Opinion: Changes India need to make in their approach to win high pressure encounters
Authoritative cricket in the initial stages of the tournament, one standout performer who overcomes all the challenges posed by the oppositions. A resolute performance towards the business end of the tournament, yet falling short by a few steps.
Unfortunately, this trend of 'so close, but so far' has been persisting for India in the ICC tournaments for some years now. From the 2014 World T20, India have been consistently making it to the semi-finals of all the ICC events.
However, they have not been able to cross the knockout stages, leading to huge disappointment among fans and in the process, posing serious questions in the minds of the captain and team management.
While India have been the most consistent team in the world in the past few years, winning bilateral series on all kinds of turfs across formats, things just do not seem to go in favour of Men in Blue at the global events.
There are a few shortcomings, which have been consistently exploited in the knockout games. Here is a look a four possible changes that can be made to turn the fortunes in India's favor.
Note: The views of the author need not necessarily reflect the views of Sportskeeda.
#4 Drafting a specialist batsman into the middle order
The Men in Blue have been facing the middle order conundrum since the last World Cup held in 2015. They have been excessively reliant on the top 3 in Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli to deliver the goods. Apart from these three, the onus has been on MS Dhoni to deliver the goods, given his wealth of experience.
A great number of permutations and combinations have been tried to fix the middle muddle, but one error that has remained constant is that very few out of the selected individuals are regular batsmen. Predominantly, the middle order has seen the presence wicket-keepers and all-rounders such as Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar and Hardik Pandya.
While all the above-mentioned names are good players, they seem to be better suited in the shoes of a finisher. India requires technically sound quintessential batsmen to be drafted into the side, who can be trusted to anchor the innings in any situation.
Conventionally, every team has at least five regular, technically sound batsmen to provide solidarity to the department. This has been the characteristic of most of the teams in this World Cup, and also of the Indian squad in the previous decade.
Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh were some of the iconic batsmen who ensured that that the Indian batting remained a force to reckon with.
While the addition of wicketkeepers and all rounders is not essentially a bad idea, emphasis must be laid on the fact whether they have the technique and temperament to anchor the innings. In the context of the Indian scenario, players like Mayank Agarwal, Shubhman Gill, and Shreyas Iyer can be given a go in the middle order.