'Debacle of T20 World Cup is repeating now' - former India player critical of Dravid-Rohit duo

The head coach and skipper have come up for heavy criticism on the outside amidst India's reshuffling their batting order and combination through the West Indies series. 

India's experimentation policy for the three-match ODI series against the West Indies continues to face criticism on the outside, with fans and experts wondering if the team management led by coach Rahul Dravid and skipper Rohit Sharma are aware of their first XI heading into the 2023 World Cup. 

Dravid insisted after India's loss to the Calypso Kings in the second One-Dayer that the plan is keep the backup arsenal ready amidst a spree of injury concerns ahead of the Asia Cup, which preludes to the 50-overs mega showpiece on Indian shores in October-November. 

The coach also hinted that the inclination to rejig the batting unit and overall combination could continue through to the series decider on Tuesday (August 1) in Trinidad, suggesting big names Rohit and Virat Kohli might stay put on the sidelines to give the younger lot their due opportunities. 

But former India cricketer Aakash Chopra is concerned and echoed the widespread thoughts on the team's experimentations with the example of Ishan Kishan, who could be required to walk in at No.4 during the World Cup if incumbents KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer are underprepared and thus unselected, but has been opening the innings in the Caribbean. 

Aakash Chopra critical of Dravid-Rohit's experimentation policy 

Chopra feared the "debacle" of India crashing out of the men's T20 World Cup in Australia last year could be repeating if the think-tank doesn't get the planning and preparation in order for the 50-overs World Cup on home shores. 

"It feels like the debacle of the 2022 T20 World Cup is repeating now. That is my big worry," Chopra said on his YouTube channel, before pressing home his point via Kishan being moved around the batting unit over time leading into the quadrennial event. 

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The youngster would've been an ideal Rishabh Pant replacement at No.4 with his left-handedness, but his spin issues have compelled the think-tank to treat the Jharkhand youngster as the backup opener to the dominating stand at the top shared by Rohit with the prodigious Shubman Gill. 

Kishan has made two impressive half-centuries in the first two ODIs of the West Indies series and has an overall promising record at the top. But in his six innings batted in the middle-order, the youthful cricketer averages just 21 across six innings. 

"Ishan Kishan is unlikely to open the batting at the WC. I'll be really surprised if Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill open the batting and Rohit drops down to the middle order. I don't agree with this at all. Should Virat Kohli drop down from No. 3, again absolutely no," Chopra said. 

"There is a temptation with Gill-Ishan because of the left-right combination, but there just is no place anywhere in the batting order. As much as I love Kishan, he is brilliant while opening, but his numbers at No.4 are worrying.If you don't play him more at No.4 and plan to use him at No.4 during WC, it does not add up at all."