The Indian Cricket Team wiped off a modest challenge from the Namibia Cricket Team in the final league game of the T20 World Cup 2021. Unfortunately for the Men in Blue, the commanding win was a mere consolation as they ended their run in the Super 12 stage of the competition.
Despite three comprehensive victories at the back end, India’s fate was sealed due to two hapless losses against group leaders Pakistan and New Zealand. All the chatter about India’s tremendous record in ICC events against Pakistan was in vain, as Virat Kohli’s side were mauled in a comfortable 10-wicket victory for Babar Azam’s men.
The scanner will be on the selectors and team management, as India clearly struggled to find their best XI throughout the competition. Several Indian players failed to live up to the billing, with the majority performing only after the crunch games were over.
Here are three Indian players who disappointed in the T20 World Cup.
#3 Ishan Kishan
Ishan Kishan’s international career has been one where he has blown hot and cold, with remarkable innings followed by listless stays at the top. He entered the T20 World Cup following a very underwhelming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 campaign, saved somewhat with his two blistering knocks at the fag end.
Following the pattern, Kishan played a strong knock against England in the warm-up game before being all at sea when it mattered, in a virtual must-win game against New Zealand. Walking back for 4 off 8, Kishan was left out for the rest of the tournament as Suryakumar Yadav recovered from injury and did not have a chance to make amends.
#2 Bhuvneshwar Kumar
There was a cloud of uncertainty hanging over Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s readiness for the T20 World Cup. His pace appeared to be down, his death bowling skill had waned, and he too had endured a nightmare season in the IPL with the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Taken apart for 50 runs in the warm-up game against England, he pulled things back against Australia to enter the T20 World Cup with some confidence.
Defending a par score of 151 against Pakistan, Bhuvneshwar could not make a dent in the superlative Pakistani opening pair and leaked runs at close to nine an over without taking a wicket. After the lackluster display, Bhuvneshwar was benched as India sought more balance and potency with the ball.
#1 Shardul Thakur
Unlike Kishan and Bhuvneshwar, Shardul Thakur entered the World Cup on a high. Something of a national hero after his Test displays against England, and fresh off a terrific, title-winning IPL season, expectations were on Thakur to add balance and wicket-taking ability to an uninspiring Indian bowling attack.
However, Thakur proceeded to heavily disappoint, both with bat and ball, in his lone encounter against New Zealand. Unable to trouble the scorers when the occasion was ripe for a few big death-overs boundaries, he also leaked 17 runs from just 1.3 overs. Although the Indian team collectively underperformed, Thakur disappointed to the greatest extent in comparison to the expectations from him.
Q. Should India have started with Shardul Thakur in their playing XI?