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The way forward

cricket Updated: Aug 14, 2011 00:32 IST
Hindustan Times
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Plan well, prepare hard
This series has been a classic example of how not to plan one in the future. To begin with, the Indian board needs to keep enough gap between two important series, ensure at least more than one practice games are scheduled for the team to acclimatise well to tough conditions. “It’s a pity that people who have not played any cricket draw up these weird schedules for the team,” says former India spinner Maninder Singh.

Manage and monitor injuries
The BCCI needs to put in place a stringent injury management and monitoring system, and make people accountable for situations like the one witnessed in case of Zaheer Khan. Besides, make players coming off injury lay offs play enough practice matches to prove their fitness before they are picked for national duty. Apart from that, there's an urgent need to increase the number of physios with the team.

Time to go for split captaincy
Captain Cool has looked out of depth for the first time. Maybe, it’s time to take some burden off his shoulders and hand over the reins to someone else in at least one format of the game. He leads India in all three formats, apart from leading Chennai Super Kings in the IPL and the Champions League. Such a move will be in keeping with the trend world over as Australia and England too have gone for split captaincy.

Spot and groom new players
As the big three are in the twilight of their careers, it’s time their replacements are spotted and groomed. They may fail, as a few of them already have, but that's the way forward. It's better to push them in when the veterans are still around rather than wait till they call it a day. “You need to spot four-five players and invest on them to ensure they carry the responsibility of Indian cricket,” said Anil Kumble.

Can’t field, stay away from game
India were never a good fielding side, but they have never looked as ungainly as they did against England in this series. Dropped catches and laughable ground fielding made them look like amateurs. So, fielding needs to be as important an area as batting and bowling when selectors pick the side.