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Why India misfired at the T20 World Cup

When India lost their Sunday match against Pakistan in the 2021 T20 World Cup, fans took to Twitter and other social media platforms to show their disappointment and anger. Most of them were particularly unhappy with Mohammad Shami, who was subjected to online abuse and vicious trolling.

The only Muslim in the squad, Shami, was accused of intentionally leaking runs to the opponents and was called all sorts of names, including an anti-national and a traitor. Others weren’t very lucky after betting on India, even after using the best cricket betting tips

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T20 World Cup 2021: Former Cricketers Weigh In On India's Failure To Reach Semi-Finals | Cricket News

But that said, what really went wrong? India, a powerhouse that was at some point the cup’s favorite, is now on the verge of being eliminated after two defeats.  Let’s look at what possibly went wrong:

Seniority overshadowed expertise

Selecting a top-order team is a very complex endeavor. It is not just about picking the best, but it is also about balance in every area.

When India was playing a crucial decider match against England in March, Virat moved up to open. He managed to hit 80 not out and then said he would love to partner Sharma at the top in the T20 World Cup.

Kohli started every game in IPL this year which is not a bad thing. But the problem is Sharma, and KL Rahul also started. Because of their capabilities, all of them play the same role and have the same qualities; they usually begin slowly and then accelerate later on.

What’s worse is that they all have the same weakness when it comes to ball turn away. This is what both New Zealand and Pakistan thoroughly exploited.

T20 World Cup 2021: With change in mindset, India unearth template for the future - Firstcricket News, Firstpost

Going for Sharma, KL Rahul, and Kohli at the same time affected the squatted balance. Another mistake was promoting Ishan, a left-hand powerhouse against left leg-spin and arm spin to start against a strong team like New Zealand to try and counter these weaknesses.

It ended up affecting the team differently as Kohli, who is always excellent at starting, was moved down to number 4.

India paid the ultimate price for prioritizing seniority and ignoring balance.  This essentially means that the specificity of roles is critical. And you cannot assemble a T20 squad by merely relying on the top scorers in the domestic league.

Intent

India was eliminated from the 2016 T20 cricket World Cup because of a very conservative batting technique. In the tournament, Kohli and Rohit led India to a 192-2 loss against West Indies.

Though there was nothing strange about this, the opponents won by a whopping seven wickets, bating 11 sixes against India’s 4.

The same thing happened in this year’s tournament, where India was humbled both in the final result as well as the number of boundaries. Though they had 71 deliveries without hitting the boundary, it took the opponents only 9.5 overs to crush India’s tally of two sixes and eight fours.

Now, teams that will perform well in this year’s tournament are those that will optimize powerplay, with pitches becoming slower and harder to convert. India will still find it hard because they have not scored in more than a single run in their Powerplays.

Also, after they lose wickets, Indian players take a decade to rebuild. Even in the super 12s, no team has had fewer deliveries than India in this cup. An indication that the team is concentrating on preserving wickets and not on scoring runs.

Insularity

Although the Indian Premier League gives Indian players amazing benefits, they are not enough. Other players in other teams have the same benefits from their domestic leagues and acquire more from foreign leagues, unlike India, where players are prohibited from participating in foreign leagues.

This regulation is propelled by BCCI’s desire to optimize the commercial aspects of IPL, which disadvantages Indian young players. This essentially means that they cannot get exposure to other countries with different cultures or experience the expectations and responsibilities of being a foreign player.

Fatigue

What is happening now to the Indian squad also happened to them back in 2009. Though they were the favorites, they crushed out in the quarter-finals.  According to the manager, then Gary Kirsten, they were tired when they arrived for the tournament, putting the blame squarely on IPL, which had ended a few days before the tournament.

Fast forward, 2021, IPL’s schedule once again still meant that they had to participate in the t20 World 2021 Cup fatigued.  The team’s top players have been staying in biosecure facilities for more than four months since they arrived in England for the WTC( World Test Championship) final.

In such situations, it is common for mental fatigue and bubble fatigue to creep in. This was one of the main reasons they lost to New Zealand. Unlike India’s squad, where players have been busy for almost six months, New Zealand players had ample time to rest.

After bagging the Test crown in England, all their players took some time off. Actually, they have not had any international cricket games since then.

 

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