Updated: Jun 23, 2023, 14:41 IST

Indian Cricket : India’s regular ICC failures and the obvious reason which BCCI has failed to spot


It was yet another hope filled June, 2023 as India were set to play Australia in the finals of the World Test Championships. The Oval ground was basked in a different kind of glory as the sunlight welcomed both the teams and its set of fans. What happened over the next five days will be soon forgotten.

It will be forgotten because, over the years of consistent bilateral series high, we as Indian fans forget the ICC losses lows. In terms of tennis, we win the games but forget to close out the sets. India under Rohit Sharma lost the WTC final as Pat Cummins and his side held the mace with beaming smile on their faces. Now the question arises, despite all the talent available where is the Indian team lacking in a bid to win an ICC title?


Look ahead to the 2023 World Cup –

Indian team will be looking to break their long absence from the podium of an ICC event. 2023 will witness the cricket world cup being hosted in the subcontinent for the 4th time and the 1st time will hosting the event as a sole host. Social media is abuzz with all permutations and combinations and trying to find every lucky charm. The last 3 world cups held have seen the hosts win the title.

2011 was won by India, 2015 by Australia and 2019 by England. This is one of the reasons why the Indian fans have cultivated a hope in their mind of seeing Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli hoist the title just like Sachin Tendulkar had done in 2011. India hosting the world cup? Our team’s knowledge about the venues, what could do wrong?


Regular breaks and fitness issues –

If one thinks India are starting one step in the 2023 ODI world cup, then here is a huge reality check. The Indian team has always played the maximum number of One Day International matches compared to any of the other teams. Yet they go in half cooked, and there is a very big reason for this.

The Indian players namely the top players have chose to take breaks at regular intervals. While one doesn’t expect Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to play all through the year, the need for match exposure is always important.

Then there is the injury issue, India have seen a lot of their players get injured. One of the biggest names is Jasprit Bumrah, who is set to be fit for the showpiece event. Rishabh Pant on the other hand is on his way back to fitness, but that is going to take time. KL Rahul too is on the mend, but the player Rehab tables at NCA has always seen some Indian cricket mark his presence over the last few years. We cannot forget, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna and Shreyas Iyer who also have had troubles with fitness in recent past.


Is Playing Less ODI games the reason?

Since 2019 world cup, India like rest of the cricketing world has been busy across all the formats. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 outbreak the entire world came to an halt. What if we tell you even despite these constraints India have played the maximum ODI matches.

The table below has the numbers since the end of 2019 World Cup to the ongoing ICC ODI WC 2023 qualifiers (** denotes the games included of teams playing the qualifier tournament)

Country Name

ODI Matches Played











New Zealand




South Africa


Sri Lanka


West Indies

50 **


Breaking the less is more myth –

As we made a point earlier, there is a growing myth in Indian cricket the less a player plays the more fresh he is. Well this might be true if there constant cricket and burn out or fatigure issues as in the late 2000’s to mid 2010’s. in today’s day and age, when T20 cricket is ruling the roost. There is hardly a 5 match ODI series or 7 Match ODI series that were the norm for nearly one decade. The days of Tri- Series ODI cricket are passe as well.


The contrast of two Indian sides –

2011 World Cup squad –

We all remember the picture of a beaming Indian team holding the 2011 World Cup aloft. But little do we know about the process (yes the same word MS Dhoni loves). Indian team after their 2007 world cup debacle appointed MS Dhoni as the captain post his 2007 T20 World Cup win. The then 26 year old newly appointed skipper soon put in motion which changed the entire outlook of the team.

Each member in the side knew what role he had to peform, and what and how to react to real time match situations. When India were two down for not many in the final, Kohli scored an important 35. That wasn’t by accident, it was 4 years in the making and Dhoni and Gary Kirsten had got them ready for the same.


The numbers behind the process –

MS Dhoni played the same set of players barring a few changes here and there. The likes of Yusuf Pathan, Piyush Chawla, R. Ashwin and Sreesanth played only a handful games but the majority of the team was already set. As said earlier “Process” was set in motion since the end of 2007 WC. In the table below we will take a look at the ODI games played by the members of the 2011 squad.

Note the matches are from the end of the 2007 ODI world cup till the last ODI series before the 2011 World Cup

Player Name

ODI Matches Played

MS Dhoni


Sachin Tendulkar


Virender Sehwag


Gautam Gambhir


Virat Kohli


Suresh Raina


Zaheer Khan


Yuvraj Singh


Harbhajan Singh



The above table was for those players who majorly played ever game during the 2011 World Cup. There is no doubt after taking a look at the table, why India was ready and went onto win the World Cup. The least ODI games anyone had played in the list was Virat Kohli with 45, but that was due to his debut in 2008 and also he had to sit out for nearly a year due to him being ignore.

Strong bench –

One wonders if the main players of the 2011 WC winning squad had played this amount of cricket, how much would the bench players have played?.

Yusuf Pathan – 45 matches, Sreesanth – 23 matches, Munaf Patel -34 matches and Ashish Nehra – 45 matches.

One cannot term Ashish Nehra and Munaf Patel to be back up or bench players. Both the players were key in India winning the world cup. But Yusuf Pathan (4 games) and Sreesanth with (2 games) were certainly back up players during the World Cup.

Where does the current team rank in terms of clocking game time ?

The current crop of squad have played very less ODI cricket. The constant breaks and injuries have thrown the entire preparation for the World Cup in doubt.

The table below will show the matches played by Indian top cricketers since the end of 2019 WC to the ODI series against Australia in early 2023 before the IPL.

Player Name

ODI games played

Rohit Sharma


Virat Kohli


Mohammad Shami


Mohammad Siraj


Yuzvendra Chahal


Ravindra Jadeja


Kuldeep Yadav


KL Rahul


Jasprit Bumrah



*note – Bumrah did not play any ODI games post the 2019 WC and missed ODI cricket for the whole of 2021.

Even the new players in the side like Shubman Gill (22) and Ishan Kishan (14) are seen more for their T20 cricket. Rishabh Pant did not make the list due to his unfortunate accident towards the end of 2022.

The numbers don’t lie –

The proof of India’s failures is in the pudding. The Indian team is undercooked before any ICC event. If you compare MS Dhoni to the likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, the Dhoni led side was settled. Each player knew their roles, even a nearly 38 year old Tendulkar had played 60 ODI games in 4 years in preparation for the big event.

The importance of a settled unit –

MS Dhoni has time and again spoken and shown the importance of a settled unit. Be it his time with India or his current CSK side. Dhoni doesn’t believe in chop and change, which the Indian team hasn’t learnt from the erstwhile skipper. India have tried out a lot of players under Kohli and Rohit, and the fans still do not know which set of players are certain for the 2023 ODI world cup.

Cricket Cult’s take –

The write up isn’t to imply India wont win the world cup 2023, we like every Indian cricket fan want the blues to hoist the trophy. In case the tournament ends up in yet another wait for an ICC Title, one has to know the reasons. Former Manchester United skipper Roy Keane once famously said “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. Those words could be prophetic if the Indian team management doesn’t pull up its socks before its too late. Three months may look short, but this is the Indian team and as we always say “Kuch bhi ho sakta hai”