India went into the T20 World Cup as favourites but came out of it with more questions than answers.
Defeats at the hands of Pakistan and New Zealand ensured they finished outside the top two in the Super 12, costing them a place in the semi-finals. Whilst they lamented their inability to progress, bitter rivals Pakistan lit up the tournament, finishing top of their group. They didn’t make the final, but their fans went anyway, according to Al Jazeera, and left a lasting impression on the tournament.
The only impression India has come away with is a need to improve, something they have already focused on. They played host to the T20 World Cup, but will be looking ahead to the more prestigious ICC World Cup in 2023, which they will also host. That’s a tournament India are favourite for in the latest cricket odds with Ladbrokes, but there’s a disappointment from the T20 to deal with first. They have started to put that behind them against New Zealand in a three-game T20I series; they hope by defeating their rivals, they can shift the focus forwards, to 2023.
Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh believes that Indian cricket has some shining stars to enjoy in the future. The Indian team is filled with exciting talent, and Singh is eyeing one in particular; Ishan Kishan.
“I want to see some of the new players in a different role. Like Ishan Kishan, I want to see him play regularly. He has a lot of potential. He will be a key player for the next T20 World Cup. He will have the responsibility of batting at No. 3, so I feel he should be given as many chances as possible,” Harbhajan is reported as saying by The Hindustan Times. However, he also cited an older head, but relative newcomer, as another key man.
“Apart from him, Suryakumar Yadav is a player who can fit in any format. A player like him can bat at any position. I would want that role to be given to him because he is a player who can win you tournaments, not only matches. He has that 360-degree game. He is one of those guys I am really looking forward to performing,” he added.
23-year-old Kishan plays his cricket for Mumbai Indians and was only named in their T20 squad in February for the game against England. He made his debut in that match, scoring 56 off 32 before getting out lbw to Adil Rashid. However, India went on to win that match, with Kishan being named Man of the Match. He made his ODI debut on July 18 against Sri Lanka, scoring 59 off 42 balls, and is regarded as one of Indian cricket’s bright young things.
As for Yadav, he certainly lived up to Singh’s billing; he impressed in the opening win against New Zealand in the three-game series. He’s older than Kishan at 31, but he is a newcomer to the Indian team, having also been called up in February for the England game. Like Kishan, he made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka, scoring his maiden fifty in the game.
Together the two represent a brighter future for Team India, who will just want to put their recent form behind them and focus on what is ahead; hopefully, a better showing in the next T20 World Cup scheduled to take place in Australia in 2022 before the big tournament a year later on home soil.