'If Joe Root was Indian, he might have been T20I captain': Aakash Chopra on what India can learn from England
Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra feels that the Indian team has a lot to learn from the way England function pertaining to their selection for T20Is. The veteran pointed out that England make their selection calls as per the demands of the format while India tend to follow the "subcontinent culture" of forming a team around individuals.
Answering a question from a fan on his YouTube channel on how England have managed to perform well in the ongoing T20 World Cup in absence of big names like Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes and whether India have something to learn from the former, Aakash said, “This team goes with a philosophy. England have their priorities crystal clear and everyone seems to be moving in the same direction. They picked all-rounders by looking at performances from the county circuit, the Natwest T20 blast and The Hundred. They selected only white-ball players as per the demands of the format.”
England have won all their four games in the group stage of the Super 12 to virtually qualify for the semi-final. India, on the other hand, lost both their first two games before beating Afghanistan to keep semi-final hopes alive.
Criticizing India's selection policy, Aakash explained that India would have made Joe Root the captain of the T20I team had he been an Indian, irrespective of his strike rate in the format.
“England did not take into consideration Test performances, no matter how good they were. Look at Joe Root’s case. If Joe Root was an Indian, do you think he would not have been part of the Indian T20 squad? I can give you in writing that Root would have been part of the team even if he had a strike rate of 125. He might even have been the captain of the T20 team. This is what India is all about. That is not how England thinks," he added.
Aakash then went on to explain England's "horses for courses" policy in picking their squads for the respective formats which clearly is not the way India function.
“They have a horses for courses policy. Dawid Malan is in the T20 squad but doesn’t play too many Tests. Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid have been told what is expected of them. Their priorities are very clear. That is why even if some players are missing, there is someone else who can get into that role very quickly and seamlessly. India will have to learn from this. You cannot make strategies centered around individuals. They should have a philosophy in place and fit the other things in. This is a subcontinent culture where individuals are given preference, which we need to move away from.”