India’s World Cup Planning Could Have Been Better – Anil Kumble
Former Indian skipper Anil Kumble believes India missed a trick in the World Cup as they could have been smarter with their planning leading up to the ODI showpiece. In the hindsight, it is easier to say but India’s think tank kept altering the line-up and was not consistent with their selection. Surprisingly, Ambati Rayudu who was part of the team and had done a decent job while batting at number four was dropped from the squad.
Meanwhile, the selectors went with Vijay Shankar. The Tamil Nadu all-rounder was injured in between the tournament and then KL Rahul had to bat at the much-debated position. However, when Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out, Rahul was asked to open the innings with Rohit Sharma. Thus, the number four position had once again came under the scanner.
India was knocked out in the semifinal.
Anil Kumble said while talking to Cricket Next, “We kept talking about the number 4 position leading up to the World Cup. There were lots of changes going up to the World Cup. Even in the World Cup itself, we weren’t sure. Yes, there were a couple of occasions where Vijay Shankar got promoted to number 4 but was he the ideal candidate? Then he got injured and KL Rahul batted at number 4. Then, unfortunately, Dhawan got injured and then KL got pushed to the opening slot, and again number 4 became a point of discussion. Yes, leading up to the World Cup, I feel that any World Cup that you’re preparing for, you need to have a set team at least 10-15 matches prior. It’s important to identify roles and you need to identify specific individuals for those roles, and in case one of them does get injured then you need to have a proper backup. That is something that should’ve been identified leading up to the World Cup”.
It was noticed that India didn’t consistently play the same players before the tournament and they had to pay the price in the semi-final against New Zealand. However, India was superb right throughout the tourney but 30 minutes of bad cricket was good enough to kick them out of the competition.
“Unfortunately, India hadn’t done that but of course, you need to give credit to New Zealand as well. It was those early wickets that really blew India away from that game. That first 30-45 minutes of the opening spell by New Zealand took the game away from India. You can always say it was half an hour, 45 minutes of bad cricket that lost us the World Cup but having said that the planning leading up to the World Cup maybe could’ve been slightly better,” Kumble added.
India had a great year but they were not able to cross the last two hurdles of the World Cup. The Virat Kohli-led side dominated in the Test matches and had great results in the limited-overs format. However, a big ICC trophy remains unchecked in the Indian cricket for the last six years.
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