Dravid doesn’t even have the ‘magic wand’ to win the next T20 World Cup

This statement was given by Indian captain Virat Kohli before his first match of the Super-12 round of the T20 World Cup about the smiling arch-rival. But you lied outright! Tongue may lie, but body language exposes everyone on the day of the big match. Not only against Pakistan, but also against New Zealand, it was slandering your lies. Body language of batsmen, bowlers, fielders. Faithless, restless, a little nervous, a little scared, a little hesitant, a little scared, etc. All this happened, then everything went wrong! And no veteran/team can hide body language on the field of play. Cameras with several thousand mega-pixels are bound to expose you. Fake smiles and sarcastic answers in press conferences can cover up your ego, but can’t hide the truth. In both the big matches, the superstar batsmen were flat on the ground, then Bumrah and Co. were uprooted by Rizwan and Babar. The inclusion of all these elements was enough to show that you do not take Pakistan like the rest of the team. You say something else outside the field, but when you go inside, the pressure has a clear effect on you and your pole is exposed as soon as you come down.

However, Pakistan doesn’t take you like the rest of the teams. The passion, the spirit, the best to give a solid answer to everything including the agony of losing the World Cup (Fifty-Fifty and 20-20) over and over again for the past 29 years, ridiculing ‘Chance-Chance’ on Official Broadcasting Sports Channel. Homework (Example: Rohit’s wicket), strategy, execution of it very strongly, etc. Pakistan had landed on the field with many things. There is also an aspect ‘rich man’ versus ‘poor man’ in all aspects. Often the ‘poor man’ manages to outwit the one who has a full stomach! On the contrary, India did not see anything in the first match! Has anyone seen anything? In fact IPL has over-filled the stomachs of many of our heroes! Many pundits say that the real Indian team is the one that appeared to be playing against Afghanistan, Scotland or Namibia… Then which Indian team was against Pakistan, New Zealand? The performance of these matches is actually the other side of the coin of Team India. It has become a character and no learned pundit can ignore it. No team can jump on a rich history and ‘chance-chance’ for too long. The truth is that your present has been melting for the past few years. The performance of the T20 World Cup in the last few years is saying the same thing.


In recent years, whenever Team India entered in ODIs or T20s in big matches, the situation remained more or less the same. Sometimes nineteen, sometimes twenty. The picture was almost the same as it was in the semi-final against New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup. And till this aspect is not treated, then the team’s mentor M.S. Dhoni or some other big personality, believe me, nothing will happen. You will always stand where you stood years ago. Meaning whenever there are matches of this level, hands and feet will swell. The approach will not be the same as that of the aggressive and clear Pakistan.

India’s campaign in the ongoing T20 World Cup came to an end with a nine-wicket victory in the last irrelevant match against Namibia. With this, India could not make it to the semi-finals for the third time in the eight World Cups held so far of this edition, which started in the year 2007. In these eight editions, India was ranked No. 2 in terms of win percentage (shortly behind Sri Lanka, 63. 51%, 24 wins in 39 matches, 14 losses, 1 tie) in the next 7 editions after the initial edition. Couldn’t win the title. Will such India rule the world in this format?

England (52.57) and Australia (58.82) have far less win percentages than India in the history of the tournament, but when it comes to ‘do or die’ or the biggest win in the tournament, the Indian team is probably the only winning percentage from these teams. No, temperance (mood), strong mental force, willpower, emotion, ability to deal with pressure, strikes and counterattacks are left behind. There is no meter and no record book to measure these elements! And the biggest example of this is the matches played against Pakistan and New Zealand in the ongoing World Cup. These matches will continue to be exemplified by these aspects until the result in the form of sustained success on the big stage. In a way, this has become the character of Team India. And Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli could not break it together even after many years. What can you get out…?


After being out of the race for the semi-finals, old, irrelevant and stale sentences have started being heard in the media. “Change the team”, “induct the youth into the team” etcetera.. Will this help you win the World Cup in Australia after almost 11 months? It really needs a ‘magic wand’! Despite a legend like Rahul Dravid soon becoming the coach of the team, because even a person like Dravid cannot fill ‘all the holes’, because major changes are needed. Does BCCI have any magic wand to take players’ skills to new heights within 11 months? Is there a solid system? Not at all. The National T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, which started a few days ago this season, is being played on the same Pata pitches, where the ball with the upper edge of the bat goes for a six over the third man or fine leg. On such pitches, where batsmen can easily hit sixes with one hand. How did the intelligent management, who took care of every detail in team selection, forgot the aspect of long boundaries in the World Cup? Pulls and lofted shots (with one hand) that go across the boundary in IPL, including those considered to be good pullers and hookers like Rahul, Rohit, were caught long before the boundary. Coming to the pacers, why was the wide full-length, round-the-wicket wide full-length missing in times of need? Was it lack of capability, or the coaching staff?

