siraj is another such example, who was initially picked in the T20I team for his performances in FC cricket.
Another thing that India would be better off doing is not picking players in the T20I team based on their performances in ODIs and vice-versa. Currently, not only is India playing T20 cricket as if it is an extension of ODI cricket but they are also picking players suited for one format to play in the other while conveniently ignoring proven performers like Suryakumar Yadav in the shortest format of the game.