All that glitters is gold, at least for this Indian cricket team.
36 All out? Bruised bodies? Losing the first match of a series? No matter the obstacle, this team has risen to the challenge. Grit, fearlessness, and resilience all on display in the Australia & England series.
One of the hallmarks of this success has been India’s marvelous bench strength. Yet, too much of anything is bad. Michael Atherton sums it up perfectly—“Depths of talent can be both a blessing and a curse.”
Ishan Kishan hits a 50 on debut. Suryakumar Yadav pulls his first ball for a one-legged six and scores a 50 as well. Rahul Chahar impresses. Prasidh Krishna picks 4 wickets on ODI debut. Krunal Pandya caps it off with the fastest debutant half century.
Sundar, Gill, Thakur, Natarajan, and Siraj all came to the party in Australia. The list goes on and on.
It seems that for every Ravindra Jadeja, there is an Axar Patel & Krunal Pandya. In fact, India has a production line of 75 players & can even field four teams at the same time. They are reaping rewards of systems created by the IPL, India U-19, & India A (courtesy Rahul Dravid).
Recent successes cannot hide the cracks beneath the surface.
The selection mismanagement (or ‘rejection’ as Ajay Jadeja calls it) of Ambati Rayudu, Vijay Shankar, Manish Pandey, Kuldeep Yadav, Shivam Dube, & Sanju Samson is well known. Dropping players after a couple of games & constant experimentation instills a lack of confidence, instability, & insecurity within the team. India needs to make sure they do not repeat this mistake with the likes of KL Rahul & Shreyas Iyer.
Because if similar management continues, India’s upcoming T20 World Cup campaign will be in jeopardy.
There is no dearth of talent in Indian cricket, but how it is utilized is key.
Gone are the days where teams carry players across formats for an entire decade. Except for the occasional Kohlis, Rabadas, & Williamsons, we will not see the all-format player again.
India is amidst an experimentation phase where any newcomer fits into the team environment & performs. In order to sustain this way of playing, a paradigm shift is required not only among the selectors & captain but also in the thought process of each player that is selected on the particular day.
Is flexibility the new stability? Only time will tell, but remember—some change is good, but too much change can create chaos.
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Copyright (2021: 3/25/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X – firstname.lastname@example.org