Unanswered riddles leads to India's semi-final exit
India lacking the courage to take some bold decisions (Source: OneCricket)
A T20 World Cup, India begin as the favourites and then losing disappointingly in an important match to bow out of the tournament. Indian fans must be habituated with the feeling by now.
After a strong Super 12, India was just outplayed in the semi-final by England. It was a humiliating defeat to say the least. England made a mockery of the Indian bowling as they chased down 169 runs in 16 overs without losing a single wicket.
It is now not a matter of having a bad day, India is consistently failing to deliver when it matters. Premium performances in bi-lateral series is pushing the team management to ignore the real issues within the team.
So, what went wrong for the team in the all important semi-finals?
Why KL Rahul?
KL Rahul has now 5 half-centuries in two T20 World Cups from 11 innings. A great and impressive record, right? Now, let us see the teams he has scored these runs against. His 5 half-centuries have come against Scotland, Afghanistan, Namibia, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Well, no disrespect to the teams, but it has become a norm for Rahul to deliver in matches against teams which do not have a threatening bowling attack and in which India is not under pressure.
When your opener is not able to perform under pressure or failing to play the role you demand of him, it calls for some hard decisions. A lot of talent in Rahul but he has not stood up to the hype at all. His failure to go big in the powerplays have forced Rohit Sharma to change his natural game and has left 50% of what he is.
Where was Yuzvendra Chahal?
In 2022, Yuzvendra Chahal has picked up 21 wickets. Before the start of the World Cup he was the joint highest wicket taker along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar in T20Is for India. But as the World Cup started the team management decided to persist with Axar Patel.
Well, the reason for Axar's inclusion given by the team management was his batting ability. So, the day your top 5 fails, Axar will be rescuing you? What is the logic behind this thinking?
Also, especially in the Adelaide pitch we saw how the leg spinners did for England. Even, Buttler used Livingstone as a leg-spinner, and there India decided to set Chahal out, an absolute error in judgement during team selection.
Lack of intent in the powerplays
Throughout the tournament India lacked intent in the powerplays. They had the lowest run rate in the powerplays of the top 4 teams.
The lack of intent and confusion at the top of the order forced Kohli to do the repair job throughout the tournament. The question arises here what happened to the template of positive batting that was spoken of before the World Cup. There were talks about openers going 'bang bang' from the beginning but as the tournament started there was a 180 degree turn in that approach.
Experimentation ahead of the tournament
India kept on chopping and changing and trying out players at different positions before the tournament. They tried Rishabh Pant, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda at the opening slot in Rahul's absence.
Since, they were already tested why the call of trying some one else was not taken when Rahul failed to deliver in the Asia Cup?