A look at some pressing issues the Indian squad and management must resolve before the upcoming World Test Championship cycle from 2023 to 2025.A look at some pressing issues the Indian squad and management must resolve before the upcoming World Test Championship cycle from 2023 to 2025.
India lost the World Test Championship final to Australia by a lopsided score of 209 runs, which is the second time they have lost in the last. As a result, they are once again left with more questions than answers. Time is running out, and there is no end in sight. The ICC trophy still eludes this strong team despite their numerous attempts. The once-fabled superstars are nearing the twilight of their careers as muddled team decisions and persistent injury worries with no quick conclusion.
There are concerns over Rohit Sharma’s role as Test captain and the delay in bringing in new players. We examine some pressing issues the captain, coach, players, and management must solve before it’s too late. India recharges and prepares to play the West Indies in a two-Test series to kick off the upcoming World Test Championship cycle in July.
Are the successors to Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma prepared?
Rohit Sharma is 36, while Virat Kohli is 34. You do the math by the time the following WTC cycle is over. Even if Kohli stays on for one more year, Rohit will likely be finished. However, India must prepare their upcoming Test cricket crop regardless of the outcome. We have a superstar in the making in Shubman Gill, but his opening partner in Tests is doubtful.
Prithvi Shaw has a history of squandering his chances, and Ishan Kishan is now struggling to be effective against moving balls. We now come to Yashasvi Jaiswal. Jaiswal was selected to the Indian team as a standby for the WTC final after a great IPL 2023 season, and boy, did he turn heads in his first-ever practice session with the national side. In addition, he had 498 runs from 3 Ranji Trophy games for Mumbai. He is a player who has thrived in both T20 and First-Class matches. Choosers, LET HIM IN!
re Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma’s days in India over? (image) It all relies on what Kohli wants to do and how he wants to prioritize his cricket in his situation, which is a little tricky. In all likelihood, Kohli is no longer a part of India’s T20I plans, and it’s still being determined whether he will play ODIs after this year’s World Cup. To extend his Test career, Kohli must consider his limited-overs options despite being healthy and hungry.
If the team management decides to assign Gill the duty of being India’s No. 4, Shreyas Iyer is likely the next in line to succeed Kohli. Having said that, Iyer, who just had back surgery, has a history of ailments. In nations like England and Australia, his inability to handle the short ball can turn him into a walking wicket.
Who will lead India in the next Test?
Not the worst, Rohit’s record as a test captain. By guiding them to victory in their first actual Test as captain against Australia, he made sure India advanced to the WTC final. But his age and physical condition pose a threat to ruin it all. Injuries have prevented Rohit from playing in the Bangladesh series (fractured finger) and the rescheduled England Test (due to Covid) since being named India’s all-format captain in January 2022. KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, and Jasprit Bumrah are the players vying to follow Rohit; all three are injured and have no set timetable for a potential recovery.
The future of Rohit Sharma as India’s Test captain is still being determined. (image)
It appears that Rahul’s captaincy abilities in Johannesburg, where Kohli was injured, were relatively ineffective, which is why Rohit could have won the position in the first place, while Hardik Pandya, who is expected to lead India in ODIs and T20Is, is unsure of how to handle the demands of all three formats given his surgically repaired back. Rishabh Pant is a young man who has already made a name for himself as a Test great. He would have been an easy choice if the horrible automobile accident hadn’t happened.
Like Bumrah, who led India in the Edgbaston Test last year, would BOOM be able to last long, given that he might not play Tests in India at all in the future? BOOM has a frail back, even if he is to return at full force. However, this is the perfect opportunity for selectors and Rohit to meet, discuss, and create a path for India’s future.
Both Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, THANK YOU, but I must leave now.
There is no better time to develop them than when the two pillars of India’s middle order from the previous decade start falling. It’s not the first time management has looked beyond Rahane and Pujara. Both were cut in 2022 but returned to the Playing XI by taking quite different paths. Pujara hit many runs for Surrey in the County Championship. Still, he could not capitalize on them in the WTC final due to more vigorous opposition at the location.
India’s continued use of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane may harm the younger players in line for a more extended period.
Rahane’s return will be remembered for a long time, but despite his 89 and 46, he is not the future. The fact that Rahul and Iyer’s injuries forced the club management to rely on him emphasizes how they squandered their chance to develop the young players. They may now correct that error, though. Get in with Abhimanyu Easwaran and Sarfaraz Khan. Reward the Ranji sloggers—including Dhruv Jurel, at least for home Tests—and start the transformation there. Due to Sachin Tendulkar’s impending retirement in 2013, Rahane had trouble making India’s Test XI. It’s amusing how things have evolved.
Where are the young fast bowlers of tomorrow?
Everything excellent has to come to an end. Under Kohli and Ravi Shastri, the formerly lethal fast-bowling outfit that caused England “60 minutes of hell” is running out of steam. The same bowlers who established 20 wickets in a Test as the new standard are losing their effectiveness, suffering injuries, and, more crucially, showing little intent. India’s fast bowlers grabbed 506 wickets at an average of 23.96 between 2018 and 2022.
However, it has now been four straight Tests abroad in which India still needs to pick up all 20 wickets, including the WTC final, Johannesburg in ’22, Cape Town in ’22, and Edgbaston in ’22. Ishant Sharma might have played in his last Test, Bumrah’s motion has taken a toll on his back, and Umesh Yadav rests more often than he plays. The pacer attack is now being led by Mohammed Shami, a savage and astute Mohammed Siraj who superbly assists. They will comprise India’s leading choice for pacers after Bumrah returns.
However, India is being forced to worry about their backup fast bowlers. Shardul Thakur would be the obvious choice, but who else? Two names spring to mind: Avesh Khan and Prasidh Krishna. Prasidh has to be fast-tracked back into the national squad when he recovers from injury because both are tall and have quick bowling motions. By joining Kent in the County Championship, Arshdeep Singh has taken a small step toward playing Test cricket, while Umran Malik also poses a threat
In the past ten years, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been so dominant that India didn’t need to worry too much about their replacements. However, given Jadeja’s knee ailment and Ashwin’s startling admission that he thought about his options after winning the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, the selection committee might only need to go through the reserves list quickly.
Given his abilities, Washington Sundar is the logical pick for Tests played abroad, as Ashwin is no longer a given. But his fitness is the most considerable challenge; in the past four months, he has twice torn his hamstring. Washington, now playing in the TNPL, would like a fresh start in the Duleep Trophy and hopes to return to the Test team gradually. Axar Patel has filled Ravindra Jadeja’s void except for these two spinners.
Now that Rahul Chahar is toiling away for India A, it is evident that the management does not view Yuzvendra Chahal as a future Test spinner. In addition, Kuldeep Yadav, who has only played in two Tests, claimed five wickets in a win against Australia in Sydney. Read more cricket news here at India Cricket Site, the best cricket site you can find in India.