Kiwis fly away to semis, Kohli-Shastri era ends without ICC title

Despite having the most popular, competitive and cash-rich franchise T20 tournament, IPL, they have not been able to play the aggressive brand of cricket, which is the norm in the format.

Published: 08th November 2021 09:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th November 2021 09:40 AM   |  A+A-

India's Ravichandran Ashwin with captain Virat Kohli. (Photo | AP)

India's Ravichandran Ashwin with captain Virat Kohli. (Photo | AP)

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  It was all but over the moment India lost to the two strongest teams — Pakistan and New Zealand — in a relatively easy Group 2 of the T20 World Cup.

On Sunday, New Zealand ensu­red there was no parting gift for coach, Ravi Shastri, and outgoing T20I captain, Virat Kohli as they entered semifinals after beating Afghanistan. Kohli-Shastri era has ended without an ICC title to show.

For a team that was considered favourites, that India had to rely on net run-rate (NRR) and other teams’ outcomes to get into the semifinals showed how they lost the plot too early. India’s match against Namibia on Monday is inconsequential.  

Despite having the most popular, competitive and cash-rich franchise T20 tournament, IPL, they have not been able to play the aggressive brand of cricket, which is the norm in the format. They have lot to catch up in a format where England and Paksitan are miles ahead of them.

While toss did play a role in their defeats to Pakistan and New Zealand, it is worth pointing out they played bad cricket to begin with, especially on the batting front.

They looked listless and jaded. Even team selections were questionable at times.

“There’s no excuses. We should have done better. We should have batted better. And also the first match we had a chance to defend our total. But we looked a little below par,” confessed India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun on Sunday.

“We were the tournament favourites. But it was most unfortunate that we lost the first two games. And that put us in a very precarious situation.”

What can’t be overlooked was how tired the India players were during the tournament.

While England, Pakistan and New Zealand came with adequate rest before the World Cup, India were busy playing the IPL just nine days before their first match.

The life in a bio-bubble too is not easy in times of Covid. Perhaps, it’s time for BCCI to introspect and not cramp their schedule before World Cups. And time has also come to look at different team for T20s. 

Abu dhabi curator found dead, probe on

The Abu Dhabi cricket stadium’s Indian chief curator, Mohan Singh, was found dead in his room on Sunday hours before the T20 World Cup game between Afghanistan and New Zealand here.

According to UAE Cricket sources, the 45-year-old, who hailed from Uttarakhand, was suffering from depression.

The International Cricket Council paid tributes to him but did not reveal the cause of death. Sources revealed investigations are underway.



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