India’s T20 World Cup campaign ended after a thumping defeat to England in the semi-finals on November 10. The Men in Blue started strongly in the competition despite the absence of star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and premier bowler Jasprit Bumrah. However, besides beating Pakistan, the Rohit Sharma-led side failed to clinch a win against heavyweight sides like South Africa and England. Seeing India lose against England was shocking, but how the team got knocked out surprised the fans more. Notably, England beat India by ten wickets and chased down 169 as if it was a walk in the park. After the exit, the time has come when the selectors and BCCI take bold steps to get rid of underperforming players, irrespective of their stature in the team. Even former India head coach Ravi Shastri pointed out that India may have to look at a relatively new team. A young and fresh unit built for the future. This article will shed light on five players who should be out of the T20 format and make a place for budding cricketers to represent the country at the 2024 T20 World Cup.
The Indian skipper has been poor with the bat for a long time and has failed to find his lost form in this prestigious tournament. The 35-year-old provided slow starts to the team, ultimately putting pressure on the middle order. Rohit gathered just 116 runs in six matches, including a half-century against the Netherlands. It would be fair to say that the Indian skipper has been given enough opportunities to prove himself, but it is time the selectors move on to fresh and impactful players and pass on the captain’s band to someone else.
Rohit’s replacement – Ishan Kishan
The MI star was the most expensive buy in the 2022 IPL auction, and his potential remains unhidden. Ishan has proved himself at every given opportunity. He has scored 543 runs in 19 matches and can provide India with the start they want. Ishan is 24, and the management needs to cement his place in the team soon and not repeat the same mistake they did with Suryakumar Yadav.
Another player who needs to be shown the door by the selectors is KL Rahul. The 30-year-old is a talented cricketer, and there is no denying that. However, Rahul has repeatedly failed on the big stage and often put the team under pressure in crunch situations by getting out early in important matches. Rahul collected 128 runs in six matches, out of which 101 came against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. The team should move on and give chances to players who have been knocking on the door for a while now.
KL Rahul’s replacement – Shubman Gill
Many might point out that Shubman has yet to play a single T20I and tout him being more impactful in ODIs than in the shortest format of the game. However, Gill can be the one to provide stability while Ishan Kishan is the aggressor. In short, India needs new opening pair and an Ishan-Gill pair tick all the boxes.
Another player to face the axe has to be Dinesh Karthik. The 37-year-old had an anti-climatic end to his comeback. Karthik was roped in to provide the finishing touch but failed to hit a single six in the tournament. Further, Karthik was not named in the T20I, and ODI squads for the New Zealand tour, meaning the selectors have left Karthik out of their scheme of things.
Dinesh Karthik’s replacement- Rishabh Pant
The ‘Dinesh Karthik vs Rishabh Pant’ debate has been discussed at length, and it is the right time to put an end. The Indian selectors supported Pant on all occasions, but Karthik always got a nod ahead of the southpaw. But after Karthik gets ousted from the team, Pant is rightfully the first in line to cement his place in the side.
Ashwin has had a disastrous tournament. The 36-year-old took a beating. He was preferred ahead of Yuzvendra Chahal, but besides providing the winning run against Pakistan, Ashwin failed to impress. Opposition dispatched his short-pitched deliveries with ease, and he ultimately became their soft target. It happened for the 2nd time in a row that the off-spinner was not involved with the team in their bilateral tours but made it to the World Cup squad. It is the right time for the RR star to bid adieu to T20Is and focus on red-ball cricket.
Ashwin’s replacement – Ravi Bishnoi
One thing India missed in this tournament compared to other teams was the lack of a leg-spinner. As history reckons, leg-spinners have proved to be dangerous with their variations, and India needs to groom Bishnoi to become the next big thing. For India to eye the 2024 T20 World Cup, they need a leg-spinner who does the same job for them as Adam Zampa for Australia, Adil Rashid for England, Rashid Khan for Afghanistan, and Wanindu Hasaranga for Sri Lanka.
The 32-year-old returned to the national side after a gap of a year. Shami’s last T20I game before this year’s World Cup was in the 2021 T20 World Cup. Shami produced a stellar IPL season with Gujarat Titans, which earned him a spot in this World Cup. However, to everyone’s disappointment, Shami failed to make an impact with the ball. In 6 matches, Shami picked up six wickets and did not return the faith shown in him by the selectors. Another issue around Shami is his fitness and fielding. The team also needs to uplift their fielding standards, and Shami needs to make way for it.
Shami’s replacement- Umran Malik
Umran Malik has the potential to be the next big thing, and his IPL success was not a fluke. The speedster bowls constantly above 150 and could have proved fatal on pitches like Perth. Even Australia legend Brett Lee felt that India missed the trick by leaving Umran back home.
The pace is not natural for everyone, and India needs to utilise the youngster carefully. With improved line and length, Umran has all the potential to become India’s premier bowler.