The current Indian team is one that looks strong but lacks a ruthless streak. At least, in the first tournament under Virat Kohli though. There are far too many positives but a couple of negatives also which could dent our chances at the next big ICC tournament – The World Cup in 2019. Here are five things that we need to change before it:
Figure out Yuvraj and Dhoni’s roles:
Sad as it may sound, Yuvraj and MS Dhoni – two of Indian cricket’s greatest servants are on their last legs with regards to their career.
Both are above 35 and their hitting ability is not the same as it used to be. As with natural progression, there are plenty who are ready in the wings to take their place and Indian cricket has to decide whether or not they want to continue with the two in the middle order come the 2019 WC.
Dhoni might still make it as a keeper thanks to his outstanding ability to read the game and also still muster the goods when required. Yuvraj’s form is inconsistent and he could not feature in the World Cup.
Groom the likes of Pandya and Pant:
India’s next generation of cricketers are all brimming with fearless talent thanks to their exposure to the IPL. They are well and truly India’s first IPL-bred generation and the way they approach their batting speaks volumes of their mentality.
Hardik Pandya has shown his class and his recent efforts at the Champions League show that he is a raw talent that shows a lot of potential. Rishabh Pant too, has shown maturity beyond his years and make his way up as the first replacement for Dhoni. Them, along with the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul and Kuldeep Yadav have the ability to shine on the big stage and the BCCI must consider this for the long term.
Find a bowling attack that works:
India’s batting might be splendid but their bowling has been found wanting at times with regard to limited overs cricket. The bowlers have all shown promise and delivered but not consistently. The games against Sri Lanka and Pakistan in the Champions Trophy exposed their weak side and opposition teams are sure to look up and take notice.
India needs to settle on a bowling attack that can instill fear into the oppositions’ batting lineup and there is plenty of time still to do that for the World Cup.
Pray for the top-order to still be firing:
India’s biggest strength in ODI cricket comes in the form of their top-order batsmen – Dhawan, Rohit and Kohli. By the time the World Cup arrives, Dhawan will be 33-34 and not the force he currently is. India should hope that the current form being exhibited by the three carries on and they are able to take care of themselves.
Kohli will be looking to go all guns blazing and with the three of them on song, India has every chance to win the World Cup.
Give Virat Kohli all the support he needs:
Taking over from Dhoni is not a task a lot of players will be capable of. However, Kohli is one of Dhoni’s favourite “disciples” if you may, and has shown that his batting does not get affected with the extra burden.
One thing that Indian fans must do is show Kohli their unconditional support. He is a once in a generation player and will be in his prime at the 2019 World Cup. If the Indian fans can spur him on and not compare him with Dhoni, he will have the mental freedom to imprint his class on the team and that can only bode well for us.