When Virat Kohli formed his star-studded team, the Indians had been hopeful of winning the T20 World Cup trophy. No doubt, the T20 World Cup is an exciting event for cricket fans. Even the cricket betting sites in India predicted the Indian Team as the hot favourites to win the T20 World Cup this year. Unfortunately, India’s dream of even making it to the semi-final of this tournament is over as New Zealand made a sweeping victory against Afghanistan. India required Afghanistan to win the match and make it to the semi-finals but all their hopes were crushed.
Nevertheless, it is crucial to note that only India is to be blamed for their early exit from the T20 World Cup. They had been the favorites before the tournament began. However, their loss to Pakistan and New Zealand put an end to their campaign. Even though they made a comeback in the latter two matches with a big win against Scotland and Afghanistan, it wasn’t enough.
Many might have blamed IPL for the disappointing performance of Team India, but others began questioning the team’s intent. Here are the five things that might have gone wrong for the team. Let’s check them out one by one.
1. Batting First
The popular Indian batting line-up along with Rohit Sharma and Kohli had been underneath an early assault against the top-notch bowling. In the second match, too, they batted first and were faced by quality bowling by the New Zealand bowlers.
When they were invited to bat first in both matches, India had suffered a top-order failure. Thus, they scored 151 and 110 in the games against Pakistan and New Zealand, respectively. This is what derailed their campaign.
Even though Rohit hit 74 in 47 balls in India’s 210-1 against Afghanistan, the team was at the mercy of the NRR and the other World Cup teams. With the toss, teams can get an undue advantage. There is a great difference between batting first and batting second.
2. IPL Fatigue
The players from India regrouped for the international tournament just a few days after the Indian Premier League. This tournament was expected to be a good tune-up before the T20 World Cup but it is likely to have backfired. Fatigue seems to have crept in for the players.
At times you require a break. Indian bowling coach Bharat Arun has stated that a short break between the two tournaments might have proved to be useful for the fast bowlers.
The team has been on the road for 6 months. This appears to have taken a toll on them.
3. Dew Factor
Dew has played a significant role in the evening matches. However, going wicketless might have hurt India’s confidence. The team boasts of a host of bowling talent, including Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.
In the meantime, the Indian bowlers were only able to manage two wickets in the game against New Zealand as Bumrah stroked twice. Irrespective of the two scalps, the chase had been easy for New Zealand.
Nevertheless, with the return of Ravichandran Ashwin to the side, his bowling attack proved to be effective in the match against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi as they tried chasing the 211-run target.
Coach Arun said that dew has been a primary factor behind their loss, but there can be no excuses. He stated that they should have batted better in the match. According to him, in the first match, they did have a chance to defend their total, but their performance appeared to be a little below par.
4. Kohli’s Retirement
Virat Kohli announced that this T20 World Cup is going to be his last as captain in T20 International cricket. Several people expected India to get the World Cup title as a return gift for the Indian captain.
In 2017, he took over the role of the Indian Team’s captain from Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Since then, he has taken the team to new heights. However, he hasn’t ever been able to win a major ICC trophy or title. As per Gautam Gambhir, the timing might have made the team emotional and unsettled. Whether it has been a reason or not is not sure but Kohli is sure to leave the captaincy without a World Cup crown to his name.
5. Too Many Experts
MS Dhoni, the former wicket-keeper, and skipper traveled with the team as a mentor for the marquee event to provide his expertise. This has been appreciated by the fans, as well as Kohli because Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings lifted the IPL trophy for the 4th time. Moreover, Dhoni had led India to the T20 World Cup title, too in the inaugural edition and ODI World Cup 2011.
However, Gautam Gambhir, the former Indian batter had asked for an explanation on MS Dhoni’s role as he sat alongside Ravi Shastri, the head coach, the bowling coach, and the assistant coach.
All these points led to India’s surprising exit from the T20 World Cup without reaching the semi finals. Let’s hope that the Indian team will learn lessons from this World Cup and come back strongly in the next edition of 2022 T20 World Cup.