India, in the last few weeks leading up to the World Cup at home, spots an unsettled team that is still figuring out how to perform. This situation presents several challenges, concerns, and deeper issues. The middle-order, bowling, alignment, pace, prophecy, all these are all indicative of the players who will be needed after their rehabs. Would they take on established players or would they simply make way for more established ones?
The Indian team is teetering on the puzzle of what to do with their squad. In a press conference held here, Rohit Sharma, the captain, openly admitted that his team’s concerns were not resolved by any short-term measures. “We are eager to win but we have many unresolved questions,” he stated.
He was so insistent that he reiterated the idea that everyone has to fight for their places in the team during the interaction.
India would be able to present their squad with clarity three weeks before the World Cup. This is when quality teams aim to refine their tactics and team formations, rather than rushing to solve long-standing problems like Yuvraj Singh’s “No More” problem. Despite a decade of mass auditions for players such as Ajinkya Rahane, Kedar Jadhav, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, and Suryakumar Yadav, many have been given opportunities to
According to Sharma, there is no way to escape reality. “No one has been able to solve the issue of No 4 for us since Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh), and now everyone seems to have settled on it.”
There were some players who looked too lacking in talent for the role and had to be injured at the wrong time. Rahul and Iyer are two of them, with the latter having an average of 42 balls at five and four and a strike rate of 96%. However, both have been struggling with injuries that left Sharma unlucky.
Iyer and Rahul’s ability to hold their own in the middle-order has been hindered by injuries. Rahu has batted just 26 times in front of the plate, while Iyre has only accounted for 32 outings. These injuries have taken away from a crucial 20-30 match period that would have allowed them to develop into those positions.
The team is in a state of desperation as Tilak Varma, whose left-handedness has impressed in T20Is but not been featured in any ODI matches, is considered an inspired choice. As the fitness levels of Iyer and Rahul are unknown, there is also uncertainty about their completeness for the World Cup. “We will have to see how they respond, what they do,” he said.
Suryakumar Yadav’s enigma is that he has not replicated his impressive T20 performance in ODIs, where if aspiring players were to perform well under pressure, they would be forgiven for giving the latter too much time.
The bowling scene is also troublesome, with Jasprit Bumrah’s fitness and sharpness being closely monitored. Ravindra Jadeja is the only one with a clear spin-firm presence. Sharma believes that spin will play primarily because of the assistance provided with older balls while others wait for some time to determine who will be involved. This also applies to the entire squad, which is less than two months away from the World Cup.