Great Indian Cricketers: India’s quest to win an ICC event continues to remain an aspiration. The team has failed to win a major trophy in the last 9 years. Every single time the journey to the big game remains seamless only for the team to falter at the last stage. India seems to find a way to implode in the biggest game of the tournament.
The talismans who failed on the big stage:
It wasn’t as if India always had a knack for winning ICC trophies. In a dream run that lasted between September 2007 – July 2013, India won 3 ICC trophies. Their performances in the big games bore a similar look prior to this phase. The team’s biggest players floundered on the big stage. Their failure cost the team big time in such games.
We look at a few such Indian greats who failed in big games:
#4 Rohit Sharma, 2022
The 2022 T20 World Cup was a bizarre campaign on many fronts. It was the first World Cup in a long time that saw an Indian captain struggle in almost all games. Sharma’s best chance to shine came in the semifinals against England as it was the most batting-friendly of all surfaces. But Sharma failed to get going in his 28-ball stay that saw him score 27 runs. His innings eventually cost India 20 runs that could have helped them post a formidable total.
#3 Rahul Dravid, 2007
He was the cornerstone of India’s batting in the 2007 World Cup. The middle order comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, and Yuvraj Singh was arguably the best in the tournament.
Dravid and Yuvraj were expected to take India over the line after their top-order collapsed. But Dravid was involved in a mixup with Yuvraj that cost the latter’s wicket. Dravid failed to take the team home. This loss resulted in a major backlash that saw many names being dropped post the disastrous World Cup.
#2 Sachin Tendulkar – 2003 and 2007
He was the leading run-scorer in the World Cup with 669 runs to his name in 10 games. Sachin Tendulkar was already awarded the player of the tournament award ahead of the finals. He was India’s big hope in the chase of 360 against the mighty Australians. Tendulkar started off with a boundary but got out to the very next ball. His wicket all but diminished hopes of an Indian win.
The 2007 saga:
Tendulkar was playing out of position in the 2007 World Cup. India was chasing a par score against Sri Lanka to make it to the next round. Tendulkar got out to an innocuous ball thereby ruling out any chances of an Indian win.
#1 Virat Kohli, 2019
He was scoring runs for fun in 2019. Virat Kohli had a fine World Cup up until that moment. He was timing the ball beautifully right throughout the group stages. He made valuable contributions to the team’s wins over Australia and Pakistan.
The chase against New Zealand in the semifinal was right up his ally. But in a cruel turn of events, Virat Kohli was trapped in front of an incoming delivery from Trent Boult. India couldn’t recover from that early jolt and went on to lose the semifinal subsequently.