Three long-term issues in the Indian team to be monitored after World Cup defeat
The hot topic in the cricketing world is the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 final. The last week was a cracker for cricket fans with two semi-finals of the mega event. In the first semi-final, India lost to New Zealand after falling short of the target in the chase.
Following the loss in the semi-final, there are many criticisms made on the Indian team’s plans and tactics in the game. Especially the shift in the batting order was the main topic in debates among fans and experts.
But when analyzing the Indian team’s World Cup preparation prior to the tournament, there are some issues around the team which was known to many regarding the team. There seems like some long-term issues in the team led to some uncertainties in the team, even though they were dominating other teams.
1.Poor scheduling of ODI series
There is a recent trend in the series played by India, is that they arrange three-match ODI series in their fixtures. In the last two years, India had bilateral series against the big teams like Australia, England, New Zealand and all of them were three-match fixtures.
The above system is not enough to test the character of a team because two or three star performances can win them a series. Individual efforts can win games in such a system. If there is enough length in the series that will test the character of each and every player of the team as well as it will test the completeness of a team.
India missed that one due to their poor scheduling. In recent times, they played longer series in Asia Cup and against West Indies at home. But the opponents are not enough for them to test the reality. While taking England, Australia, New Zealand they had enough fixtures.
2.Long term enemy – No.4 batting position
As everybody knows the no.4 batting position is the biggest misery for the Indian team in the ODI format. Since the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, India are stuck with this biggest headache. They tried more than ten players like Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthick, Ambati Rayudu, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, etc.
The actual problem is there, as many of them in the above list didn’t get enough chances to establish themselves in that position. Most of the players in the above list played nearly 4 to 6 matches at that position and out of them, they got 2 or 3 to prove themselves as top order was in subline form.
Up to the last minute before the start of the tournament, India were uncertain who was gonna be there no.4 batsman. Unfortunately, injury issues also had some part in the no.4 slot in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Still, the slot remains a Bermuda triangle for India.
3.Ineffective quick-decision making
Another big issue that is being debated for India’s loss in the semi-final is the shuffle that they made in the batting order which has received many criticisms from some big names like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, etc.
It shows the team management is struggling to make some smart decisions in pressure situations. That is also a result of not enough experience for the set-up to do so. This is also an effect of poor scheduling as the team didn’t spend enough time to get these types of experiences.
The same issue was seen in the final of ICC Champions Trophy 2017 regarding Virat Kohli’s decision to bowl first in the final game that later became a controversy too between him and Anil Kumble. There is something missing regarding the decision-making process of the team which is also to be engineered.