In a disappointing turn of events, India suffered a setback in the T20I series against West Indies, succumbing to an eight-wicket loss in the final match held on Sunday, August 13.
The defeat has stirred discussions regarding India's preparation for the upcoming 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup. Head coach Rahul Dravid, however, provided clarity, assuring that a ‘different' squad would be fielded for the prestigious tournament.
Addressing the outcome, Rahul Dravid conveyed, “The squad that we had here, it didn't allow us the flexibility to have the combination to allow us to make the changes. Our (World Cup) squad will be a little different to what we have here,” offering insight into the strategic choices ahead.
Rahul Dravid acknowledged batting depth concerns
Dravid also acknowledged the challenge posed by the team's batting depth, highlighting the limited options for numbers eight and beyond, with Arshdeep Singh and Kuldeep Yadav filling that role during the series.
“Finding depth in our batting is an area that we are trying to address and do as best as we possibly can. But that's certainly an area that we need to look at, how we can not weaken our bowling attack but have a certain depth in our batting that can go deeper,” Dravid emphasized, underscoring the need for a balanced approach.
While the series witnessed lackluster performances from several experienced players, the silver lining for the team was the emergence of promising debutants.
The performances of Tilak Varma and Mukesh Kumar drew attention, showcasing their potential to contribute to India's cricketing future.
Rahul Dravid's take on debutants
Rahul Dravid shared his thoughts on the young talents, stating, “You get into any series wanting to win it, that's the first thing that we wanted to do.
“We didn't tick that off. We didn't win the series, that was a disappointment. Other than that, there were some young guys we wanted to try out, wanted to give them opportunities in the series,” illustrating the dual focus of the team—seeking victory while nurturing emerging talents.
Despite the series outcome, Dravid found a silver lining in the trial of debutants and experimentation with different player combinations.
He noted, “We gave a few debuts in the series. There were other people as well that we trialled out in different combinations. From that perspective, there were some positives, some tick marks from some of the players,” shedding light on the valuable lessons and insights gained.
India's cricketing journey continues as they gear up for a three-match T20I series against Ireland, commencing on August 18.
The team will be led by the returning Jasprit Bumrah, who is making a comeback after a prolonged injury layoff.
Handling the coaching responsibilities will be Sitanshu Kotak, as India strives to overcome the recent setbacks and regain their winning momentum on the international stage.