The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will hold a meeting with coach Rahul Dravid, captain Rohit Sharma and ex-skipper Virat Kohli before deciding the future course of action vis-à-vis the T20 side following the 10-wicket defeat to England in the semifinal of the T20 World Cup on Thursday.
A board official said the next step will be taken only after hearing Dravid and the two players once they return from Australia. “We will call a meeting and discuss the roadmap for our T20 team,” the official told The Indian Express. “We don’t want to take any decision in haste. Let team management and players present their point of view first; the board will decide how to go about it later.”
After India’s embarrassing exit from the tournament, the arguments in favour of rebooting the team’s T20 ideology along with an overhaul of the squad have gathered momentum. The average age of the Indian team in the T20 World Cup was 30.6, making them one of the oldest squads in the tournament. At 37, wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik was the oldest player in the Indian team while Rohit Sharma (35), Virat Kohli (33), R Ashwin (36), Suryakumar Yadav (32) and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar (32) were all above 30 as well.
By the time the next T20 World Cup takes place in the West Indies and the USA in 2024, it is unlikely that some of these players will continue being a part of the side. And so, the challenge for the team management as well as the selectors will be to ensure a smooth transition.
Hardik Pandya, who will lead the team in the three-match T20I series in New Zealand next week, is likely to be groomed as the next India captain in the shortest format. Pandya was the only player who looked up for a fight against England in the semifinals, where India – despite a star-studded line-up – did not have any response to the assault unleashed by Jos Buttler and Alex Hales.
After the match on Thursday, Dravid was asked about the ageing Indian players and if they will remain a part of the plan for the next T20 World Cup cycle. “Well, it’s too early to talk about it right now just after a semifinal game,” Dravid replied. “These guys have been terrific performers for us. We have a couple of years to reflect on it. There are some really good quality players here, so absolutely not the right time to talk about this stuff or think about this stuff right now. We’ll have enough games, enough matches as we go on ahead, and India will try and build and prepare for the next World Cup.”
However, it is learnt that the selection committee might include a few new faces in the line-up. The committee is currently headed by former India international Chetan Sharma and has Sunil Joshi, Harvinder Singh and Debashish Mohanty as its members. The BCCI is yet to appoint a West Zone selector, despite the post being vacant for the last 10 months.