Former India captain Sourav Ganguly and coach Greg Chappell.
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly and coach Greg Chappell. Image Credit: X

India have already reached New York for the beginning of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, set to take place across the West Indies and the United States of America (USA). For any world event, the teams need to be in a good space among the players and the coaching management.

The current head coach Rahul Dravid is in New York with the team, and doing his best to end his coaching stint with gifting the country their second trophy in the history of the tournament. That’s a huge task in managing the players.

And that too, especially after what unfolded in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 for the Mumbai Indians team, where the national team’s captain Rohit Sharma and all-rounder Hardik Pandya find themselves in touch situation, as the team ended with the wooden spoon, winning only four of their 14 league games.

‘How many fast bowlers have India taken?…’ – Irfan Pathan

Going into the World Cup of the shortest format, both Rohit and Hardik need to forget the issue in the Mumbai Indians camp, and play as a team for India, and both players are experienced enough to know their role in the set-up.

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However, the former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan admits that Rahul Dravid shouldn’t even be thinking of bringing the IPL tropic in the discussion and focus totally on the importance of Hardik Pandya in the Indian team.

‘I will not even discuss this. Whatever happened has happened. I will just say that this is my expectation from you: I want you to win matches for India. This is the roadmap, and you are an important part of the team and a match-winner. Being an all-rounder, I will say he will play a crucial role,” Member of India’s T20 World Cup 2007 winning team mentioned in a discussion with the ESPNcricinfo.

The left-arm medium pacer also feels that given they have gone with only three specialist pacers- Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh and Mohammad Siraj, the role of the change bowlers for India in the form of Hardik Pandya will be so essential.

‘How many fast bowlers have we taken? Just three specialist bowlers, besides Hardik and Shivam Dube. So, when the time comes, these 3-4 overs will become very crucial. Remember, he will allow us to play an extra spinner in West Indies when we play day games. So, this is where he comes into the picture, he needs to feel good and believe that he can contribute and hence the conversation of the IPL should not be even happening even once,” Veteran all-rounder expressed in the same chat.

Pathan was also part of the coaching stint of Greg Chappell, under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly, as many have spoken how the Australia player’s period hardly brought happiness in the set-up.

The retired player revealed how Greg Chappell’s coaching time never worked for India, as ten county trusts in ‘celebrity culture.’ While he admits that the approach of Chappell towards the team was quite pure and natural, his aggressive nature didn’t work for the national team.

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‘Australia do not have a celebrity culture, but we have that. Ideally, I would want that balance between the two cultures. But we are Indians, out mindset and ethics are different. I said this before as well, when Greg Chappell came in, his intentions were pure.

“He wanted Indian cricket to go on a high and hence wanted every player to be treated equally and work in the same way. But his way was proper Australian, which did not work in India,” 39-year-old concluded.

The inaugural champions will begin their T20 World Cup 2024 campaign on June o5, against Ireland, at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, New York.