Rahul Dravid is soon going to take over as the new head coach of Team India from the T20 series starting against New Zealand from November 17. But Dravid really doesn’t even have the magic wand to increase the win percentage in big/’do or die’ matches! The reason is that work has to be done on many aspects including changes in the system, changes in pitches, changes in policies. Believe that when this happens, only then things will be done, otherwise in 2022 T20 World Cup to be held in Australia next year, the same picture as 21 is seen, then don’t be surprised at all! But is there time left for this? Not at all!

There is no doubt that Team Virat has played excellent Test cricket in recent years, but this team has been scattered every time in big one-day tournaments and T20 matches. Be it the 2019 World Cup, or now this T20 World Cup. Not that big tournaments don’t have a cure for getting scattered in big/important matches. The question is, has BCCI taken this ‘serious disease’ seriously in recent years or ever before? BCCI is cool! Recently, two IPL teams have been sold for about 12,000 crores, so about 40,000 crores is going to come from the media rights of IPL. The treasury of the board is increasing day by day at quadruple speed. The BCCI President is participating in all the advertisements and commercial activities. There is no conflict of interest for the chairman? Lodha Constitution is in the trash can! If even such performances in big tournaments won’t break the board’s fun, then what will?


About a decade and a half ago, England cricket was completely in the ICU. The English Board did contemplation. Took many big decisions. Andy Flower was made the director of domestic cricket. They were given more rights. Concrete policies were formulated with a lot of clarity and they were implemented with the same strong will. The result was that the England team not only came out of the ICU, but today this team is teaching the teams from all over the world how to play One-Day and T20! Winning and losing are two different things. England has set new dimensions in the way they play, and when the Indian management for many years has been confined to engaging in such things as this batsman, whether it is the finisher, whether it is the rotator, etc. Telling on the injury of the sting – “This is how One-Day or T20 cricket is played…”

Although time is demanding many and many things in Indian cricket, but the matter is only in the context of T20, so this is the right time, when you have to take this format seriously. BCCI can say that it is taking it seriously. He is getting a global league like IPL, but this seriousness is not visible. Seriousness is reflected in the results, in the way the team plays. Is it visible? In IPL, the dance of cheergirls on the rain of fours and sixes and the audience swinging is a different thing, then the World Cup is currently ‘tested’ in many aspects according to the level of the game! Many years ago, England reached such an extent that it created different teams in T20, One-Day and Test formats. Specialist players were selectively fitted in the T20 team, which did not have room for a batsman like Test legend Joe Root. Can one imagine in India that no Test captain from India will ever be a part of T20?

The gist of the matter is that the time is demanding that the BCCI should go ahead with at least a four-year plan according to the situation and implement it with a strong will. The T20 World Cup is organized every two years (exception this year due to the Corona period) and a big plan can be implemented within two years, but it is very difficult to achieve the desired result. . One or two World Cups may be sacrificed due to the plan, but when it is implemented, it will not take time to get back on the England track. The need of the hour has become that now the T20 team should be filled with experts. With an aggressive first-ball approach, unflinching long shots and as many all-rounders as possible. But from where will you get all this? Certainly, they will be born only from changing the system, difficult pitches and concrete policies. The BCCI will have to clearly communicate its four-year plan to all the state associations, what kind of cricket they want to play according to the ‘big agenda’ and how to select the players (from the district level itself).


The World Cup to be held in Australia in 2022 will be on different types of pitches. When this is the situation on the pitches of UAE, Rahul Dravid’s ‘Plan Australia’ is going to be very challenging. By the way, the matter and the question is above that whether even a person like Rahul can do some ‘miracle’ in these 11 months. Not! The reason is that this ‘magic wand’ (concrete long-term policy, difficult pitches for T20 / pitches like Australia, improvements in domestic cricket, etc.) is made up of many things. And when this stick is found, you will see that not only the ability to win matches on big occasions, but also the consistency of wins at this level. Will I get this stick or how soon or will I get it?

In fact it is a dream like Sheikh Chilli, because the road to winning the next World Cup is very difficult and the time is very short (about 11 months). And considering the Corona period or other aspects, BCCI cannot do anything special even if it wants. The board will have to run its vehicle on the ‘old track’ (continued arrangement, pata pitches). Yes, after this performance it will definitely happen, what has happened. Some will become scapegoats! Some will be sent off the team. Some new faces will come. But is it a winning treat for big matches? Not at all? It is okay to give fever medicine for headache! In fact, the medicine for this merge is somewhere else! Overall, there are challenges in the path of BCCI and Team India in terms of the next T20 World Cup. Rahul Dravid will start the responsibility in a very dire situation… So for now, you can see New Zealand beating guests (once maybe) in T20 and Test series at home immediately after the World Cup and becoming the home lion in the bilateral series. Be ready to applaud. On home pitches against the Kiwis, many times you will see sixes with one hand and going over the top edge thirdman or fine leg. And when another T20 World Cup comes again next year, don’t dream too big at all. Keep yourself away from it!

Manish Sharma is the Deputy News Editor at NDTV.in.

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