Former India cricketers lined up to slate Virat Kohli’s side after Sunday’s crushing eight-wicket defeat by New Zealand left them on the brink of elimination from the Twenty20 World Cup.
India dropped to fifth in Group II, with their semi-final hopes virtually extinguished after managing to muster only 110 for seven when they were put in to bat in Dubai.
A loss nobody expected so soon
Champions at the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007, India have not claimed the title since and their batting collapse came in for scathing criticism.
“Very disappointing from India. NZ was amazing. India’s body language wasn’t great, poor shot selection,” former opening batsman Virender Sehwag wrote on Twitter.
Very disappointing from India. NZ were amazing. India’s body language wasn’t great, poor shot selection & like few times in the past, New Zealand have virtually ensured we won’t make it to the next stage. This one will hurt India & time for some serious introspection #IndvsNZ
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) October 31, 2021
“Like (a) few times in the past, New Zealand has virtually ensured we won’t make it to the next stage. This one will hurt India and time for some serious introspection.”
Gautam Gambhir, who won the 50-over World Cup with Sehwag in 2011, said India had the skill but lacked “mental toughness”.
“Talent is one thing … You can do really well in bilateral (series) but when it comes to these kinds of tournaments, this is when you have to stand up and perform,” he told ESPN Cricinfo.
“It’s been a trend, it’s been happening at most ICC tournaments.”
Former middle-order batsman VVS Laxman said India’s chances of making the semi-finals were a “distant dream” as their net run rate had also taken a beating.
“This defeat should hurt team India. Tentative with the bat, their shot selection was questionable,” Laxman said. “New Zealand bowled superbly, but India made their task easier.”
Opinions by experts
Former England captain Michael Vaughan said India had been left behind and was still playing “2010 cricket”.
“The game has moved on,” he said. “For all the talent and depth in India … they underachieved massively for years in white-ball cricket.”
Former fast bowler Sikander Bakht also said India was under pressure right from the word go, adding that their media is to blame for the below-par performance of the cricketers.
New Zealand defeated India by 8 wickets Sunday to score their maiden victory of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. The clash was an important one for both sides, each having lost to Pakistan in earlier matches.
New Zealand pacers Trent Boult and Tim Southee never let the Indian batsmen settle at the Dubai pitch, with the former taking three wickets while the latter took a single one.
Reuters with additional input by GVS