Transitional shift or continuation of the old guard? What’s next for IND cricket post WC? | cricket

Especially in cricket, where the role of captain extends beyond simply being present to toss, most teams take on the persona of their captain. This was never more evident than at the 2023 World Cup, when India fed off Rohit Sharma to cement their place as an entertaining but self-dominant team.

Indian players Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma appear depressed after losing the Cricket World Cup final (Reuters)

The quality of cricket played by India throughout the tournament, barring the doomed final against Australia, has so inflamed the nation’s imagination that even in Sunday night’s heartbreaking defeat, there were not even token accusations. The country rallied behind the team like never before, pushing it forward, forward and upward and making its dreams come true for six and a half weeks. It wasn’t just India’s 10-game win in a row that pleased them; The dominance of those wins, the adrenaline-pumping feats of their side’s players, the powerful batting power of the captain himself and the relentless enthusiasm at number three of Virat Kohli combined to create a powerful combination that should set a template for future Indian white-ball teams. .

It won’t be long from now, and once he fully recovers from the ankle injury that forced him out of the World Cup after four matches, Hardik Pandya will take over as India’s next white-ball captain. Pandya is his own man, but there’s a lot of Rohit to him too. Having started his career at the international level under Mahendra Singh Dhoni and in the Indian Premier League under Rohit for Mumbai Indians, Pandya has evolved as a cricketer and a person. Like Rohit, he doesn’t have a negative bone in his body; Also like the former MI captain, Pandya is the quintessential team man. While he will bring his own style, verve and drive to the teams under him, he is better placed to embrace the cause of attacking cricket that Rohit has brought into the fold, leading by example in setting the tone with his bruising knocks at the top of the order.

Neither Rohit nor Kohli, the tournament’s best player on three hundred and 765 runs, had anything to prove to anyone, except perhaps themselves, if that. They won’t be around for much longer, certainly not at the next 50th World Cup in four years. Who will follow them from this group to assume the role of senior statesmen other than Pandya? This question has been answered conclusively by KL Rahul, himself no stranger to the big league considering his India debut came in 2014, and Shreyas Iyer, exceptional when he’s good but still a bit too laid back for the comfort of many. Of people.

Rahul had previously led India in all formats but loss of form and confidence in Tests and T20Is led to him being replaced as Rohit’s deputy in all three international squads. However, Rahul did not let his troubles in the other two editions affect his status as one of the top 50 players in the world. At number five, he slid into the striker’s role quite easily, and although it is open to debate whether he will continue to play the wicket-keeper role as well, he has a big role to play in ensuring the impending transition. Smooth.

Shubman Gill, certainly a player for the present and the future, had a mixed performance, although his performance must be viewed through the lens of the physical setback he suffered just before the start of the tournament. That he recovered as quickly as he did from dengue and was available for the third match is a testament to the youngster’s resilience; He admitted that his original reserves of muscle mass had taken a beating. Gill can be forgiven for individual lapses in concentration in his first World Cup appearance at the age of 24, but alongside Rahul and Iyer, he and Ishan Kishan will have a big role in India’s fortunes going forward.

India’s bowling has been an incredible breakthrough, but an almost entirely new line-up will have to be assembled considering the next major 50-over match, the 2025 Champions Trophy scheduled in Pakistan, and the World Cup after that. This will be a big question for who is the next coach – Rahul Dravid’s tenure officially ended on Sunday evening and the Bengaluru is unlikely to reapply for another term. Two years may seem a long way away, but not when a rebuilding period is imminent, so it is essential to build on the gains made over the past seven weeks and start working towards the next big challenge.

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