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2007 all over again for India?
India’s World T20 campaign is over. More or less. When a team is hyped no end and cannot even pick a proper playing 11, it has disaster written all over it. The amount of pressure the players were under was palpable as they never got bat properly on ball – I am talking after looking at both Pakistan and the New Zealand games. Even though Kohli got a fifty, it was not assured – and today’s debacle is one for the records – on how to not bat.
So why was there so much pressure on them? And who was putting it? What happened to going out there and expressing oneself? Wasn’t playing a part of the IPL in Dubai a reason to get the players acclimatized to the grounds? Then what went wrong?
BCCI is not in the habit of doing introspection and coming up with a White Paper, so I am going to take a stab at some of the major things…
- First off, India got an easy grouping – all they had to do was to win one of two games against Pakistan and New Zealand to go into semis, and they managed to lose both. This shows how much “trust” the tournament sponsors had on India’s capabilities…
- On top of Coach, Batting Coach, Bowling Coach, and Fielding Coach, India also ushered in a Mentor in M S Dhoni. If they had so many specialists guiding them, then why did they look like such nervous wrecks?
- Given their bowling “strength”, even with the world’s best spinner playing, India’s batters needed to score at least 20 runs above par to give a safety cushion. But for getting there, they needed to suss up the pitch and adjust accordingly. And they miserably failed in this. If Pak bowlers were too quick, NZ spinners were too wily. And they invariably picked the fielder when playing big shots – it was as if Indian batsmen were giving catching practice. Not one player tried to soak up the pressure and play freely, holding one end up. Kohli did, to some extent against Pak but the requirement, that India needed a 20 plus run above par was not achieved. And the bowling attack was pathetic. Which brings me to the selection.
- Why can’t the team select a proper playing 11? Why play half-fit players? What balance did India achieve by playing Hardik Pandya? Why was it “OK” for him to bowl a couple of overs? What if one of the regular bowlers had a “bad day”?
- Even if India did manage to get to the semi-finals, I did not visualize it going further – the bowling attacks of other teams is vastly superior. And with the team’s brains trust regularly leaving out the world’s best spinner, questions must be asked as to what went into picking the playing 11?
- Some say that with the advent of IPL, the franchises are the ones really controlling India’s cricket. And that they have a say in the playing 11. Because they want their players to have “face time” on the field because they have a lot of ads riding on them. BCCI must come clean on this. Because this has some bearing on the next point I am going to talk about…
- Off-the-field distractions. Why did India do a knee in support of BLM? India never had slavery in its thousands-of-years history. On top of it, Pakistan refused to take the knee – then why did India do it? Kohli said that it was a management decision – if so, surely the players could have also worn a saffron band to express solidarity with the Bangladeshi Hindus, who got slaughtered just days prior? Why did that not occur to the “management”?
- And when an Indian pacer got trolled by Pak-based SM outlets, why didn’t India step in and point it out to the Facebooks and Twitters of the world and expose the perpetrators and name and shame them? Why keep mum?
- If India is underwriting World cricket, why did it not demand that all teams express their support to the oppressed Hindus of Bangladesh and Afghanistan? Don’t Hindu Lives Matter? Isn’t HLM more relevant? Why is India still adopting a slavish mentality here? That too to US, which is not exactly a cricket powerhouse?
- Let us accept it – the players have a job – to play cricket on the ground and tune out all other noise – and they did not. As simple as that. This is an over-hyped team, led by a captain who wears his emotions on his sleeve and the board is more keen on milking the team and getting enriched in the process than in putting a proper side and winning the tournament.
For the cricket lovers, tune out the tournament and get on with life. There is a pandemic that needs to be conquered.
Thanks for watching, like, share and subscribe to our channel. Namaskar.
 T20 World Cup: The question mark over Hardik Pandya’s fitness – Oct 29, 2021, ToI
 Indian cricket team bends a knee for BLM: No empathy for the Bangladesh Hindu, Kashmiri Sikh and Hindu? – Oct 25, 2021, PGurus Newsdesk
 Pakistan stoops to a new low: Orchestrated outrage against Shami – Oct 27, 2021, PGurus Newsdesk
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