Does Team India need three different squads for Test, ODI, & T20Is?

The recently concluded T20 World Cup in Australia was filled with excitement, drama and surprises. There were quite a few upsets when the lesser-known teams got the better off heavyweights in the qualifying as well as the Super 12 Round. 

Amidst this, team India’s loss in the semifinal against England has again opened the same debate: Does the Indian team need three separate teams for the White ball format and the Red Ball format? 

Although the men in blue performed better than the 2021 T20 World Cup in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, the team was expected to go all the way this time. When we closely analyze the need to have three different squads for the white ball format and the Red ball format (for Test cricket, limited overs cricket and T20 Cricket), we conclude that with modern-day cricket being hectic and physically as well as mentally draining big players are not able to perform for their respective sides in ICC events like the World Cup, Champions Trophy or the Asia Cup as the players don’t get enough rest due to fatigue. 

The introduction of franchise-based cricket has made the matter all the more complicated. Indian players have been busy playing the IPL for two months. If a crucial tour is announced against any Test-playing nation like England, Australia or South Africa, players cannot recover from fatigue and don’t get enough time to adapt to the conditions of the country they tour. Due to a lack of practice in those conditions, the newcomers don’t get enough time to train with the seniors and get vital inputs. On the other hand, a senior player might have to miss out due to fitness or injury issues due to a packed calendar. When the Indian team tours Australia, England, South Africa or New Zealand, the same players play both ODIs and the T20Is with minor changes in the Test squad. 

BCCI, the most potent cricketing body that also hosts a cash-rich League like the IPL, needs to bring up an initiative where selectors and coaching staff are instructed to groom a separate set of players only for T20Is. The IPL is the perfect place to get a bag of talented youngsters who can only be groomed for T20Is.

The kind of talent India has, we can make three teams. Amazing talent. We can never be short of talent. The player who is playing all the three formats, I feel he only should be the captain.

Because I believe in India it is a bit different. But aane wala time, maybe…I am not saying no…At the moment, the person who is playing all three formats should lead the side

Former Cricketer Madan Lal told Times Now.

We also have a domestic competition named Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, where we have witnessed some promising talents performing brilliantly for their respective state sides. Also, a separate coach and support staff should be appointed for the T20Is. England team is the best example of this. 

Since their loss to Bangladesh in the knockout round of the 2015 World Cup, the English selectors have opted for a different set of players for all three formats. The results are for everyone to see, as the team has performed impressively for the last 6-7 years, winning two ICC World Cups (the 2019 limited overs world cup and the 2022 T20I world cup). Also, they have two different coaches for Red Ball cricket and White Ball cricket. Former New Zealand stumper and captain Brendon McCullum is the coach for Red ball cricket, while Matthew Mott is the white ball coach.

Former India legend and captain Anil Kumble has suggested such changes alongside former Australia all-rounder Tom Moody. Anil Kumble further added that India needs specialised additions in T20, like Marcus Stoinis of Australia, an all-rounder who can be a destructive batsman at no 6. The same can also be said of Liam Livingstone, who can be a powerful hitter at No. 7 and is also a handy spinner.

Definitely, you need separate teams. You need, certainly, T20 specialists. I think what this English team has shown and even the last (T20 WC 2021) World Cup champions Australia have shown is that you need to invest in a lot of allrounders. Look at the batting order.

Anil Kumble to ESPNCricInfo

If we talk about ODI cricket, the players who play Test cricket should be rotated depending on the workload, especially the senior players who have been playing for the last decade. If the team tours or hosts non-Test playing or lesser-known teams, the seniors should be rested for the limited-overs games. 

Ahead of an ICC limited-overs World Cup or the T20 World Cup event, separate mental conditioning coaches, physios, and trainers should be appointed for both squads as the situations are different for both formats. As far as the Test squad is concerned, the selectors should select two units for practice matches—one consisting of senior players and the other composed of domestic players. Based on the current form of the senior players and the form of domestic players, the team should be a mix of senior and domestic cricketers with experience of 7-8 seasons in domestic cricket. 

More exposure tours should be held for domestic cricketers like India A tour which will make them adapt to different conditions and upgrade their skills technically and tactically as per the opposition’s strengths. Besides this, every domestic team needs to be given financial help to hire a coach and curator from foreign countries, which will help upcoming players to adjust to foreign wickets when they get a chance to play for the national team. There should be two under-19 and under-21 squads, which will help identify the selectors and coaches to identify players for different conditions and groom them accordingly. The exact process should be followed for all domestic teams. 

Indian fans expected the side to win the trophy, but England was better on the semifinals day. Although the performance of team India wasn’t that bad, we need to create a system that gives us options in all formats. Having three different squads for all three formats is the right way to go seeing the workload of senior players and a busy schedule, every player’s presence becomes vital irrespective of the format he is adjusted to and comfortable playing. 

To avoid exhaustion and keep our players fresh, the selectors need to come up with the idea of having specialists in all three forms of the game. This move might not give immediate results, but it will start to show positive results after 2-3 years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *