India were one of the pre-tournament favourites along with England for T20 World Cup. They had one of the strongest teams on paper. Their spin attack was varied and lethal. India had everything going for them. They even dominated both their warmup games in the build-up to the tournament. India were even placed in a slightly easier group along with Pakistan and New Zealand being the other contenders.
The men in blue just had to win either of those 2 games to move into the semifinals. But alas their campaign was as good as over with losses against these 2 teams. India managed to overcome the huge deficit with thumping wins over Afghanistan and Scotland, but in the end, it didn’t really matter.
We look at 3 reasons why India failed to qualify for the semis:
#3 Lack of clarity and intent
India comfortably chased down scores in both their warmup games. They were caught off guard when they were put in to bat in the first game against Pakistan. India seemed caught in the moment and had no answers to Shaheen Afridi’s opening burst with the new ball. To their credit, they still managed to post a competitive total (151) on board. But it wasn’t enough on the day with dew aiding the chasing team.
India were so desperate to win the toss in the game against New Zealand that the moment they lost it, their body language wore a lost look. India failed to score a single boundary in the middle overs against New Zealand. They shuffled their top-order to counter Trent Boult but failed spectacularly against all their bowlers.
India managed to score just 110 in a must-win game. Their clarity and intent was questionable. India looked far from being a champion team in T20 World Cup.
#2 Team combination/selection
The 15 member squad that was selected for the World Cup prior to the IPL seemed the right one. But the majority of the members saw a decline in form in the 2nd half leading to fans and experts questioning their selections. India would have been better served with rewarding players like Harshal Patel and Mohammad Siraj in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami. The exclusion of Yuzvendra Chahal over Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy made no logical sense. India’s team combination looked out of depth in the first two games. They lost the match even before they took the field.
#1 Tired and a jaded outfit
India lacked the energy and zeal you often associate with them especially during a big ICC tournament. They looked totally spent in the most crucial game against Pakistan and New Zealand. The oppositions were easily able to pinch singles and choke them from taking crucial singles while batting. Their batting looked toothless and completely out of sorts in the game against the Kiwis.
A demanding bio-bubble life finally took a toll on the Indian team who have been playing in the bubble environment for over a year now. Something had to give and sadly it cost them a potential World Cup.