Up­grades, call on Dhoni top pri­or­ity for In­dia now

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - World -

against Bangladesh, some­thing snapped in Kohli when asked about In­dia’s con­sis­tency in ICC tour­na­ments. Af­ter all, the 2011 World Cup win­ners won the Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy two years later and reached the 2015 World Cup semi­fi­nals, los­ing to the best team in the com­pe­ti­tion.

Fin­ish­ing run­ners-up at the Oval again shows In­dia’s strength in lim­ited-overs cricket. They also reached the World T20 semi­fi­nals in 2016, los­ing to even­tual win­ners West Indies.

“I’m very happy you have said semi­fi­nal is con­sis­tency be­cause hamare ya­han agar In­dia jeetega tho kharab tour­na­ment ho gaya!” (If In­dia win then the tour­na­ment is bad!). Per­haps the com­ment was a re­sponse to crit­i­cism by me­dia and fans when­ever the team slips up.

Kohli though went on to ex­plain he was happy with the new breed of play­ers, and the im­por­tance of win­ning it­self. “In our coun­try, the hap­pi­ness of win­ning a game is some­thing so spe­cial,” he said.

But with the next World Cup just two years away, In­dia may have to give their tac­tics a shakeup. The con­cerns of what will hap­pen if the top three bats­men fall in a heap, and early, came true. Pak­istan could have per­haps won only in one way, get­ting Ro­hit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Vi­rat Kohli early. They did that, and against an in­spired bowl­ing at­tack, In­dia folded with al­most 20 overs left.

The tem­plate of a steady start may need a relook to make bat­ting more ro­bust go­ing for­ward, and the in­tent could be vi­tal to put po­tent bowlers off track.

In Eng­land (2013 and 2017 Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy) and Aus­tralia (2015 World Cup), the pitches played well. But in this Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy,teams also were lucky not to feel the full force of Aus­tralia, done in by rain.

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