The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to hold a performance review meeting of its senior men’s team following back-to-back defeats in the World Cup semi-final and the ODI series in Bangladesh.
The meeting will take place in Mumbai on Sunday and will be attended by head coach Rahul Dravid, National Cricket Academy (NCA) chief VVS Laxman, captain Rohit Sharma and outgoing chairman of the selection committee Chetan Sharma, besides BCCI mandarins, including president Roger Binny and secretary Jay Shah.
There is no confirmation on whether former captain Virat Kohli has been asked to be present at the conclave. The meeting comes two days before Team India launch their home campaign with a T20 series against Sri Lanka in Mumbai.
If the humiliation at the hands of England in the T20 World Cup semi-final wasn’t bad enough, the embarrassing loss to seventh-ranked Bangladesh in the ODIs in a World Cup year has made the BCCI sit up and take notice. India haven’t won an ICC tournament since 2013 and the BCCI is determined to make amends.
Sources told The Telegraph that the roadmap for the future is expected to be discussed while also delving into the reasons for their debacles. The failure at the Asia Cup, where India failed to make the final, could also be deliberated.
Besides Dravid, Laxman has also donned the head coach’s hat in an interim capacity whenever the former has taken a break or has been associated with the Test side.
Laxman’s presence is also significant since Board president Binny has raised concerns over workload management and the injuries to key players before important tournaments. As NCA chief, the former India batter will be able to explain the causes for such injuries and the remedial measures which needs to be put in place.
“Players have often broken down after being given the all clear by the NCA. Jasprit Bumrah has been the latest victim. We need to discuss these things in detail and also talk to the team management with an open mind,” a BCCI official told The Telegraph.
The BCCI is also expected to clear the air on the captaincy front at the meeting. Rohit, 35, will stay captain till the World Cup at home while Hardik Pandya is already being groomed keeping the next T20 World Cup in mind in 2024. The all-rounder has also been handed the vice-captaincy in the 50-over format.
Phasing out the seniors from the T20 format is also being talked about. A specialist coach for the shortest format is also being debated but whether that will come up for discussion is not clear.
Several of the team’s strategies did face criticism during the T20 World Cup, including their failure to play fearless cricket and constant chopping and changing with the XI. Their reluctance to play a wrist spinner Down Under also cost them dear.
India’s defeats in the knockout stages of the ICC tournaments have remained a concern for quite sometime now.
Thrill after Babar dare
New Zealand’s Ish Sodhi (centre) celebrates with teammates after dismissing Pakistan’s Imam-ul-Haq on the fifth day of the first Test in Karachi on Friday. AP/PTI
Karachi: Poor visibility ended a thrilling final session of cricket in the drawn first Test on Friday after New Zealand had threatened to snatch victory following Pakistan’s daring declaration.
Chasing 138 to win in 15 overs, New Zealand was at 61/1 in only the eighth over of the second innings when the Test finished early because of bad light.
Pakistan resumed after tea at 249/7 in their second innings — a lead of 75 — and New Zealand legspinner Ish Sodhi (6/86) threatened to set his team up for victory.
Left-hander Saud Shakeel made an unbeaten 55 and got plenty of support from the two tailenders, Mohammad Wasim (43) and Mir Hamza (3 not out). They did so well that Pakistan captain Babar Azam caught the visitors by surprise and declared at 311/8 late in the final session.