The hunt for an ICC title continues for the Indian team, with the 209-run loss against Australia adding to their tally of misfiring performances on the big stage.
The riddle over India’s underperformance in ICC events is not showing any signs of chancing a resolution. For the alternate time in two successive editions, the men from the key fell at the final chain, this time going down to Australia in the title- decider. Two times agone, it was the New Zealand platoon that had averted India from bagging the Test mace. The platoon’s repeated failures on the big stage have indeed left the critics short of words, with the crux of the story of India’s downfall seeing the platoon repeating analogous miscalculations.
There is arguably no man in the world who studies his opponents the way Ravichandran Ashwin does. The off- incentive has learned from every mistake in his career to make stronger comebacks. A true legend in the Test format, Ashwin had reportedly started medications for the World Test Championship final during the Indian Premier League. But, when the day of reckoning came, he set up himself warming the bench for India’s most important Test match in the last two times.
The Indian platoon operation had its reasons but Ashwin’s absence against a platoon that had 5 left- handers was beyond thwarting. Indeed the great Sachin Tendulkar could not digest the fact that India had left Ashwin out of the XI.
Whenever India fail in an ICC event, the blame drops hard on the Indian Premier League. Though there is no denying that the cricketing macrocosm is snappily transitioning into a ballot- grounded ecosystem, the fact that Indian players had to play the WTC final not long after the conclusion of the T20 league, could’ve played its part.
The likes of Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and a number of other players who were busy playing for their votes till the business end of the IPL 2023 season plodded for form against a further empty Australian side.
For Australia, in comparison, the likes of Steve Smith, Travis Head, Scott Boland, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and a many others did not indeed point in the 16th edition of the IPL.
Going forward, Indian players would need to prioritise as WTC tests are likely to be held in June, not long after the conclusion of IPL seasons.
Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Virat Kohli, all punched below their weight, scoring a aggregate of 193 runs cumulatively in the match. It was only because of Ajinkya Rahane’s 89 and Shardul Thakur’s 51 in the first innings that India managed to reach a pride- saving aggregate of 296 runs. Barring them, no batter could score a half- century.
In the alternate innings, the likes of Rohit, Pujara, Kohli and Rahane got off to fine thresholds but could not convert them to big scores. As former India captain Sourav Ganguly correctly refocused out after the match, the pars of Indian batters have drastically reduced over the last couple of times. The shot selection of some players, including Kohli, is bound to be questioned.
In events like the WTC final, indeed the big names could not stand up and deliver. Know More Latest Cricket News…