Rohit Sharma Hardik Pandya
The bottom line was that the Indian team failed to deliver with the Sharma-led selection committee in charge.

Indian cricket is all set to get a new selection committee soon. In the wake of the Men in Blue’s semi-final exit from the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) sacked the entire selection committee led by Chetan Sharma. There was plenty of cynicism around the committee due to multiple reasons. The bottom line was that the Indian team failed to deliver with the Sharma-led selection committee in charge. They did well in the bilaterals. However, they failed to reach the semi-finals in last year’s T20 World Cup, lost the World Test Championship (WTC) final, and also came second best in the T20 World Cup 2022 semis to England. As India prepare to welcome a new selection committee, we look at major challenges in store for the team.

Smooth transition of leadership 

One of the biggest drawbacks of the previous selection committee was their inability to shift the leadership responsibility smoothly. It all happened in a haphazard manner. Just like that, Virat Kohli was removed as one-day captain – without proper explanation and professional handover to the new leader. With just a line in the press release, BCCI selectors informed that Kohli was being replaced by Rohit Sharma as one-day captain. Clearly, the former wasn’t too pleased with how things panned out.

One of the major mandates for the new team in charge will be to pick captains across the three formats. This basically means that Hardik Pandya is likely to take over as T20I captain, possibly till the 2024 T20 World Cup, while Rohit will remain the captain in the other two formats for the time being. The “time being” phase is very important here. While the picture regarding leadership looks quite clearer as opposed to the Kohli vs Rohit saga, it is important that Pandya, Rohit, and the new selectors are on the same page regarding the roadmap of Indian cricket.

Building a strong squad for upcoming World Cups 

Enough of the empty talk around having the ability to put multiple squads simultaneously, and definitely enough of the eulogy overall great things that the Indian Premier League (IPL) has done for Indian cricket. The harsh reality is that India have failed to win an ICC event since 2013. A more startling fact is that the Men in Blue have not won a World Cup since the start of the IPL. What does it say about the state of Indian cricket? Too much hype and too little by way of results?

Some experts may feel that the unceremonious sacking of the selectors is too harsh, considering the players have failed to deliver on the big stage. At the same time, it is equally true that the selectors could have done a better job with regard to picking teams for the last two T20 World Cups. Yuzvendra Chahal being dropped from the team last year was quite shocking. India backed Varun Chakravarthy over Chahal, but where is the Tamil Nadu spinner now? He is far from India’s selection. And this is not a standalone case. 

Clarity in communication 

Not least of all, the new selectors will be expected to be good communicators. Sharma and co. were clearly found lacking in this aspect, which is crucial today. Details about players’ availability for particular series’ have been sketchy. There has been a lack of information on whether a cricketer has been rested or dropped. As a result, rumored reports were flying all over the place in the media. 

Further, too many captains were appointed, and too many rookies were given India caps. In a nutshell, the whole selection procedure had turned into one big mess. It took a lot of work to keep track of who was leading the team and which players were featured in a particular series. There will be plenty on the new selectors’ plate as and when they take over.

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