India Can’t Afford To Keep Playing 20-Over Cricket In The Same Mould As The 50-Over Game: VVS Laxman

Former batsman VVS Laxman asserted that the new coach-captain pair of Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma will establish a fresh template in India‘s short-format game.

After suffering losses to Pakistan and New Zealand, India bounced back with three thumping wins. And although they failed to make the semis, the aggressive brand of cricket in their three victories has made VVS Laxman believe that the team will embrace the new style as they enter a new era.

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Rohit Sharma. Credits: ICC

“With the next T20 World Cup less than a year away, I’m sure India will have identified a template that new coach Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma, all set to become the next captain, will encourage the team to embrace whole-heartedly.

“It’s important for India to understand that they can’t afford to keep playing 20-over cricket in the same mould as they would the 50-over game,” VVS Laxman wrote in his column for TOI.

I do feel two crucial gaps must be addressed: VVS Laxman

Sharma has been named the captain for the upcoming home T20I series against New Zealand, with KL Rahul his deputy.

Reflecting on India’s group-stage exit in the UAE, VVS Laxman stated that India need to sort out two issues while preparing for next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia. First, he said, is to groom batsmen who can bowl, considering that Hardik Pandya is not fit yet to deliver overs regularly.

“I do feel two crucial gaps must be addressed post-haste. The first priority will be to invest in a batsman who can bowl just a few overs of medium pace, whether that be Venkatesh Iyer or Shivam Dube. This choice doesn’t necessarily have to be a back-up to Hardik Pandya but a standalone choice because it will give the captain more flexibility in picking his 11,” he added.

Venkatesh Iyer To Be Groomed As A Long-Term Replacement For Hardik Pandya In Team India. Photo- Twitter
Venkatesh Iyer To Be Groomed As A Long-Term Replacement For Hardik Pandya In Team India. Photo- Twitter

The second important aspect to give attention to, VVS Laxman highlighted, is the addition of fast bowlers – who have raw pace and can be effective on the pitches in Australia.

“The other would be zeroing in on two solid pacemen capable of supporting Jasprit Bumrah and capitalising on the pace and bounce Australia is certain to offer. If one of them is a left-armer who brings a different angle of operation, then all the better. The process of identification and grooming must begin immediately so that by the time of the World Cup, these players are comfortable and secure in their roles and are aware fully of their responsibilities they’re entrusted with,” the 47-year-old opined.

The three T20Is against New Zealand will be played in Jaipur (November 17), Ranchi (November 19) and Kolkata (November 21), followed by Tests in Kanpur (November 25-29) and Mumbai (December 3-7).

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