What costed India the T20 World Cup? | ICC World T20 2022:
The Indian team has been knocked out of the World cup by the English team in the second semi-final of the event. Although, Rohit’s men were the table toppers of the second group in league stages, their performance throughout the tournament was not as impressive as of other favorites.
In their opening match against Pakistan, the Indian team nearly escaped defeat as they bested the game on the last ball. Although Virat Kohli saving the day earned India their first 2 points, the victory masked the shortcomings of the team which owing to being unaddressed haunted the Indian team in the semi-finals.
Let us see what went wrong for the India in this World cup which handed them a disgraceful clean sweep and a knockout:
1) The Abysmal Opening Show:
This World cup as a whole has been a terrifying struggle for batters, especially openers. Even the power-play overs could not come to the rescue of frustrated openers. Countries like Pakistan, Australia and even England for most part of the tournament have seen their openers struggle to score and play ruthlessly.
However, as the tournament progressed the openers of almost all the teams found their feet firm on the ground and were able to deliver in important matches. Same was not the case with Indian openers, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma, who fell short of displaying an impressive display of their batting skills in almost all the matches. This can be supported by the stat that the average powerplay run rate of India during the tournament was only 6.02, greater only to UAE’s 4.71.
In their outings against teams like Pakistan, South Africa and England, the Indian opening duo collectively could only contribute 8, 24 and 32 runs respectively. The last one against England was scored on Adelaide’s belter pitch. Cutting such sorry figures, even for openers in Australia, is quite bizarre and exceedingly inexcusable.
2) Dinesh Karthik vs Rishabh Pant Conundrum:
For a team as experienced as India, being unable to decide which player gets to play when, is too surprising to be true. However, the management and Indian skipper remained clueless as to who they should opt for an all-important position of wicket-keeper.
Going with the veteran keeper-batter Dinesh Karthik in the first four matches, the confused Indian management, out of the blue selected Rishabh Pant to play in the match against Zimbabwe and Semi-final.
One can justify this selection by claiming that the Indian team wanted to experiment with someone other than the off-color Dinesh Karthik before the semi-final or that a left-handed batsman was needed to fill the void in the team, but it still leaves several questions unanswered.
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3) Bowling Attack:
Pacers rule the pitches down under, especially in initial stages, a few venues provide good turn to spinners as well. Unfortunately, the Indian team had to drop their premier pacer, Jasprit Bumrah, owing to injury.
Their three-pronged regular pace attack with Mohammad Shami, Arshdeep Singh and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, was not as lethal as the pacers from other teams were. Arshdeep Singh, though, provided major breakthroughs throughout the tournament but lack of complement from the senior pacers of the team caused problems for him and the Indian team.
Besides the pace attack, the Indian spin attack was not up to the par as well. Axar Patek bowled with an economy of 8.09 in the marquee event while Ravichandran Ashwin at 8.15. In their last outing against England, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, Mohammad Shami and Ravichandran Ashwin, all took a more than 10-runs-an-over beating.
Yuzvendra Chahal, a wrist-spinner, was made to warm the bench through the tournament, when wrist-spinners like Shadab Khan, Rashid Khan, Wanindu Hasaranga were winning games for their respective sides. Such mistakes and misjudgements made India pay heavily.