Aakash Chopra has criticized the Indian team management for doing excess experimentation ahead of the T20 World Cup to be played in Australia later this year.
The Men in Blue have tried various combinations in T20I cricket since the World Cup last year. They continued with that experimentation in the ongoing Asia Cup 2022, which might have contributed to their elimination from the tournament.
During a discussion on Star Sports, Chopra was asked whether India have done too much experimentation heading into the global event. He replied:
“One hundred percent. When this tournament (Asia Cup) was starting, we had discussed that two of your top three are coming without playing cricket. You tried so many people in different-different roles in between, there was no role clarity, whichever way you justify it.”
Chopra feels the think tank trying out Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant and Deepak Hooda at the top of the order was uncalled for. The former India opener explained:
“When are you going to make Suryakumar Yadav open, I would be very surprised if you see Suryakumar Yadav open from now till the World Cup. When he doesn’t have to open at all, Rishabh Pant and Deepak Hooda don’t have to open at all, Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad were sitting out, you could have gotten them to open.”
While Hooda opened for India against Ireland, Pant and Yadav performed that role against England and West Indies respectively. With KL Rahul back in the team as an opener, the trio have batted in the middle order in the Asia Cup.
“If you don’t play him in that role, then the story will not work” – Aakash Chopra
Chopra highlighted that players don’t carry their confidence forward if they are not given the same role they have succeeded in. He observed:
“You want players to be part of the team after they have scored international runs, you get confidence after scoring runs. But if you don’t play him in that role, then the story will not work.”
While citing Dinesh Karthik’s example, Chopra concluded by stating that players’ roles need to be mandatorily defined in T20 cricket. The reputed commentator said:
“You didn’t make Dinesh Karthik bat up the order any time, his role was defined, but the guy who was made to open has been asked to play DK’s role. We have discussed this many times, roles are most important in T20 cricket. Test cricket, T20 cricket – roles are imperative.”
It was probably the right call to try Pant as an opener, considering he has not sealed his place in the Indian middle order. However, the decision to make Yadav open against the Windies took everyone by surprise, with the Mumbaikar being one of the best middle-order batters in the Indian team at the moment.
Q. Is India’s exit from the Asia Cup 2022 a result of too much experimentation?
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