What Went Wrong For Team India?
It was India’s worst showing in recent years as they bowed out of the T20 World Cup in the league stages.
Having lost to Pakistan and New Zealand, India failed to make it to the semi-finals despite winning their last three games as Captain Virat Kohli finished without an ICC trophy in the T20 format.
The batting was a big let-down for India in the World Cup while selection gambles went wrong including all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who was picked despite having been not fully recovered from injury.
This was the first time India had failed to make it to the semi-finals at an ICC event since 2012.
Team India has not won the ICC tournament even once after the year 2013. The biggest reason for this is the lack of performance of the team in the knock out matches. After all, what has happened to India that they have been deprived of these big titles for the last 8 years.
Dhoni had given the last ICC trophy. Team India won the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy under the captaincy of MS Dhoni, followed by World Cup 2015, T20 World Cup 2016, Champions Trophy 2017 and then World Cup 2019 went trophyless.
While India’s record in bilateral matches has been consistently topnotch – across formats – when it comes to ICC tournaments, it somehow becomes a struggle to cross the winning line. Since the 2013 Champions Trophy victory in England, India haven’t been able to win another title, despite being either no. 1 ranked in the world at that point in time or rated favourites for the tournament.
In the 2015 and 2019 ODI World Cups, as well as the 2016 T20 WC, India lost in the semis. In the 2017 Champions Trophy, they were beaten by Pakistan in the final, and in the inaugural Test World Championship final earlier this year, Virat Kohli’s team, after a stellar run over the two-year period, were felled by New Zealand.
Reasons Behind Team India’s Failure in T20 World Cup
A lot has been said about India’s dismal show at the showpiece event. Let us have a look at some of the key points that has contributed to India’s early exit from the T20 World Cup.
- Bio Bubble Fatigue
Most of the Indian players, including captain Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, and Rishabh Pant among others have been on the road since June when the Test team had reached England for the World Test Championship final. It was followed by the five-Test series against Joe Root’s men and then the players were transferred into the Indian Premier League (IPL) bio-bubble in the UAE.While the IPL 2021 final was played on October 15, the T20 World Cup Round 1 action got underway in Oman and the UAE on October 17. India played their first match on October 24 and got a week’s break before their second against New Zealand. Jasprit Bumrah had cited that bio-bubble fatigue was one of the reason for India’s poor show.
- Unsettled Playing XI
India tried out two different opening combinations – the first-choice seemingly being KL and Rohit, and the other being KL and Ishan. In a must-win match against New Zealand, Rohit Sharma was pushed to number three and Ishan Kishan opened the batting but India lost by eight wickets. Kishan, who had been picked in the squad as a reserve opener, came to open alongside KL Rahul. Skipper Kohli moved down a spot and batted at four.
- Hardik Pandya’s Fitness
Hardik Pandya’s selection in the T20 World Cup has been under scrutiny, given that the all-rounder hasn’t played a potential bowler due to his back issues. He made the cut against Pakistan but before the India skipper could get his bowling services, he suffered a shoulder injury while batting and had to be taken for scans. However, his poor form with the bat and the lack of contribution with the ball increased India’s woes.
- Virat Kohli’s Captaincy
Kohli had announced that he will step down from India’s T20 captaincy after the World Cup. Kohli has so far led India in four ICC events — the 2017 Champions Trophy, 2019 50-over World Cup, World Test Championship (WTC) and the ongoing T20 World Cup. In all these events, India failed to clinch a single title. India’s title drought has stretched for long with their last major tournament win being the 2013 Champions Trophy in England and Wales.
Sunil Gavaskar’s explanation on India’s Current Form
Recently, Sunil Gavaskar explained why the Indian cricket team can’t score against big teams. He feels team India’s batting approach in the powerplay overs needs to change, He said:
“Making too many changes in a team isn’t right, because it’s not like India lost all its matches. In two matches, the batters could not deliver what was expected of them and that is the reason that India is in such a state right now. The approach needs to change,”
“The fact that in the first 6 overs, there are only 2 fielders outside the 30-yard-circle, India haven’t taken advantage of it for the last few ICC tournaments. Which is why, whenever India are up against a strong team, one that has good bowlers, India cannot score. So that needs to change”.
So, do you think same as sir Gavaskar?