Rahul Dravid: “West Indies Series Loss Has Shown, India Needs Batting Depth”

In ODIs and T20Is, which included bilateral series and multi-nation games, India had an 80% winning percentage during Virat Kohli’s time as white-ball captain, which included the years between 2017 and October 2021. The success of the Men in Blue fell off in limited-over formats after the disappointing conclusion to Kohli’s tenure at the 2021 T20 World Cup, where India suffered a surprise group-stage loss. India has won 27 of the games that have been played since then, for a winning percentage of 68%. During this time, India suffered humiliating losses in their ODI and T20I tours of Bangladesh and the West Indies in addition to failing to advance to the T20 Asia Cup final and losing in the T20 World Cup semifinals in 2022. India is currently traveling to Asia.

While the criticism of the team selection had subsided after India managed to tie the series after falling behind 2-0, with most people believing they could still pull off a historic victory despite the flaws, it returned to haunt the team on Sunday when they put on yet another appalling display of batting.

India started the series against the West Indies with four No. 11s. After India’s defeat in the second T20I, skipper Hardik Pandya remained unconcerned about it and urged his top order to perform, although Dravid acknowledged that their options were limited due to a lack of players in the team. He continued by saying that the West Indies series loss, in which Alzarri Joseph filled in at No. 11, demonstrated the value of having a strong batting lineup in limited-overs cricket.

“I think that in terms of our squad here, probably it didn’t allow us the flexibility in some ways to be able to change the combinations a little bit,” he stated in the post-match press conference. But I believe that moving forward, we must consider those areas where we can improve. One thing we’ve been working on is adding depth to our batting. We are doing the best we can, but that is unquestionably an area we can examine—how we cannot compromise our bowling assault while making sure we have a certain level of batting depth.

“I think that in terms of our squad here, probably didn’t allow us the flexibility in some ways to be able to change the combinations a little bit,” he said in the post-match press conference. But I think that as we move forward, we need to think about how we can do better. We have been working on diversifying our batting, among other things. We are doing the best we can, but there is undoubtedly an area we can look at—how we cannot sacrifice our bowling attack while guaranteeing that we have a certain amount of batting depth.

Between August 18 and August 23, India will play a three-match T20I series in Ireland without some of the team’s top players, including Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Hardik. In reality, only 5 players from the recently finished T20I series against West Indies will be on the Jasprit Bumrah-led new-look India team, which will be managed by Dravid.
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