What surprised fans and pundits alike was not India’s 10-wicket loss to England in the T20 World Cup semi-final, but the way their top league approached the game after being asked to bat first. It was the exact opposite of what captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid have been advocating since taking charge of Team India last year after exiting the Super 12 stage of the tournament. India’s top three Rohit, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli didn’t show enough courage in the first 10 overs, which cost them dearly. The same method had worked in Melbourne and Perth, where there was a lot of bounce and movement up front, and openers from the side were needed to get the side to about 160, but it would never be enough on a track like Adelaide. The English openers Jos Buttler and Alex Hales showed that with their unbroken record.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain said Rohit and Dravid managed to change the mentality in bilateral matches, but the moment it came to an ICC knockout, they reverted to their old conservative style of batting. “I had even asked Ravi Shastri who was the coach of that team (in the last T20 World Cup) and he said ‘we were playing pretty shy cricket’ with the bat and that needs to change. Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid were killed exchange that, and they did it in bilateral matches, they did it against England Suryakumar Yadav hit it around Trent Bridge, got a brilliant 115 (117 from 55) But then you have to take it into a match, where you know that when you lose, the kind of criticism you get. The first time they took that in a knockout match, they fell back to their old style of being 66 for 2 in 10 overs,” Hussain said on Sky Sports.
Hussain said India needs a captain like Eoin Morgan who would liberate them in T20 cricket.
“India is still a huge force. You look at their team on paper. You look at the players they could have picked. It’s a bit like England. There were some blows like most teams had like Jasprit Bumrah and Jadeja who were injured. But when it comes to knockout matches, the approach has to change. There is talk of younger guns coming through, but it’s not about the players, it’s about the mindset.
“They need an Eoin Morgan type character to go in and say play carefree cricket. 20 overs, go and smash it as much as you can for 20 overs. Play like you play in the IPL and smash it Do it for India and don’t worry about the noise. Shut out the noise and we’ll be back if you get thrown out for 120,” he stressed.
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