‘West Indies series loss showed us…’: Rahul Dravid points to India’s ‘major concern’ ahead of Asia Cup and World Cup

During Virat Kohli’s tenure as white-ball captain between 2017 and October 2021, India had an 80 percent success rate in contests between ODIs and T20Is that included bilateral series and multi-nation events. After a memorable end to Kohli’s reign at the 2021 T20 World Cup, where India made a shock exit from the group stage, the Men in Blue’s performance took a nosedive in limited-overs formats. In 27 contests played since then, India have achieved a record 68 per cent win rate. The spell saw India fail to reach the final of the T20 Asia Cup before losing in the semi-finals of the 2022 T20 World Cup, while also suffering shock defeats in the Bangladesh (ODI) and West Indies (T20I) tour. As India now move towards the Asia Cup in September, followed by the ODI World Cup at home, coach Rahul Dravid, after the crushing T20I series loss to the West Indies, highlighted some “major concerns” for the team.

India coach Rahul Dravid has stressed the need for depth in limited-overs cricket after the series loss to the West Indies.

While criticism surrounding the team selection had taken a back seat after India managed to level the series from 0-2 down, with most hoping they could pull off a historic win even amid the shortcomings, the issue has returned he haunted the team as they said. in yet another horror batting show on Sunday.

India entered with four No.11s in the entire series against the West Indies. While captain Hardik Pandya remained uninvolved after India’s defeat in the second T20I, urging his top order to step up, Dravid admitted their hands were tied due to a lack of options in the squad. He also added that the series loss to a team like the West Indies, where a player like Alzarri Joseph comes in at No. 11, showed the importance of batting depth in limited-overs cricket.

“I think in terms of our lineup here, it probably didn’t give us the flexibility in a way to be able to change the combinations a little bit,” he said in his post-match press conference. “But I think going forward, we have to look at some areas where we can get better. Finding depth in our hitting has been an area that we’ve been trying to address. We’re trying to do our best, but that’s definitely an area that we can let’s see, how we can not weaken our bowling attack but ensure that we have some depth in batting.

“As these matches go on, and the scores get bigger and bigger, if you look at the West Indies, they had Alzarri Joseph coming in at No.11 and he can hit a bad ball. So you have teams that have that depth. Obviously, we have some challenges on that front and we need to work on it. It’s definitely something that this series showed us and we need to build on that depth.”

India’s next assignment will be a three-match T20I series in Ireland between August 18 and 23, where some of the big names like Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Hardik will not be present. In fact, even Dravid will not be present to guide the new Jasprit Bumrah-led India team, which will have only 5 players from the recently concluded T20I series against West Indies.

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