Thursday, May 13, 2010

What actually went wrong for Team India???

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Team India went to T20 WC with some huge expectations and they were one of the favorites to win the tournament. After their comprehensive victories in Group stage, they were looking good. But, suddenly everything started going against them in Super-8 stage. They lost their all 3 games in super-8. So, what actually went wrong for Team India???

India didn't have any warm-up games before the start of the tournament. First two games of the group stage were played in St. Lucia. St. Lucia's pitch is bit slow, it helps spinners and slow bowlers and pitch doesn't have much bounce. So, Indian batsmen didn't have much problem when they played here. Their tactics to use spinners and slow bowlers was successful on this track. The way they won the match against South Africa, was superb. Team India thought that they have found a winning formula here. 

Their first two Super-8 matches were scheduled at Barbados. Barbados' pitch is fast and bouncy. It's very different from St.Lucia. Despite of this fact, Team India played with 3 front-line bowlers (only 2 fast bowlers) in the first two games and depended a lot on slow bowlers like Jadeja, Yusuf and others. This tactics backfired. Jadeja's limitation was exposed by Watson and Warner. This pitch supported fast bowlers more and when India started their batting we saw what happened to them against a top-class fast bowling attack. 

Indians have a history of facing problems with short pitch balls and Australian bowlers took full advantage of this weakness. Team India repeated the same mistake against West Indies. Yet again they went with the same side, trusting slow bowlers but except Harbhajan none of them looked impressive. 170 was not that big target for the Indian batsmen, especially when they were playing with one extra batsman. But again, the same problem with short-pitch balls and they lost in the end. 

They came back to St. Lucia for their last match against Sri Lanka. Suddenly, Indian batsmen started looking good on this slow track. At one stage, they were 90/1 after 10 overs, but they failed to convert it into a big score and managed just 73 runs from the last 10 overs. They had to beat Sri Lanka by atleast 20 runs to take their net run rate above Sri Lanka. 

Bowlers started well but their most successful bowler Harbhajan failed to perform when it mattered the most. He had an off day and when Dhoni looked around, there was no one to deliver for team India and they lost in the end. 

There was a reason behind Harbhajan's failure in this game. As we know, Australia, South Africa and West Indies can't play quality spin that well, so Harbhajan's performance was superb against them. But Sri Lanka is a sub-continent team and sub-continental teams usually play spin well. So, it affected Harbhajan's performance.

Some people are saying that players were tired after playing IPL and that's why they failed to perform. I don't think so. Players from other teams were also playing in IPL but they are performing superbly in World T20. For example, Collingwood and Nannes played for Delhi, Watson and Tait played for Rajasthan but they are performing brilliantly here. 

The only reason behind Team India's early exit from World T20 is that our batsmen were unable to play fast short-pitch deliveries and we don't have any scary fast bowlers who can bowl at 145 kmph atleast. And that's the reason why Indians were unable to take early wickets in both of their games at Barbados. 

Now, the time has come when Team India has to think seriously about their failures in big ICC tournaments. it's three in a row in last one year. Hoping BCCI will give some attention to Indian cricket and not only to Mr. Lalit Modi.

(Image via AFP)

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