India were the most complete team in the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) cycle. They were the only ones who managed to win two series overseas. India naturally were expected to trump New Zealand in the finals. But after 6 days of gruelling Test cricket (2 days washed out), New Zealand outclassed India to emerge winners. It was New Zealand’s first major ICC tournament win since 2000 (Champions Trophy). There were a lot of discussions about India’s defeat in the finals. Interestingly India last won a major ICC trophy back in 2013 (Champions Trophy). Since then India have qualified for semi-finals (bare minimum) on all occasions. But the silverware has deserted the team. India In ICC Tournaments..
Has Luck Deserted India In ICC Tournaments? Stumpsandbails
India’s consistency in ICC tournaments is unparalleled:
No other team in the cycle from 2014-21 has been as consistent as India in the ICC tournaments. India were the runners-up in the 2014 T20 World Cup. They were semi-finalists in the 2016 T20 World Cup and both ODI World Cups (2015 & 2019). India continued their good run in the WTC too. They finished as runners-up after dominating the 2-year cycle. If you look at the number of semi-final appearances India have made during this phase, there isn’t any team that has come near India. The 6 ICC tournaments has seen 6 different winners. India and South Africa are the only major teams to have not won a single trophy in this interim.
India’s consistent run in ICC trophies has been across formats. They have clearly looked like the best team in all these championships during the league phase. But somehow India have managed to fall short during the big games.
India’s ICC wins in the phase during 2007-13:
During the period between 2007-13, India won all three major ICC trophies. MS Dhoni-led India to the golden treble in this 7-year phase. India seemed destined to win all big trophies. But post the Champions Trophy win in 2013, India have failed to win a single ICC tournament since then.
Why have India failed to win a major title post-2013?
India were undefeated in the 2014 T20 World Cup and entered the finals as overwhelming favourites. But they spectacularly failed in the finals to lose the final. It was India’s first big ICC knockout defeat for India under Dhoni. The pattern continued in the 2015 ODI World Cup too where India’s only loss came in the semi-finals. India lost to the West Indies in the 2016 T20 World Cup semi-finals. The toss played a crucial role in India’s defeat. This marked India’s hattrick of knockout losses in the ICC tournament.
Champions Trophy and World Cup 2019 loss:
Virat Kohli-led India were clear favourites in the Champions Trophy finals against Pakistan in 2017. But the new ball spell of Mohammad Amir ripped apart India’s top-order and India lost the finals. India were easily the best team in the 2019 ODI World Cup losing just 1 game and winning 7 games. But come the semi-final, everything went against them. New Zealand won a crucial toss and elected to bat first. India restricted the Kiwis to a decent score of 240. But the weather decided to play spoilsport and India came in to bat the other day under overcast conditions. India were reduced to 5-3 in the opening four overs of their chase. Their dream run ended in a matter of few minutes.
WTC Final loss:
Toss and weather continued to haunt India in the WTC finals as well. New Zealand won the all-important toss in the rain-affected final. India’s innings was a stop-start affair and owing to weather interruptions, the innings never gained momentum. The conditions changed drastically when New Zealand came to bat. Yet India tried all that they could but finished second to the Kiwis. It is also interesting to note that the English conditions resembled the New Zealand conditions in what was supposed to be a neutral finals venue.
It is not to say that luck is the only factor that has gone against them in the big games. India have failed to seize the big moments for sure during these matches. But the adage of the right moment and the right time has definitely deserted the Indian team.