T20 World Cup: 5 reasons behind Team India’s World Cup fiasco

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File image of Indian cricket team

Virat Kohli‘s Team India were named favourites to win the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 in the build-up to the mega event. The fortune was also with Indian team as they were drawn in the easy group after the Group stage matches as Namibia and Scotland were the two teams to qualify for the Super 12 in their group. This meant that India had to beat either Pakistan or New Zealand to secure their place in the semifinal of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. 

The Men in Blue received the worst possible start as they were thrashed by arch-rivals Pakistan in their opening fixture of the mega event. India then crossed swords against New Zealand which was a virtual quarter-final for them. However, too many changes in the playing XI and experiments with batting order resulting in poor cricket cost India the game against Kiwis. 

Two defeats in two games meant that India had to depend on other teams to beat New Zealand and give them a chance of qualifying through the better Net Run Rate. However, that was not meant to happen and even after winning the last three matches against relatively easier teams with big margins, India could not qualify for the semifinal. 

The T20 World Cup 2022 will be played in Australia and with a new coach in the name of Rahul Dravid and a new skipper in Rohit Sharma, Team India have one year to assess the mistake that they made this year and prepare a new team for the next WC. 

We will try to decode the reasons behind India’s debacle in T20 World Cup 2021. 

Absence of 6th bowler

India went with three pacers in the name of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the first game against Pakistan. The two spinners in the bowling attack were left-arm spinners Ravinder Jadeja and mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy. With Kumar making comeback in the side and Chakravarthy playing his first ICC event, India were in desperate need of a 6th bowler. However, Hardik Pandya – the bowler was still unavailable. This forced Kohli to continue with five bowling options. Even though Kohli – the bowler was seen bowling in the practice game, but he did not roll his arm in the Super 12 stage. 

After an embarrassing defeat against Pakistan where bowlers failed to take a single wicket, in the second game Hardik bowled two overs against New Zealand where he was hammered for 17 runs. Hardik the bowler never turned up and India did not have any ‘Plan B’ for it which hurt them big time. 

Hardik Pandya the bowler in ICC T20 World Cup 2021

  • vs New Zealand – 2 overs, 17 runs, 0 wickets
  • vs Afghanistan -  2 overs, 23 runs, 0 Wickets

Fame over form 

Ishan Kishan played a blistering knock of 70 runs in just 46 balls with the help of seven fours and three sixes in Team India’s first warm-up match against England. The Southpaw continued from where he left in IPL 2021. However, he was left out of Men in Blue’s playing XI for the first game. Hardik Pandya, who was out of form throughout the IPL 2021, was kept in the playing XI even though it was clear that he will not be bowling. Here, the Indian team mangement backed an out of form player to deliver and kept out an in-form batter. 

Hardik Pandya in IPL 2021

  • Matches – 12
  • Runs – 127
  • Average – 14.11
  • Strike Rate – 113.39
  • Wickets – 0

Dismal bowling show in campaign openers

There was a gap of just two days between the IPL 2021 final and the first game of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. The players travelled directly in the bubble and did not get enough rest ahead of the marquee event. This was clearly an event in the very first match where Team India where thrashed by Pakistan by 10 wickets. India’s star-studded bowling lineup of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar failed to take a single wicket in the game. In the next encounter as well Bumrah was the only bowler with wickets against his name. India’s mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy and left-arm spinner Ravinder Jadeja was tackled beautifully by Pakistan and Kiwi batters. 

Indian bowlers against Pakistan 

  • Bhuvneshwar Kumar – 0/25
  • Mohammed Shami – 0/43
  • Jasprit Bumrah – 0/22
  • Varun Chakravarthy – 0/33
  • Ravindra Jadeja – 0/28

Indian bowlers against New Zealand


  • Bhuvneshwar Kumar – 0/25
  • Mohammed Shami – 0/11
  • Jasprit Bumrah – 2/19
  • Shardul Thakur – 0/17
  • Ravindra Jadeja – 0/23
  • Hardik Pandya – 0/17

Virat Kohli’s on T20I captaincy notice period  

Just ahead of the T20 World Cup, Virat Kohli announced that he will be stepping down from the T20I captaincy for the WC as he wanted to manage his workload. This, in many ways, pulled the team’s morale down. The focus shifted away from the T20 World Cup and landed on who will be the next skipper of the Indian cricket team in the shortest format of the game. The announcement of the decision could have been timed a bit better. 

Crunch situation collapse

Facing arch-rivals Pakistan in the very first game of the mega event put India under pressure and as has been the case for in recent past, the team failed to sock up the pressure. Virat became the first Indian captain to lose a match by 10 wickets while this was Pakistan’s first 10 wicket win. In a high octane game like this, the ability to keep the team’s nerves calm helped Pakistan big time. 

In the second game, the India team mangement panicked and made two many changes in the playing XI as Ishan Kishan was brought in as an opener and Rohit Sharma had to bat one place down his usual batting order and this desperate effort to stretch the batting order did not help at all. In the bowling as well India left experienced Bhuwaneshwar Kumar and brought in Shardul Thakur. These changes were made in a do-or-die match and they backfired. In the end, India were hoping that the minnows will upset Blackcaps which did not happen. 



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