“WI series has shown us…”: Rahul Dravid Reveals Big Concern Of Indian Team Ahead Of Asia Cup, 2023 ODI World Cup

Following Virat Kohli’s white-ball captaincy era from 2017 to October 2021, India enjoyed an impressive 80 percent success rate across ODIs and T20Is, including bilateral series and multi-nation events. However, Men in Blue experienced a downturn after the disappointing 2021 T20 World Cup exit. In the 27 matches played since, India’s winning record has dipped to 68 percent, with challenges becoming more evident in limited-overs formats.

During this period, India faced setbacks in the T20 Asia Cup and the 2022 T20 World Cup, where they reached the semi-finals. Additionally, they suffered unexpected losses in tours against Bangladesh (ODI) and West Indies (T20I). As India gears up for the upcoming Asia Cup in September, followed by the ODI World Cup on home soil, head coach Rahul Dravid has highlighted several “major concerns” that must be addressed.

Despite managing to level the series against West Indies after being down 0-2, India’s batting struggles persisted, and criticism surrounding team selection resurfaced. The decision to include four No.11 batters throughout the series raised eyebrows. While Captain Hardik Pandya remained resolute, emphasizing the need for the top order to step up, Dravid acknowledged that the squad’s limited options gave them little flexibility.

Dravid emphasized the importance of batting depth in limited-overs cricket and noted that teams like West Indies have demonstrated the value of having lower-order batters who can contribute effectively.

“I think in terms of our squad here, and probably it didn’t allow us the flexibility in some ways to change the combinations a little bit. But I think in the future, we’ve got to look at certain areas in which we can get better. Finding depth in our batting has been an area we are trying to address. We are trying to do the best we possibly can, but that’s certainly an area we can look at, how we cannot weaken our bowling attack but ensure we have a certain amount of depth in batting.” Dravid said in the post-match press conference.

Dravid highlighted the challenge of maintaining a strong bowling attack while bolstering batting depth. He stated, “As these games are going on, and scores are becoming bigger and bigger, if you look at West Indies, they had Alzarri Joseph coming in at No. 11, and he can hit a mean ball. So you have sides that have that depth. We have some challenges on that front and need to work on that. It’s certainly something that this series has shown us, and we need to build on that depth.”

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India’s upcoming engagement involves a three-match T20I series against Ireland from August 18 to 23. However, notable players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Hardik Pandya will be absent from the roster. Even Rahul Dravid won’t be present to guide the team, which will be led by Jasprit Bumrah and feature only five players from the recently concluded T20I series against West Indies.

As India navigates these challenges and builds towards major tournaments, the focus remains on striking the right balance between bowling strength and batting depth to ensure competitive performances across formats.

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