WI Lendil Simmons  against India during the semifinal World T20 held at Wankhade stadium.
Express photo by Kevin DSouza, Mumbai 31-03-2016.
WI Lendil Simmons against India during the semifinal World T20 held at Wankhade stadium. Express photo by Kevin DSouza, Mumbai 31-03-2016.

India finally run out of luck – World Cup T20 2016

India are finally out of the World Cup T20 2016 after their defeat against West Indies in Mumbai two days back. For starters winning and loosing will continue till the time the game itself exists so to loose shouldn’t be the end of the world anyways. A detailed analysis though helps a team to cut those mistakes in future and emerge as a better side.

Shikhar Dhawan would be cursing his luck for being dropped on a deck made for batsmen. The Indian Team management strangely persisted with him on pitches where the ball wasn’t coming on to the bat and dropped him when they were presented with  a batting beauty. Wasn’t it the first time since the India vs Australia T20 series a month and a half back that Indian batsmen were presented with belter of a track? A hand eye player like Shikhar couldn’t  have imagined for a better chance to prove his worth as an opener. India included Ajinkya Rahane in the playing eleven and he scored 40 off 35 deliveries. The boundaries at Wankhede Stadium aren’t the biggest in the world and even half hits tend to go for sixes. In such batsmen friendly conditions and considering the strength of West Indies batsmen it was an extremely slow and painstaking innings by Rahane. 35 deliveries in those conditions should have fetched at least 55 runs if not more keeping in mind that India lost just one wicket till the 16th over with the score on 128.

The absence of a left hander in the top three also restricted Indian charge on spinners Benn and Badree who conceded just 62 runs off their 8 overs on a pitch where Ashwin and Jadeja went for 68 in their 6 overs. Right handers Kohli and Rahane were finding it difficult to go against the left arm orthodox of Benn and slippery leg spinners of Badree. A left hander would have tackled the ball coming into him more efficiently and would have hit a few more boundaries giving those extra 15-20 runs which India fell short in the end.

It was unnerving and disappointing to see the Indian team management’s desire to play on spin friendly pitches throughout the tournament. It was beyond perceptible limits to understand as to why a team which trounced Australia 3-0 on true wickets in their own backyard was suddenly skeptical to play on the Indian batting beauties. The batsmen barring a few kept under performing and the bowlers were made to look outstanding on turning tracks. This tactics was bound to backfire in case India played on true wickets as exactly happened in Mumbai.

Indian bowlers did most of the things right apart from bowling two no balls, the beneficiary being Lendl Simmons both times. There was hardly anything the Indian bowlers could do as the threat of spin was negated by the dew and fast medium bowlers went for plenty with West Indians latching on anything loose. It was a pitch for big hitting and it was difficult to stop fours and sixes once the batsmen were set. The high spirited Hardik Pandya would do well to add a few more varieties to his arsenal. His back of length deliveries are an easy opportunity for a batsman looking to clear his front foot and hit over long on and square leg. What’s surprising is that  the bowling coaches have not been able to work with Pandya to develop a full delivery in 3 months since he’s playing international cricket.

Ravindra Jadeja is an outstanding bowler in helpful conditions but if the pitch doesn’t offer assistance he tends to loose grip on his line and length and can go for plenty. Another surprising decision was to give the last over to Virat with West Indies needing 8 runs off the final over. Ashwin had 2 overs left and even though he leaked runs earlier, he would have been a much better bet as compared to Kohli who with his bowling action can never land six balls without bowling a short delivery. It showed that Dhoni was only hoping for a miracle  and didn’t actually had the conviction that India could win from that situation. He chose to gamble with Joginder Sharma in 2007 T20 World Cup final but then Pakistan were 9 down and Misbah played the worst shot to make a bad decision a genius one. Joginder never played for India again and it shows that he wasn’t good enough to be in the Indian side,  leave alone bowl the last over of a T20 final. West Indies had too many hitters in their ranks and Virat’s innocuous  leg cutters were easy meat for them. They finished it of with two big hits and the Mumbai crowd were left to ponder over what could have been.

About Ketan Tiwari

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