Rajat Sharma

T20 World Cup: Why Team India lost so badly?

AKB30 Millions of Indian cricket fans were heartbroken on Thursday afternoon as they watched England decimating India in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup semi-final in Adelaide. The Indian team lacked the fire, intensity and passion of English players, and their performance, particularly of bowlers and fielders, was pathetic. The Indian campaign in the T20 World Cup thus ended on a disastrous note. The 10-wicket humiliating defeat at the hands of English team will rankle for years in the minds of cricket fans.

The fact that Indian opening was slow can be gauged from the fact that only 62 runs were scored in the first 10 overs. It was Virat Kohli’s half century and Hardik Pandya’s quick 63 runs which saved the face of Team India, which ended up with 168 for six in 20 overs. Even 168 was a fighting score and it is normally not easy for any team to chase this target in a high-pressure game, but the Indian bowlers proved to be a useless lot.

They failed to take a single English wicket and the most shameful part was that England made 170 without loss in 16 overs and marched into the final, to meet Pakistan. Team India’s medium, fast and spin bowlers got a nice beating during the English innings. Openers Jos Buttler and Alex Hales hit ten sixers and 13 boundaries. The fact that 112 runs were scored off boundaries and sixers displays the pathetic performance of our bowlers.

Captain Rahul Sharma looked dejected with his head bowed after he lost the vital match. He admitted “we were not up to the mark with the ball. It was definitely not a wicket where a team can come and chase it down in 16 overs. We couldn’t turn the ball today. When it comes to knockout stages, it’s all about handling pressure. It depends on the individual as well. You can’t teach anyone to handle pressure. When these guys play the playoffs in IPL and all that, those are high-pressure games, and they’re able to handle it.”

There is no denying the fact that Indian players had to struggle to adapt to early summer Australian conditions, and their performance was even listless during the batting Powerplay. On the other hand, the English players had the experience of playing on Australian pitches regularly, as they had been playing in Australian Big Bash League. Ultimately, the experience and tenacity of English players dominated the semi-final match.

Winning and losing games is part of sports, but the manner in which England gave a drubbing to Indian cricketers is, to say the least, shameful. It can be called shameful in the sense that Team India just surrendered before the English onslaught. The manner in which the two English openers hammered the balls from Indian bowlers made one think whether it was a World Cup semi-final or a ‘mohalla match’.

Except for Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya, all the remaining players lacked passion and intensity. It appeared as if they were not trying to win the crucial match. Jos Buttler played his mindgame and Rohit Sharma was practically pulverized. The Indian skipper was unable to fathom what to do and what not to do.

Rohit Sharma’s remarks that it was a ‘high pressure game’ and his team could not handle it, makes one think: If this is our best team which cannot withstand pressure, should it be assumed that the team is not capable of playing in big tournaments? If Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya, with their aggression and passion, can handle a pressure game, why can’t our other players do the same? Will the Indian skipper be changed again? Will questions be raised about our chief coach Rahul Dravid? To put it in a nutshell: Team India let down its millions of fans badly.

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