Former wicketkeeper-batter Saba Karim has described the T20 World Cup 2021 as a very “painful tournament” for India. According to Karim, India went into the ICC event as one of the firm favorites and had a lot going for them.
The Men in Blue were knocked out of the T20 World Cup 2021 after New Zealand defeated Afghanistan on Sunday and sealed their semi-final berth. India suffered the consequences of going down to Pakistan and New Zealand in their first two Super 12 encounters.
Reacting to India’s exit, Karim lamented the team’s below-par performance. He said on the Khelneeti podcast:
“It has been a very painful tournament because, before the World Cup began, everybody thought India will be a firm favourite after a long time. We had reasons to think so as well. We had great match-winners and good young players like Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan. Our cricketers had also played in the UAE in the IPL. Considering all this, it seemed like our team was very well-equipped to do well in the T20 World Cup. That did not happen, which is why we are out of the tournament.”
India will play Namibia in an inconsequential Super 12 encounter in Dubai on Monday.
Sunil Gavaskar reacts to Indian bowling coach’s fatigue claims
In a recent press conference, Team India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun stated that a break between IPL 2021 and the T20 World Cup could have been beneficial for the physical and mental health of the Indian players.
Arun pointed out that the Indian team had been living in bio-bubbles for the past six months.
Reacting to the statement, Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar wondered what stopped the Indian players from taking a break during the IPL. Speaking on Sports Tak, he said:
“…Could some of the Indian players have not played the last few matches of the IPL? Could they have avoided playing that and kept themselves fresh for India? Well, that’s something that they will be able to answer. Particularly when you know that you may not be able to qualify, should some of the players have taken a break and given themselves one week, 10 days break to freshen up and recharge their batteries?”
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The second half of IPL 2021 was held in the UAE and concluded with the final on October 15. India played their first match in the T20 World Cup 2021 against Pakistan in Dubai on October 24.