After thrashing the West Indies 3-0 in the ODIs, India host them for a 3-T20I series starting Wednesday in Kolkata.
Although for skipper Rohit Sharma, the main goal remains the T20 World Cup later in the year in Australia. And for that the new coach-captain pair of Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma have already outlined their plans as to how they will be approaching the mega-event: giving clarity of roles of first-eleven players and to the back-ups as well.
This is especially after India faltered in the last two white-ball events – the 2019 World Cup and the 2021 T20 World Cup – when under pressure India burst up their panic stations and made a number of questionable calls.
“We’ve spoken to guys about what roles they will need to do during the World Cup. That mindset needs to be to bat or bowl in that fashion. The clarity has been given to them,” Rohit Sharma said on Tuesday.
For this series, though, India will be without a number of key players – Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have been rested, while KL Rahul, Axar Patel, Washinton Sundar, Ravindra Jadeja all have been ruled out of the series because of injuries or recovering from injuries. Hardik Pandya continues to work on his fitness
Sharma asserted that with a number of players not available, the fringe players have been explained their roles to fill in the gaps. The skipper also emphasised identifying the players who could be part of the World Cup squad and feels it’s important to give them assurance.
“The idea is to identify the players who are going to play the World Cup and give them the game time. There are a lot of players who are injured and not with the team. Come the World Cup, I don’t know who’s going to be fit and who’s not going to be fit. We just got to get the backups ready. We have a packed schedule and injuries will happen. It’s important we give players enough game time keeping everything in mind.
“We are trying to find those holes that are there in the squad and try and fill that gap. So whatever it takes, we will try and do that. All these guys are very young and haven’t played a lot of cricket. We need to give them the assurity and the game time. Once we have that, then we can try out things. Till then, whatever little holes we have in our squad, we have to try and fill that,” Rohit Sharma added.
India’s T20I squad vs West Indies: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Surya Kumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (vice-captain) (wicket-keeper), Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Ravi Bishnoi, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohd. Siraj, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Deepak Hooda, Kuldeep Yadav