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Time is right for India to have a separate T20I side filled with youngsters

Next World T20 is scheduled in 2020 in Australia.

By Jatin Sharma -

India celebrating the World T20 2007 win

With ICC taking a decision to discontinue the ICC Champions Trophy after the 2017 edition and filling its spot with World T20 tournaments, starting from 2020; the onus on making the T20I format popular internationally is now on the teams.

Teams like England, West Indies and Australia have moved on to a younger player based teams and it is something that has been paying rich dividends to their T20 planning. West Indies and England have become practically unbeatable in the format, as they have invested in players specific to this format.

On the other hand, India, despite being the country to make the format popular via IPL, still chooses players on the wrong side of 30 in their team, which should be bursting with youngsters, who made their mark in IPL and domestic limited overs tournaments.

However, time has come for India to move forward and choose a different T20I team for future and prepare youngsters for upcoming World T20 tournaments. For e.g. England betted their future on players who were bred on the limited overs tournaments in England after the World Cup 2015 debacle and look where they are now.  

England have become a potent force in ODIs and T20Is, after making some tough decisions and they keep blooding young talents who know how to play this format.

Virat Kohli is the top ranked batsman in the T20 format and he is one of the best batsmen in every format right now. He knows that for India to win the next T20 World Cup, he needs to put his money in youngsters mixed with experience.

He can have MS Dhoni guide youngsters along with himself and Rohit Sharma. Suresh Raina needs to comeback in the team and along with young players like Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul, Basil Thampi and others, make a team that they can leave safely in their hands.

Remember, when India won the World T20 in 2007, apart from Sehwag, Harbhajan, Yuvraj and Agarkar, all others were young players who had played at most 2-3 years of international cricket. It was led by a young MS Dhoni, who was trusted by the experienced Tendulkar, Ganguly and Dravid; who themselves backed out of the format.

Indian selectors need to have a look at this format followed by top ranked T20I teams. India can easily afford a completely different T20I teams, which can be groomed by the likes of Raina, Dhoni, and Rohit and led by Kohli. The senior players should focus on the World Cup 2019, which can easily prove to be a swansong for players like MS Dhoni and maybe, Yuvraj Singh.

India has enough time to build a new team and get them acclimatized when the World T20 rolls in.  

 

 

Jatin Sharma

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