Wishlist for India in T20Is: Ultra-aggressive openers, batters who can bowl

Much has been said and written since England beat India by 10 wickets in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup. India's track record in back-to-back T20I World Cups has made one thing clear: this team is far from winning the ICC tournament. Nine years have passed since MS Dhoni's team won the Champions League 2013.

Since then, India have gone through a very 'experimental' phase with no real experience. The English style of cricket has conquered the world. Hopefully with Ben Stokes, they are the current ODI and T20I World Cup holders. The question is, does India need to emulate the English way or should they take inspiration from the team that won the first World T20 in 2007?

Robin Uthappa's batting in the park against Brett Lee, Yusuf Patan starting his international career with the second ball against Mohammad Asif, the fearless pair of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir in the Powerplay, who can forget Yuvraj Singh, the six-batter machine, on the paver and MS Dhoni. The Indian team at that time had everything required from the current set-up. Do we really need to adopt the English system, or can we go back to the "underdogs" of 2007?

Change is the need of the hour, but when will it come? The three-match T20I series against New Zealand is the perfect drawing board for Indian cricket to revise its strategy in the shortest format of the game with a view to the 2024 T20 World Cup.

The need for an explosive opening

Shubman Gill, along with Ishan Kishan, will be Hardik Pandya's starting line-up. Gill and Kishan have just won a century in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Gill scored a 55-ball 126 against Karnataka, while Kishan scored a 64-ball 102 against Odisha.

Since India was destroyed in Dubai, Kishan was expected to be one of the openers; he played in 15 T20Is and scored three 50s, but was dropped as soon as India's top three returned. Gill, on the other hand, is yet to make his T20I debut, and his strike rate in the IPL is 125.25, which is definitely not what India needs in his system. Like KL Rahul, Gill feels that the numbers in T20 cricket are "very, very high".

It will be interesting to see if India try Rishabh Pant as an opener, something they should explore.