The expression, “change is the only constant”, seems apt in the context of Indian cricket.
A problem of plenty should be a healthy one to have with regard to the pool of players available at the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) disposal. With the sheer increase in infrastructure for the sport, a surfeit of talent was just a matter of time.
As we are at this stage now, the next challenge is how to handle the same. How does one keep the wheel going smoothly?
We, as players, detest too many changes. The term “adapt” is much better received than “change”. You may ask a player to adapt to a certain style of play, but to replace him is something different.
With the constant rotation of players at the highest level, it can create more insecurity than encourage them to perform at the optimum level. For example, Shubman Gill had a decent outing in New Zealand during the One-Day International (ODI) series.
Should he not have been on the plane to Bangladesh for three more ODIs in vastly different conditions? What is the message to someone like him? Despite having a decent run along with Washington Sunder and Shreyas Iyer — who are playing the series against Bangladesh, the youngster is not in the side.
I am aware that squads are picked much in advance. So, does that mean it really didn’t matter whether he succeeded or not on the tour of New Zealand because he would get only three ODIs in the name of international exposure?
In such a scenario, how is a player’s mind-set supposed to develop — careful or carefree? Maybe both!
So, here goes the discussion back to where it began — how does one get that balance going for a player or a team? Should we promote consistency or change?
The men’s team has a problem of plenty, even as the search for the right players and head coach for the women’s team is a constant exercise.
The Indian women’s team seems to have its own challenges. They just don’t seem to find consistency in their head coach.
With Hrishikesh Kanitkar as the new head coach, the women’s team has no time to adjust to his coaching techniques before taking on the visiting Australia side at home followed by the tour of South Africa and the T20 World Cup after that.
The middle-order woes continue to challenge the team. Who bats in the middle overs? Most of the players select themselves with performances in international and domestic cricket. But there is always a new one around, either as a probable debutant or a traveller. However, without decent opportunities provided, one would not be able to find the near-perfect fit.
Most women batters in the country are top-order bats who mostly come in between positions 1 and 3 for their respective domestic sides. So the question arises: If they are required to play down the order, will they be able to adapt quickly?
The fair argument will always remain, “If I don’t get enough time to score, how do I impress the selectors?”
I agree it’s a tough question. But we all need to adapt to the change. Isn’t it?
(Anjum Chopra is a former captain of the Indian women’s cricket team. The views expressed are personal.)