INDIA ends the Era on a Disappointing Note

The T20WC has found a new champion…the Aussies. They have once again shown that you can never write off a champion side. For India, the tournament was a big disappointment, as it was after nine years that India failed to reach the knockout stage of an ICC Tournament. Also, another highlight was that an era in Indian Cricket came to an end. Ravi Shastri’s tenure as a coach and Virat Kohli’s T20I captaincy ended and now the baton has been passed on to Rohit Sharma and the young generation. So, come on let’s have an in-depth discussion on all these cricketing topics.

Fans laud Virat Kohli's gesture of hugging Mohd Rizwan after Pakistan wins  T20 encounter with India

War Minus Shooting

India entered the tournament as absolute favourites. And…after comprehensive victories in both the warm-up games that too against teams like Australia and England further strengthened the above thought. For India, the tournament started on a high-voltage note as we were straightaway up against arch-rivals Pakistan. India was having an unbeaten record against Pakistan in the World Cups…till the 23rd of October.

(I have written another article specifically on this game )

India went on to bat after losing the toss and Shaheen Afridi came guns blazing at us. In no time, India was strangling at 30/3 in 6 overs on a slow wicket. From that point, VIRAT displayed some sensible batting and showed once again why he is the most trusted batsman in such conditions. He got out after scoring 57 crucial runs which had some proper cricketing shots. But other than him, no one was able to do anything special barring PANT whose 39 crucial runs helped India in going past 150. While bowling, it was expected that Pakistan too would find it difficult to bat on, but on the very contrary both BABAR and RIZWAN were batting in an upfront aggressive way and literally no bowler except BUMRAH was even able to beat them properly. All the bowling and fielding changes proved of no use as Pakistan went away with the match comprehensively without losing any wicket. Since Pakistan was also able to defeat New Zealand, it meant that the game between India and New Zealand was the Virtual Quarter Final.

Choking Under Pressure

In the game against New Zealand, India seemed under too much pressure. The high stakes in the match didn’t allow India to be their true and free self. Changes in the batting order and over-desperation to lay big shots simply confirmed that. All this completely backfired as India had its top 4 batters were in the pavilion in no time and the reason was the same; playing big shots, not at the merit of the ball. After that, PANT and PANDYA tried to rebuild the innings but their strike rate was too low and there was not enough time for rebuilding. Another big negative was the inability of Indian batters to attack the spinners, who went just way too economical along with a couple of wickets. Finally, JADEJA hit a couple of boundaries to take India’s final score to 110. Without a doubt, that was never going to be enough and New Zealand comfortably chased the target before 15 overs.

Hat Trick of Wins

The next three games were a cakewalk for the Indian Team as India. While they defeated Afghanistan by 64 runs, target against Scotland and Namibia were chased in 6 and 15 overs respectively. Interestingly, in these games, India was ticking all boxes just perfectly. Yes…the teams were weak but still, India looked completely on track. Even Virat won the toss in the last two games (I wish he would have won the toss in the first two games). One more thing that I can say with full confidence is that if India would have played these 3 weak teams before playing PAK and NZ, India would have surely won at least 1 game against the two big teams.

Jadeja and Kohli in action (Photo/ BCCI Twitter)

What we Lacked?

If we start taking a look at the weaknesses or the reason that cost India, there are quite many points raising eyebrows:

  1. Fancy Team Selection: I said it then and I am saying it again that there was no cricketing logic while excluding CHAHAL from the team, given that he is India’s best white-ball spinner for some good time. Instead, we went for VARUN CHAKRAVARTHY just in the name of the fancy word ‘Mystery Spinner’. Rahul Chahar who was taken with the reasoning of ‘faster spinner’ spent the whole tournament on the bench because he wasn’t good enough in the warm-up games. Another miss was SHREYAS IYER, a solid batter like him in the middle order could have been a good option especially when our middle order looked rusty.
  2. Form of the Key Players: During the England series back in March, our players especially the youngsters were in Red-Hot form. Our team was looking the absolute favourites for the World Cup. But, during the IPL suddenly our players started struggling with their form. And…when we entered the tournament our whole middle order as out-of-form. Even our pacers except suddenly lost their form which too cost us in the crucial games.
  3. Rift and Conflict in Team: I don’t know what communication happened between Virat and Rohit but I was able to see one thing clearly that Rohit’s choices were preferred in the team. Even that is acceptable to some limit, but nothing can define MS DHONI being appointed as the mentor. I know he is a great leader and the BEST Captain India has ever got, but we can’t have multiple sets of leadership groups in one camp. It straightaway undermined Kohli’s value in the team. You believe it or not it also played a minus point in our performance.
  4. HARDIK PANDYA: It was very well known that India’s prospects in the tournament were resting on Hardik Pandya’s shoulders. The simple reason is there is NO ONE in the country with that level of insane hitting and all-round skills. But, it was also known that Hardik was struggling with a back injury. Despite that, he was playing the whole IPL. Now, tell me shouldn’t the BCCI had rested him from IPL to keep him in the best shape for the World Cup.
  5. Workload Management: Look at the cricket calendar of any other team, you will find roughly 6-7 series through the years and there would be adequate breaks in between every series and tour. But BCCI is like ‘We don’t do that here’. I mean which team plays 10-12 series without any pause throughout the year. Look at any other country, they make sure that their players come completely fresh for any big tournament. While the WC ended on 14th, India’s next series starts on the 17th. I mean it’s just ridiculous, are the players some machine or what? We played a big series in England, then the IPL and then the World Cup and even now there is no break. Just for making money, BCCI and especially that NEPOTISM Product is USING the players and spoiling the cricketing prospects of our country.

