It is said that the old habit does not go away easily and in the T20 World Cup, the Indian team had to bear the brunt of adopting the attitude of the past.
Slow batting in the power play by the team’s most experienced batsmen, turmoil over the selection of a single player as wicketkeeper and coach Rahul Dravid’s no-risk policy led India to a crushing defeat against England in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup. England thrashed the Indian team by 10 wickets on Thursday. If captain Rohit and Ko Dravid question themselves honestly, they will come to know that this team did not deserve to reach the semi-finals.
This is the sixth time in the last nine years in a global tournament that the Indian team has been knocked out of the competition after losing in the knockout stages. Injuries to top pacer Jasprit Bumrah and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja dealt a big blow to the team but this is something over which the team is not in control. The team has failed to keep things in control.
Despite the success of wrist spinners in Australia, the team was also forced to not give a chance to Yuzvendra Chahal, one of India’s most successful bowlers in T20. This was an astonishing decision.
Some of the main reasons for the defeat of the Indian team in the T20 World Cup were as follows.
1) Defensive play of the top three players in the batting order in powerplay :
Lokesh Rahul, Rohit Sharma and, to a lesser extent, Virat Kohli too will admit that they failed to make best possible utilisation of powerplays.The Indian team could only manage 38 for one in the semi-finals after scoring 33 for two against South Africa in the power play, 31 for three against Pakistan. Among the 16 teams participating in the tournament, the Indian team is ranked 15th with a run rate of 6.02 in terms of run rate in the Powerplay. During this, only the UAE (4.71) had a worse run rate than India.
Before the T20 World Cup, India also tried Rishabh Pant, Deepak Hooda and Suryakumar Yadav as openers and the team adopted a more aggressive batting approach during this period. In the World Cup, however, players like Rohit and Lokesh Rahul did not play as expected on the big stage and the much hyped new template went out of the window.
2) Lack of clarity on the selection between Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik:
Pant has been more aggressive as an opener in limited overs cricket. Dinesh Karthik was included in the team in the role of finisher due to his consistently poor batting in the middle order. Karthik played this role well in the IPL and on Indian pitches but his bat did not work on the bouncy pitches of Australia.
3 Not playing Yuzi Chahal:
Yuzvendra Chahal is India’s top wicket-taker in T20 Internationals but was not played even once in T20 World Cup, he was not given a chance and this time he was sitting in the dressing room of the team. Despite this wrist spinner’s excellent record against England, Chahal did not get a chance in the team. Axar Patel was preferred in his place throughout the tournament & he played poorly .
4) Coach Dravid’s Decisions:
Dravid has firmly established himself in the post of head coach in the last one year, but now the time has come to break the existing standards and do something new. Young batsmen like Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw, Rahul Tripathi, Rajat Patidar have consistently performed well and need to be groomed for the next T20 World Cup to be held after two years. Similarly, in the Asia Cup, Avesh Khan was dropped for some poor overs while Lokesh Rahul was retained in the team despite his consistent poor performance.Harshal Patel lost his sharpness after returning from injury but retained his place in the team that went on tour. Dravid will have to take some tough decisions before the next World Cup.
5 Poor bowling performance :
The bowling attack struggled in the semis at Adelaide in the face of severe onslaught by the English batters . The lack of pace proved costly in Australia conditions while genuinely quick bowlers like Umran Malik , Kuldeep Sen flexed their muscles in Syed Mushtaq Ali event. The bowling combination was poorly selected and Bumrah’s absence was dearly felt .