Out with the old, in with the new?

It’s one of the most difficult challenges to face in world sports, but it has to be done. The challenge of when to change players in a team. For example, the Manchester United team of the 90s and 2000s would have a player turnover, which seemed to be at the perfect time.

In the modern era, clubs such as Liverpool have struggled with the turning over of old players and bringing in new ones. The Reds who have been the closest challengers to champions Manchester City, this season appear to be somewhat off the pace in pursuit of The Cityzens.

Cricket also has this same challenge from time to time, currently, none more so than the Australian and Indian cricket teams who epitomise the struggle of turning over players at the right time. Here, I want to talk about the Indian team, however. The two-time 50-over world champions and 2007 World T20 Champions.

In the ongoing World Cup, Rohit Sharma’s men, are arguably one of the more ‘experienced’ teams in the tournament. At face value, this would be a good thing, but for cricket fans, I paint a different tale.

KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma, two of the more elegant stroke-makers in the Indian game, have struggled very badly in this year’s World Cup. The struggles of the Indian duo have seen Suryakumar Yadav, the world’s number-one batsman, being exposed to the new ball early.

To his credit, the Mumbai Indian man has been superb in the tournament. The rare failure in today’s semi-final, being the only blot on what has been a good tournament for the man called Sky.

King Kohli too has looked back to something that can be called his best. but as a cricket fan and an admirer of the endless talent, India has to offer, I feel short-changed.

Young talent is getting hoarded on the bench. Messrs Shaw and Samson will be wondering surely after this failed World Cup campaign they will be given a chance to shine.

The two seniors (Sharma and Rahul), keep failing. What do they have to do to be given a chance? Manish Pandey and Rahul Tripathi are examples of players who are very talented but are now past 30 (both 31 respectively) , so chances for them to feature for the national team are highly unlikely.

India, moving forward have to reset. The past decade has been disappointing. Getting to semi-finals and even finals is respectable, but under Dhoni for example India were an ice-cold winning machine.

I thought under Sharma (the winning captain of five IPL titles), that team India will relax in crucial knock-out games. Sadly for Indian fans, their team have fallen short again and again in knockout games.

The way I have presented this piece, you would think it’s all doom and gloom for team India, but it’s not. Axar Patel has had a tough tournament, but I feel he is the air to the Ravi Jadeja throne.

Patel has won several games with the bat in his career and with the ball. Other gaps need to be plugged into the team such as the spin-bowling, but we have an idea of which player should lead this revolution.

Lucknow Super Giants spinner Ravi Bishnoi impresses me the more I see him. Bishnoi could fill the void that Ravi Ashwin will leave. As good of a servant as he has been, Ashwin isn’t getting younger and yes, call it bold he should be one of the first casualties of the Indian revolution.

Change and embracing change is hard, but look at neighbours Pakistan, India. The 2009 World T20 champions have a bowling unit, that could dominate world cricket for the next five years.

Rohit Sharma’s India doesn’t need massive surgery, straight away, but changes are needed. Team India, are stuck in the same position, they’re better than this and the talent pool that’s been developed is better than this.

Twist, and India even now could in the long run dominate cricket for 10 years and more, in the next few years. If they stick, then a lot of talent will be wasted down the drain.

Talented batsmen are playing their trade in the IPL as are express pace fast bowlers. The Indian selectors don’t have to look hard for talent, it’s all there!

An expectant cricket nation that is India, could they afford to run this risk with such passionate fans?

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