T20 World Cup in focus as India take on West Indies

T20 World Cup in focus as India take on West Indies

Cricket - ICC Men's T20 World Cup - Super 12 - Group 2 - India v Scotland - Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - November 5, 2021 India's Rohit Sharma in action REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

MUMBAI : India will use the three-match home series against West Indies to identify players for this year’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia and work towards building a bigger talent pool, captain Rohit Sharma said on Tuesday.

The hosts take on West Indies at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens in a series starting from Wednesday after blanking their Caribbean opponents 3-0 in 50-overs matches in Ahmedabad.

“The idea is to identify the players who are going to play the World Cup and give them the game time,” Rohit, who replaced Virat Kohli as skipper in white-ball formats, told reporters.

“There are a lot of players who are injured and not with the team. Come the World Cup, I don’t know who’s going to be fit and who’s not going to be fit, but we’ve just got to get the back-ups ready.

“We have a packed schedule and injuries will happen. It’s important we give players enough game time keeping everything in mind.”

India, who won the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007, failed to reach the semi-finals of last year’s edition in the United Arab Emirates with the 2022 tournament scheduled to be held in October-November.

West Indies are the only side to have won the T20 World Cup twice and recently beat England 3-2 at home.

“We are trying to find those holes that are there in the squad and try and fill that gap,” Rohit added.

“All these guys are very young and haven’t played a lot of cricket. We need to give them the assurance and the game time. Once we have that, then we can try out things.

“We’ve spoken to guys about what roles they will need to do during the World Cup. Mindset needs to be to bat or bowl in that fashion. The clarity has been given to them.”

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