T20 World Cup: Pick the brand of cricket you want to play and then pick the players

With the next T20 World Cup in 2024 in the West Indies, India should perhaps send their players to play the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) so that they adapt to the conditions soon

India's Suryakumar Yadav during the semifinal against England. — AP
India's Suryakumar Yadav during the semifinal against England. — AP

By Anis Sajan

Published: Fri 11 Nov 2022, 9:57 PM

India’s tame semifinal exit in the T20 World Cup has once again raised many questions and the most asked by all fans why is the team not able to cross the knockout stage despite so much talent, and win an ICC title?

You can’t blame the fans as they had been waiting for 15 years after India won the first T20 World Cup.

Seven T20 World Cups have come and gone after that and India have not added another one to their cabinet. Apart from the seven World Cups, the players have also got the exposure of playing the high profile IPL for 15 seasons. And despite getting into match scenarios where the pressure is so intense, why do the players choke and not absorb the pressure in a World Cup? What is that the team management and the team have to do to have their hands on a much awaited ICC trophy?

Former Australian player and coach of Sunrisers Hyderabad Tom Moody was spot on when he mentioned that the selectors do not pick the players but first understand the brand they want to play. And once you pick the brand, you can pick the players.

You need to understand and pick those fearless cricketers like Suryakumar Yadav who are not afraid of getting out and show intent from ball one. And, in the top three, there needs to be two such players who can maximize the powerplay and then an anchor who ensures that if the ship is falling apart, someone who plays sensible cricket to bring it to the shore.

Eoin Morgan (left) and Anis Sajan.
Eoin Morgan (left) and Anis Sajan.

In short, identify those fearless players who fit that brand of cricket. In doing so, you might fail at times but need to back them just the way England, under Eoin Morgan, had done, given them the licence to express themselves whenever they go on the field.

And in the bowling department too, you need to have players who are aggressive and contribute both with the bat and ball and become match winners in every department as per the situation demands.

The next T20 World Cup is in 2024 in the West Indies and, India, if they want to be successful in it, will have to send their players to play the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) than play bilateral series so that they adapt to the conditions soon, come the World Cup. It would serve the team well than just going to the World Cup and getting caught off guard, as was the case in Australia, where the batters struggled with the extra bounce and the bowlers did not know what is the right length to bowl at.

Easier said than done but without a vision nothing can be achieved, certainly not the World Cup. And hope the think tank plan well ahead in time to achieve their goal of team India having their hands on the T20 World Cup.

Anis Sajan is the vice-chairman of the Danube Group

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