There has been a lot of talk about the need to bring in more attacking players in the Indian T20I side after their disappointing shows in two T20 World Cups and the Asia Cup. They were knocked out from the Super 12 stage in last year’s T20 World Cup under Virat Kohli’s captaincy. Rohit Sharma taking over the reins did little as far as India’s fortunes at multi-nation tournaments are concerned. They failed to reach the Asia Cup final and were knocked out of the semi-final of T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia. Once again there is a school of thought that believes a change of captaincy could bring in the results. Hardik Pandya is being pitted to take over the leadership role from Rohit Sharma in the shortest format of the game. Former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, however, believes there is a need to change the support staff too.
The great off-spinner said India should consider bringing recently retired players like Ashish Nehra into the coaching set-up and help out current head coach Rahul Dravid with modern-day tactics. Harbhajan did not say it directly but he gave a clear indication that Nehra is better suited than Dravid to coach the Indian T20I side.
“In the T20 format you can have someone like Ashish Nehra who recently retired from the game. He knows this better than, with all due respect to Rahul, we have played together for so many years, he has vast knowledge but this is a tricky format.”Someone who has played the game more recently is better suited for the coaching job in T20s. I am not saying you remove Rahul from T20. Ashish and Rahul can work together to build this team for the 2024 World Cup,” Harbhajan told PTI.
Nehra, who retired in 2017, helped Gujarat Titans win IPL 2022 in his maiden assignment as the head coach of a high-profile team. He was previously associated with Royal Challengers Bangalore’s support staff.
“With such an arrangement, it is easy for Rahul Dravid as well who can take a break as well like he did for the New Zealand tour and Ashish can do the job in his absence,” Harbhajan said.
India are currently in New Zealand, where NCA VVS Laxman is filling in for Dravid as the head coach. India’s regular coaching staff and big stars like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul have been given a break from the series.
When asked about different players for different formats, Harbhajan added: “That is fine. That works for me.”
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