If T10 cricket was a part of the Olympics: This has always been a question that was a medal assured for India if cricket was a part of the Olympics. Ideally, the answer is the game is too long to be played, and honestly, it is a very cumbersome process. Though women’s cricket has been in talks about being introduced in the next Olympics, men’s cricket still just being a fantasy.
Now, since we talked about fantasy, let’s just say that how would Indian men have lined up if ICC did contemplate joining forces with the Olympic’s apex body and kept the shortest version of the game available for contention. We are not talking about T20 cricket, but our allusion is to T10 cricket, a format that is gaining traction lately.
In this story, we will take a glance at what can be India’s possible strongest line-up if they were to participate in the Tokyo Olympics in a T10 format of cricket.
Before we talk about the team, we need to understand that the shorter duration of the format will bring in a much more explosive avatar of the cricketers than they generally are. There will be absolutely nothing to gawk at barring the pyrotechnics from the willow.
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan
Sharma is arguably one of the best openers in any format of the sport throughout the world. His insane hammering ability laced with his effortless stroke-making makes him a heavy contender for the perfect batsman for this batting-friendly format.
Shikhar Dhawan has staged a massive turnaround from being just an ICC tournament scorer to being one of India’s best batters at the moment. He is in tremendous form and has been leading India’s side in Sri Lanka successfully. Needless to say, but he will be India’s second opener alongside the Hitman.
Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja
Like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli is the force that drives India with the bat. An exemplary batter who can turn any ball from the bowler into a loose delivery and consign it to the ropes with effortless fluidity, Kohli is India’s most adept run machine. Being the captain of the side, he will also play a crucial role in holding together the entire team in a bond.
KL Rahul is definitely recovering from his appendicitis surgery but needless to say, he is one of the versatile cricketers in the nation at the moment. Despite this format just being of 10 overs, you would need one batsman at the other end to ensure that the run rate can be kept ticking despite the fall of the wickets. Rahul may take a couple of overs to get his eyes set but once he is set, he will start dishing out those relentless strikes that he is known for.
Suryakumar Yadav has been an absolute revelation in the Indian batting echelons, and his dynamicity in any format of the sport is relentless. He has recently been chosen to be a part of the India England series that is all scheduled to be played in England and will mark the beginning of India’s WTC journey for the second edition of the tournament. The domination that this young lad has displayed in the past few months has been an onslaught.
Another dictator of the white ball, Rishabh Pant, has cemented his position in the side with an extraordinary brand of belligerence. The young man is relentless in his pursuit of excellence, and the way he heckles the bowlers is a treat for the eyes.
Despite Pandya not being in the best of his touches, his form against Australia was one of the screaming testimonies to his incredible brilliance as a finisher. Ever since Dhoni stepped down from the mantle, if someone has once again awakened hopes of being India’s next most reliable finisher, it is this man with those monumental strikes.
With all said and done, Ravindra Jadeja is the best all-rounder for India at the moment, and he is absolutely indispensable for the Indians in any format of the sport. An electrifying fielder, a terrific bowler and an explosive batsman, Jadeja’s involvement is a true ode to this format’s ethos.
Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah
Sundar has proven his worth as a successful all-rounder against Australia. He is a decent spinner with a good deal of batting in him. Given his knack for wickets, he will be a major game-changer for India with his cheeky spin bowling in this format of the game.
Deepak Chahar has been proving his excellence in the ongoing Sri Lankan tour and the way he has both batted and bowled successfully is something to be lauded immensely. He has also proven his worth in the currently halted IPL with some fiery bowling.
Though Bumrah hasn’t really been successful of late, he is still one of India’s primary fast bowlers and his ability to york consistently makes him an extremely handy pick for a format like T10, given the success he has savoured earlier. If India was to eye for a medal in Olympics, Bumrah’s presence was extremely imperative.