One of the applicants for the Indian team's head coach position has expressed his opinion about how a minor change in the batting line-up during the World Cup could have changed the fortunes for the Men in Blue. Former Indian cricketer Robin Singh, who has held various coaching positions over the years, has said that he would have retained skipper Virat Kohli to play at the number four position during the semi-final clash against New Zealand at the 2019 World Cup at England.
The former Indian cricketer revealed that he would have played any other top-order batsman, like Mayank Agarwal, at the number three position, with Virat Kohli at number four and MS Dhoni at number five. Singh said that the batting order had sufficient back-up with the likes of big hitters such as Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, and Rishab Pant who had the ability to finish the game for the side.
“With the ball moving around and India losing Rohit Sharma early, I would have held back Virat Kohli to the No. 4 slot. For that game, I would have picked another top-order batsman, Mayank Agarwal, at No. 3. MS Dhoni would have been No. 5 and he would have got more time. Kohli and Dhoni could have batted together. Then, we could have had the three power hitters, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja coming in,” he said, according to media reports.
Ever since the gates were thrown open for a new coach, applicants featuring the likes of former Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene, Mike Hesson and Tom Moody have thrown their hats into the ring, in an attempt to get the prestigious job as the coach of the Men in Blue. The existing contract with Ravi Shastri and his support staff is all-set to expire after India's tour of West Indies and the hunt for the new staff has already begun.
Current head coach Ravi Shastri has had a successful tenure with the Men in Blue and has in fact spoken about the team's consistent performance since he took over the reins of the team. Further, Shastri's earlier stint with the Men in Blue as the director of the team was also a success story. However, India has lost matches at crucial junctures, mainly at the knockout stages of big tournaments.
With the 2019 World Cup drawing to an end, all eyes are set on the next showpiece event scheduled to take place four years later in 2023. India would be hosts of the next World Cup. Robin Singh pointed out that India has played important, must-win games at the 2015 World Cup, 2016 World T20 and the 2019 World Cup, and have lost the contest. He said that a change in the team's coach could possibly turn the tables around for the Men in Blue.
“Under the current coach, India has lost in the semifinals of two successive ODI World Cups, and in the last four stage of the World Twenty20 championship as well. Now is the time to prepare for the 2023 World Cup and a change could be good for the side,” Robin Singh was quoted saying according to media reports after he sent out his application for the head coach’s role.