The Indian cricket team’s decision to bench top players Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in the second ODI against the West Indies and hand over the captaincy to Hardik Pandya came under scrutiny as the move backfired. The team’s batting collapse resulted in a disappointing 181 runs, and the hosts successfully chased down the target to level the series 1-1.
Despite the team’s struggles and questions about the decision to rest key players, head coach Rahul Dravid defended the strategy, stating that the team must focus on the bigger picture ahead of the upcoming Asia Cup and ICC World Cup in 2023.
In the second ODI against the West Indies, India’s batting lineup struggled to put up a competitive total, getting bowled out for 181 runs in just 41 overs. The decision to rest experienced players like Kohli and Sharma probably led to a lackluster performance in the world cup, with Sanju Samson and Axar Patel failing to make significant contributions.
Head coach Rahul Dravid defended the team’s strategy of resting key players, emphasizing the importance of considering the bigger picture, which includes upcoming tournaments like the Asia Cup and ICC World Cup. He asserted that with injuries to some players, the team must manage the workload and plan for the long term rather than getting overly concerned about every game or series.
“I think we will always look at the bigger picture. To be very honest with you, at this stage in the cycle with the Asia Cup and World Cup coming up, and the injuries we have, we have to look at the big picture. We have to look at things like that. We can’t get worried about every single game and every single series. If we do that, I think that will be a mistake,” Dravid said.
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As the series stands at 1-1, the focus now shifts to the final ODI in Trinidad. Considering their importance to the team, the decision to bring back Kohli and Sharma for the series finale is highly likely. Hardik Pandya, who captained the side in the second ODI, expressed optimism about the team’s performance in the World Cup and acknowledged the upcoming challenges.