How should India prepare for the 2024 T20 World Cup?

The 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia ended disappointingly for Indian fans as India’s campaign halted after the semifinal defeat against England. Although team India’s performance was better than the last T20 World Cup in Abu Dhabi, the team needs to make changes as soon as possible before the next campaign in 2024, which is to be played in USA and West Indies.

This piece discusses five steps the Indian administration needs to take before the next T20 World Cup.

Although there were some positives in the 2022 T20 World Cup, selectors and the team management need to bring in some changes that can benefit the team in the long run.

The selectors need to make some tough decisions, although they might look a bit harsh if India wants to urgently create a bench strength ahead of the following T20 World Cup changes in all departments. We take a look at five necessary steps that are needed urgently.

#1 Senior players shouldn’t be a part of T20Is

Well, this decision might look a bit harsh, but players like Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Kartik, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami should no more be a part of T20Is. Virat Kohli’s selection can also be questionable going ahead, even though his performances were impressive in the 2022 T20 World Cup. Any T20 game is fast-paced, requiring swift movers in all departments. These players will slow down by age, so their selection for T20Is will be questionable.

#2 Add more depth to the squad with players who are below 30

This is one of the most crucial elements that Indian team management should consider. Every year we witness the emergence of new players through IPL, so the selectors should be advised to take measures to create a core group of players in every department who are below the age group of 30. Selectors should mark out all-rounders who can bat at No 6, 7 or maybe in the middle order.

Even batsmen who are part-time bowlers should be included in this group. BCCI should arrange bilateral or trilateral exposure tours for the T20I series against countries like Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa for such players. Players under 30 years of age will add enough heft to the fielding.

#3 Time to test India’s bench strength

After the team’s loss to England in the semifinal of the T20 World Cup, former Indian players, cricket experts, as well as fans pointed out that now the time has come for the Indian selectors to test India’s bench strength. Players like Sanju Samson, Prithvi Shaw, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Ravi Bishnoi and Umran Malik should be immediately part of the T20 side, which will provide them with enough game time against Test teams to have a sense of situations till the next T20 World Cup.

#4 Time to add more players from Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy

Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy is one of India’s most crucial domestic T20 Leagues. Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, Devdutt Padikkal, Ashwin Hebbar, Rajat Patidar, etc., are the products of this tournament. Many other talented players are playing in this tournament who can be identified for the shorter formats—rotating them during bilateral T20I series depending on their workload, or that particular player’s fitness will help. Some players have represented their stateside in the SMAT but haven’t played in the IPL, so these players should also be looked into.

#5 Preparing more wickets that aid bounce, pace and seam

This is also one of the essential aspects that our administrators need to consider. Indian wickets typically aid spin, while in domestic T20 cricket and the IPL, high-scoring wickets are prepared. Even during any bilateral series, Indian wickets are prepared keeping in mind that they should be helpful spinners or batsmen, irrespective of the format. Whenever the Indian team tours countries like Australia, England, South Africa, New Zealand or West Indies, the Indian batters are challenged by pace, swing and seam movements which sometimes become tricky for the batters due to lack of practice on such kinds of wickets.

So Indian administrators should take serious note of this, and every state cricket board should at least prepare one practice pitch that aids pace and bounce. Indian team management, BCCI, and the support staff should look into this and try to address this much-awaited problem. The younger players need to be played on such types of wickets frequently to upgrade their technique and strokeplay on such kinds of wickets, but for this, the Indian management should take urgent steps.

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