South Africa, Asia Cup, T20 World Cup, New Zealand and now Bangladesh. After the high of 2021, 2022 has been a rather forgettable year for Indian cricket. The failure to win big tournaments and series away from home has been a huge let down for this team under captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid.
Team India’s last memorable series was in England in June, where they won both ODI and T20Is series but ever since August, it has ben all downhill.
India’s shortcomings were exposed when they failed to reach the final of the Asia Cup and then endured yet another semifinal defeat to England in a one-sided contest. The New Zealand ODI series was affected by bad weather but even there India struggled before rain saved them the embarrassment of a 0-1 series defeat. And if that wasn’t bad enough, now comes a defeat to seventh-ranked Bangladesh. Indian cricket seems to have hit a new low.
Which is why before India’s next assignment – the home series against New Zealand staring January, the BCCI will be conducting a meeting, as reported by the Indian Express, and will be attended by Rohit, Dravid, NCA chief VVS Laxman and Virat Kohli. With a World Cup year approaching, the belief is that the board is expected to review India’s recent string of defeats and decide the future course of action.
“We weren’t able to meet the Indian team before going to Bangladesh as some of the office bearers were busy but we will schedule it as soon as the team is back from Bangladesh. It has been an embarrassing performance and we didn’t expect this team to lose to Bangladesh,” a BCCI official told the Daily.
One of the hottest topics that is expected to be taken up during the review meeting is Rohit’s captaincy. Despite a couple of low-profile bilateral series wins against Sri Lanka, New Zealand and West Indies, and of course in England, Rohit’s Team India has appeared a pale shadow of its once dominating self.
Furthermore, that Rohit’s form with the bat has dipped significantly after taking over as captain is another concern. It is likely that Rohit will remain in charge and lead India at next year’s World Cup at home, but in T20Is, Hardik Pandya is next in line to be appointed the full-time captain and the BCCI will groom him for next T20 World Cup in 2024 in the Caribbean and the USA.
Another alarming matter which will be up for discussion is the rising number of injuries. India have been hampered severely with some of their top cricketers getting injured one after the other. Ravindra Jadeja endured a bruised knee, while Jasprit Bumrah picked up a stress fracture in his back.
Deepak Chahar has broken down three times this season despite repeated rehabs at the NCA, and now Mohammed Shami too has sustained an injured shoulder. What is worrying is that someone like Kuldeep Sen complained of stiffness in his back after playing just one match. Rohit’s frustration with ‘half-fit’ Indian players was rightly valid and it is about time the BCCI and NCA looks thoroughly into it.