This year’s World Cup was a mixed bag of a tournament for Virat Kohli’s Team India. Their wins against Scotland, Namibia, and Afghanistan are astounding victories however, their losses against Pakistan and New Zealand were truly heartbreaking for fans which weren’t enough for their birth to the semi-final.
Some people are of the opinion that the performance of Team India was quite horrendous. Whereas, the others reckon that the team did quite well considering the fact that the players have been on road since June of this year. Jasprit Bumrah admitted “Being on the road for six months is a huge ask. Players haven’t gone home and I think they had a short break after the last IPL got suspended.”
Though few players from the squad showed their fortitude, some turned out to be underwhelming and disappointing. Consider the case of sending World T20 debutant Ishan Kishan to open and demote veteran Rohit Sharma. The intention was that the left-hander could attack the left-handed bowling of Trent Boult. But it seemed like India was shielding their best batsman, Sharma, against Boult’s inswing.
Another notable point that might’ve affected is MS Dhoni’s role as a mentor for the team as it didn’t make much of a contribution and instead demoted Virat Kohli’s role as a captain.
So, here’s a report of the team’s performance in this year’s World Cup-
- Bhubaneshwar Kumar
One of the biggest reasons Kumar has been a favourite for the BCCI is because he is the most economical bowler the team has ever had. He has always been a vital wicket-taker for the team. However, the ball wasn’t his friend throughout the tournament. A major attribute contributing to this has to be the barrier caused by his injuries.
- Shardul Thakur
After giving an exceptional performance in Australia and vs England matches alongside his performance in Chennai Super Kings. It is clear that he has the qualities of an all-rounder, as he has taken crucial wickets as well as hit sixes, and taken catches for his team to win. Unfortunately, he hasn’t displayed his caliber this tournament and has a quite disappointing performance by the all-rounder.
- Ishan Kishan
He is known as a batting prodigy and is definitely one to stay steer clear of in the cricket world and many expected the same from him during this tournament. However, the move to make him open along with KL Rahul instead of Rohit Sharma was a failed move. Even in the previous edition of IPL, he had a mediocre batting average of 26.77. The takeaway for him would be his warm-up match innings of 70 runs off 46 balls against England.
- Varun Chakravarthy
He is cheered upon as the “Mystery spinner” due to his fantastic performance during IPL as well as several domestic matches. His performance was quite good but there was nothing mysterious about it, as the opposition batsmen could play him with ease and he couldn’t take any wickets.
- Hardik Pandya
Pandya is primarily known for his fiery batting and power-hitting skills. In addition, he also has a quite medium pace bowling capability and has always been a go-to bowler for the team. However, his numerous injuries have become a hindrance to his bowling. Due to this, he couldn’t contribute to bowling during this tournament. He also failed to put up a show against Pakistan and couldn’t play for the first two matches. Coming to batting, he made quite an impact and made some crucial runs. However, it just wasn’t up to the mark.
- Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar is predominantly known for his impactful performance ever since he debuted for the Indian cricket team as well as for his consistent contribution to the Mumbai Indians. Even the legendary Pakistani speedster, Wasim Akram, hailed him as a ‘game-changer’ for the Indian side in this tournament. But sadly, this was the opposite as he made a mere 42 runs in his three-innings campaign and didn’t leave an impacting impression with the bat in this tournament.
- Virat Kohli
When Kohli announced his withdrawal as a T20 captain from the national side, many expected him to end his captaincy tenure with a bang. But it wasn’t a happy ending for him, as India did not get through to the semi-final. During the matches against Pakistan and New Zealand, his captaincy just wasn’t up to the mark and the only highlight was his half-century against Pakistan. He scored 66 runs in his three innings and having a mere average of 34, he was mediocre in his batting.
- Rishabh Pant
Pant had a flawless tenure as the captain of Delhi Capitals in this IPL edition. He did well with the wicketkeeping. However, in terms of batting, many expected it to be better. Though he made some runs for the side, he didn’t quite live up to the expectations as he scored a total of 78 runs in his five-match campaign.
- Rahul Chahar
Chahar is a budding spinner and the cricketing world has known him from his IPL terms. He was a surprise pick in the tournament, as many cricket geeks weren’t expecting him to replace one of the best spinners in the sport, Yuzvendra Chahal. He played only a single match where he couldn’t scalp a wicket and was mediocre in his economy. In fact, he didn’t contribute much to his team, Mumbai Indians this IPL either.
- Ravindra Jadeja
Jadeja is known for his all-rounder performance by not only doing well at batting and bowling but also showing athleticism during fielding. He managed to score runs and wins for his team, Chennai Super Kings during this IPL. During the T20 tournament, he has proved himself to be a pivotal wicket-taker and has taken a few exemplary catches on the field. He took a total of seven wickets and bagged one Man of the Match award for his three-wicket haul against Namibia. However, his batting performance was quite disappointing as he scored just a mere 49 runs during his two-innings campaign.
- Mohammed Shami
Shami faced an unnecessary backlash from social media after a poor bowling performance against Pakistan and New Zealand. But he made a comeback by showing some class performance with the ball. He has been a crucial figure in India’s bowling department not only in the red-ball format but also in the shortest format of the game. He scalped a total of six wickets in his campaign and picked two three-wicket hauls against Afghanistan and Scotland.
- Ravi Ashwin
Despite being a surprise pick for the team, he has put up commendable performances throughout the tournament consistently. This is a comeback to white-ball cricket after four long years. The off-spinner was economical and gave some crucial wickets to the side. Overall, he scalped six wickets in his three-match campaign. In addition to this, he took a three-wicket haul against Gerhard Erasmus’s Namibia in this tournament.
- Rohit Sharma
Sharma is one of the few players who was consistent throughout the tournament. He has been a reliable component of the team’s batting department and he can provide some runs with his powerful hitting. He scored a total of 174 runs in his five-match campaign and bagged one Man of the Match award; he contributed well enough with the bat. After Kohli’s withdrawal as captain from the national side, Sharma is set to lead the squad for the upcoming World Cup 2022.
- Jasprit Bumrah
Bumrah definitely gets the title of the most consistent player throughout the tournament. He has been the biggest asset for the bowling department for the Indian team by being the highest wicket-taker. He bagged seven wickets in total and has a commendable economy rate of 5.08 runs in his five-match campaign. He was good with both wicket-taking and simultaneously being an economical bowler.
- KL Rahul
As predicted by his IPL performances, KL Rahul turned out to be the X-factor for India as an opener. And he lived up to the expectations. He was explosive with his bat and his all-around performance in general. He was the highest run-scorer from the Indian side by making 194 runs in his five-match campaign. He also made the tournament’s fastest half-century off just 18 balls against Scotland. Adding to this, he made a hattrick of 50-run partnership in the last three games with Rohit Sharma. But unfortunately, couldn’t show his caliber against Pakistan and New Zealand.
It’s safe to say that the Men in Blue have disappointed us with their performance during this World Cup. However, this is not the end of the world and we have to move on. Understandably, India is the financial engine of the cricketing world. But the packed schedule combined with heightened expectations that no other team faces could be getting too much for our players. We need to take care of our players well and support them during such hard times. We can only hope that luck will be in our favour for the next T20 World Cup 2022.