T20 World Cup 2021: We Expected Pakistan Bowlers To Be Outstanding, Says New Zealand Captain Kane Williamson | Cricket News

The AUSSIES come out Victorious 

After India’s elimination, it was clear that Pakistan and New Zealand will be progressing ahead (thinking Afghanistan would beat New Zealand was a crazy dream). Now, England and Pakistan had played some insanely serious cricket and were the firm favourites against New Zealand and Australia respectively. But, in both the games the ‘underdog’ team came out victorious from a critical point. While Jimmy Neesham was the Hero of Blackcaps, Mathew Wade completely stole the game from Pakistan’s hands. While Pakistan played some really good cricket on the field, what happened with HASAN ALI in his country after the match was extremely shameful. In the final, it was a rare situation where I didn’t have any favourites. The reason was simple, Australia has given us many wounds on the cricketing field, but New Zealand too has come up in that list and given us many wounds in recent times.

Melbourne Cricket Ground to host 2022 T20 World Cup Final under the lights next November | Cricket News | Sky Sports

So, it was a delightful experience to celebrate both the boundaries as well as the wickets in the same game. Australia chased down a competitive total with too much ease. Their aggression j Here, I would like to highlight two points; firstly people should stop calling New Zealand Underdogs, they are one of the best sides in the world today across all formats. This side has all the required balance and range that a quality team aspires to have. And…their captain KANE WILLIAMSON is inarguably the BEST batsman in the world currently. Secondly, there is one thing that we all can learn from a team like Australia; the ‘Champion Mindset’. Even when they entered the tournament ‘out of form’, they were able to get better than every other team in the tournament and once they realized that they were close to the trophy, they made sure that they get it under their belt. Their key players were fully fit and available, they had new heroes in every match and if someone had a bad day, others made up for that. Isn’t this the thing that we lacked?

Conclusion: An Era in Indian Cricket Ends and a new one starts

So, as the world cup campaign ended, so did end the captaincy tenure of Virat Kohli in T20Is (I still think that his tenure has ended for white-ball cricket…but let’s see). If we look at the captaincy tenure of Virat, it’s very good with a winning rate of around 70%. Under him, India won its first bilateral series in Australia and South Africa and performed very well in almost all big tournaments. If there is one thing missing, it is an ICC Trophy and I still think that this team has ‘Underachieved’ than its potential. But, more than any trophy, Virat’s legacy will be defined in inculcating the ‘Never Give Up’ and ‘Go for Win’ attitude, especially in Tests.

(You can read my old article where I talked about this thing in detail)

Virat Kohli praised Shasti and Company, wrote this while tweeting

The same goes for Ravi Shastri as a coach, I don’t remember any other coach who was so casual, easy-going and yet honest. There was a reason why he was called the Big Brother of the team. Under him, the team has won several big series and even conquered Australian and English forts. If you truly want to understand his legacy, just refer to one game, the Test match at GABBA. It was Ravi Shastri who held back the net bowlers and made the team believe that they can get better of the Mighty Australian side at a ground where they were unbeaten for the last 33 years. Finally, I would thank Ravi Shastri and also the two other support staffs Bharat Arun and R. Sridhar for their services.

Rohit Sharma recalls India debut under Rahul Dravid: Felt like a dream to be part of dressing room - Sports News

Now, the team lies in the able hands of ROHIT SHARMA along with the guidance of Legend RAHUL DRAVID. It’s after very long that we have got a ‘Legend’ as the coach of our side. I genuinely hope that the team fills in the flaws that have been stopping this team from getting on the very top. And…just one bad tournament can’t lessen my affection for the team. I am with you Team India and I know you will be back on track real soon. By the time, I am writing this, India has already clean-swept New Zealand. Though they didn’t have Williamson, we too have rested many of our big players. I hope this winning affair goes on and on as the 2022 T20WC awaits this Team riding on a New Era of Indian Cricket.



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