Former teammate questions Rahul Dravid and team management over T20 World Cup debacle
India’s long wait for an ICC trophy triumph continues, as they were comprehensively beaten by England in the second semi-final of the T20 World Cup 2022 at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday, November 10.
India, the only team to have won four of their Super 12s clash, managed 168/6 after being asked to bat, with Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli scoring fifties. England managed to gun down the target in just 16 overs, with skipper Jos Buttler and Alex Hales scoring stroke-filled eighties. Following the defeat and the overall batting approach in the competition, there have been criticisms over the style of play, prompting questions over the management and its decisions.
India's scores after 10 overs in each game:— CricXtasy (@CricXtasy) November 10, 2022
v PAK: 45/4
v NED: 67/1
v SA: 60/5
v BAN: 86/2
v ZIM: 79/1
v ENG: 62/2
Their combined team strike-rate was a mere 107.5 in the first 10 overs.#T20WorldCup #INDvENG pic.twitter.com/ctJGyopoCG
Former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh strongly believed that India needed someone fairly younger in the Rahul Dravid led coaching staff. Harbhajan, who played alongside Dravid for a major part of his international career, while also under his captaincy in the mid 2000s, recommended Ashish Nehra as a potential choice in the setup.
“It's not just the captain. If you can bring someone who has just retired from T20 cricket recently, someone who understands the format,” Harbhajan told India Today after the second semi-final.
“You know, with all due respect to Rahul Dravid, he was my colleague and we played a lot of cricket together, he has a great brain. But I think if you don't want to remove Dravid from T20I as a coach then help him with someone who has recently retired. Someone like Ashish Nehra who has got a great cricketing brain. Look what he has done there at Gujarat Titans. It will also encourage the young guys with what Ashish will bring into the team. It could also be anyone, who just retired.”
As for a potential future captaincy candidate, Harbhajan had a clear answer: “For captaincy, Hardik Pandya is my choice. There is no better choice. He is the best player in the team and you need more people like him in the team.”
India’s next international assignment is a white-ball tour of New Zealand, featuring three T20Is and as many ODIs between November 18 and 30.