Former India wicketkeeper-batter Parthiv Patel feels there is a huge responsibility on captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid to get the right combination ahead of the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia in October-November.
Since winning the inaugural title in South Africa in 2007, India is yet to win another silverware in the shortest format of the game. In the last edition of the showpiece event in the UAE in 2021, India made an early exit from the Super 10 stage.
Expectations are high from India to do well in the upcoming tournament under a new captain and coach, where they have embraced an attacking approach with the bat.
“The selection of the right team will determine the result for India. Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid have a big responsibility to come up with the best combination for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup,” said Patel in an audio chatroom session of ‘CricChat Powered by Parimatch’ on the Sharechat app.
Patel, who played 25 Tests, 38 ODIs, and two T20Is for India, remarked that reigning champions Australia, who would be defending the title on home soil, can give some strong competition to India.
“Australia could give a tough competition to India since the team seems strong. Even England and South Africa have improved their games as compared to the last World Cup, but Australia looks like a much stronger contender.”
Asked about the frequent change in the opening pair for the Indian team in the past few games, where Suryakumar Yadav and Rishabh Pant have been tried too, Patel said, “There is no doubt that the team is in an experimental phase due to fitness issues that the players are facing.”
Patel, who won IPL 2015 and 2017 with Mumbai Indians and was named as their talent scout a day after retiring from all forms of the game, named young left-handed batter Tilak Varma as his favorite young talent in Indian cricket.
“One uncapped player that has me excited is Tilak Verma. He batted really well in the Tata IPL 2022, even when his team was not in the best condition.”
Talking about his career in the Indian team, which started as a 17-year-old, Parthiv recalled how former India captain and BCCI President Sourav Ganguly had the best man-management skills and were good at calming everyone.
“If our day wasn’t going too well, or the game did not go well, he used to make everyone feel good. He always used to carry Marigold biscuits along with him and handed them out to everybody.”