Team India has a problem. No, it’s not an internal chaos or an administrative issue, but more related to reliance on players. While we want to trust that the Men in Blue are invincible, can do well on any surface and all their players thrive in hard situations, it’s time to take a real good look at how things are.
While our batting boasts of the likes of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane and Suresh Raina, not one of them has really managed to deliver when the chips are down in recent times, especially in the ODI format.
To be really fair, only two players in the current set up are comfortable in any situation – MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli. Now the problem is Dhoni at 37 is not going to be around for long and Kohli cannot always be expected to steady the ship. The habit of being brought down to earth in foreign conditions after doing well on flat decks is one we need to shed quickly.
The latest example would be the last ODI vs England. With the middle order exposed, only Kohli (71) and Dhoni (42) were able to offer some resistance. The truth of the matter is, we are extra dependent on these two players and that needs to change well before the 2019 World Cup.
Consistency on multiple surfaces and different pressure situations defines a team’s character. Right now, it is only revealing that you take away Kohli and Dhoni from the side, it is weak and vulnerable to attack. No doubt they are the heart and soul of the body, but the rest of the limbs need to perform their roles.
About time the rest step up. What we do not want is go back to a situation like the 1990s when Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal meant it was all over. Or have we already? Hope the Men in Blue prove us wrong and soon.