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Serial contender depart from World Cup

SportsSerial contender depart from World Cup

New Delhi: India lost in a slugfest of an English batting onslaught. In the second semi-final match of the T20 World Cup 2022, played at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday, 10 November, England bulldozed their way to victory,  defeating India with 10 wickets to spare.
Back home, all fans are dejected. Few have started taunting their cricketing idols as “flat track minnow bashersdols as “flat track minnow bashers.» Most fans, however, want to know how the Indians went from pre-tournament favourites to serial semifinalists for posterity›s sake.
So we attempt to deconstruct and clinically reflect back on 10 reasons for the loss:

1. Break the Jinx
India is a well-known serial semifinalist in ICC tournaments. This is not the first time India has been eliminated in the semi-finals of the T20 and ODI Men›s World Cups. Adelaide in 2022, Manchester in 2019, Mumbai in 2016, and Sydney in 2015.

2. Over-reliance on Virat and Surya
Virat wins your matches. Virat sets records and brings joy to the nation, albeit rather alone. In this tournament, the combination with Suryakumar Yadav amassed over 50 percent of the total India score. In knockout matches, any failure guaranteed that the men in blue would fall, which had a snowball effect on the match. Despite Pandya›s carnage at the end, the Indian batting collapsed and appeared to be 30 runs short.

3. The Posting vs. Chasing Decision
“I would have batted anyway,” Rohit said after losing the toss and being given the opportunity to bat.The team batting first won 7 of the last 23 ICC World Cups, both semi-final and final T20 and ODIs, and the team chasing won 16 of them.Wasim Akram and Sunil Gavaskar have both promoted this fact on their respective TV shows.

4. KL Rahul: Bad or Worse in Big Matches
Statistics show that in big games, KL Rahul is no longer the envy of his neighbours or the pride of his owners, with an abysmal record and slow play that depletes team confidence and slows the momentum of team strategy.
In this World Cup, he scored only 128 runs in six innings.
A look at KL Rahul in tournament semifinals and finals across formats
l 24(14) vs SL (Nidahas Final)
l 1(7) vs NZ (2019 SF)
l 5(5) vs ENG (2022 SF)

5. The David and Rohit combo is insipid
Let’s face it: Rohit is a fantastic striker, but he’s slow on the field and uninspiring in the locker room. Relies on optics and has difficulty passing the YoYo test. The ultimate physical test that defines the fitness of a player. Meanwhile, it’s hard to admit, but Indians need the street smarts and aggression of foreign coaches to bring life back. The brand of Jose Mourinho or Klopp is missing, and surprisingly, England has regained it after the joining of NZ and KKR opener Baz McCullum. Negotiating pressure proceeds everything that’s what was missing. Winning matches is different from earning respect or creating a fresh pool of talented teams. Dravid’s open backing of Rahul has been as disastrous as sticking with non-performer Axar Patel in crucial matches.

6. When India Lost the Plot
In the semifinal vs. England despite the worst possible power play. Worse was yet to come. From the seventh to the tenth over, there was a deluge. India’s power play woes rank in the bottom three of the 12 teams in the World Cup. The beginning of the downfall started at Powerplay. Abysmal, considering India had power hitters who could capitalise on shot boundaries on either side. In the end, Spinners, Rashid, and Livingstone smothered the Indians with their frugal offering of 41 runs in 7 overs. In comparison, the Indian spin duo of Ashwin and Axar allowed 57 runs in six overs. The Indian spinners averaged more than 9 runs per over, while the English duo averaged slightly more than 5. The average run rate between the two sides is telltale of a lack of matchups and aggression in the dugout.
Between the three big guns, Rohit scored seven runs from ten deliveries, and Virat faced 14 of the 10 deliveries. 7-8 over

7. Power play Achilles heel
India’s scores in six overs of the powerplay are 31/3 (vs. Pakistan), 32/1 (vs. the Netherlands), 33/2 (vs. South Africa), 37/1 (vs. Bangladesh), 46/1 (vs. Zimbabwe), and 38/1 against England. According to experts, batters aim at the range of  10-12 runs per over. Shoiab Malik rightly pointed out, “India on the day lacked modern-day cricket acumen.» Adil Rashid was brilliant, while the Indians were toothless tigers. The Indians should have used Pant as a disruptor who was wreaking havoc at short-side boundaries while batting. Ironically, Zimbabwe was more impressive with its out-of-the-box thinking. Coached by Lalchand Rajput, who is now the technical director, the same as Lalu Bhai, who coached India in the T20 World Cup win. The BCCI think tank has set itself the goal of removing MSDhoni as an advisor.

8. Unsettled Team – Problem of Plenty
In the runup to the T20 World Cup, since October 2021, 35 players were tried which included 7 debutants. Also, the lineup against England saw maximum skippers from a team play. Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant & KL Rahul, all have led India. The independent, myriad skippers in the playing 11 always cause disarray in unison.

9. Need of the hour 150+ speedster
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh did well for India in the 2022 T20 World Cup. But India lacked a genuine fast bowler on the Australian pitches who could regularly bowl at speeds of up to 145 kmph. Mohammed Shami was called in after the injury to Jasprit Bumrah, who had not played any T20Is since November last year. No one bites Fir Indians at the start or at the end. New ball bowlers resembled pedestrians because they lacked speed and swing.

10. Pant or DK: decide the future?
After the arrival of Dinesh Karthik, questions arose about the place of Rishabh Pant in the team. Who among the two keepers should be placed in the starting XI? Experiments have been going on for a long time, but even till the last match of Team India’s T20 World Cup, it was undecided.
Now is the time for reconnaissance, considering we are barely 24 months away from the next T20 World Cup in a foreign land, the US.
India desperately needs a new lease on life with fresh skippers, teammates, and perhaps a mentor in a smart, street-smart double-engine coach like MS Dhoni. Meanwhile, the current team management will find solace in The Beatles’ famous song, “Yesterday.”
Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away.
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.
With stats courtesy to Kamaran Muzaffer. The author is the founder of Indian Sports Fan.

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