Since India’s ICC T20 World Cup campaign began, India has lost to Pakistan and New Zealand with three matches still remaining in the group stage. In these 2 matches, the men in blue could bag only 2 wickets and hit 6 over-boundaries which is downright pathetic, considering it is a T20I tournament. It’s sad to say, but India is second behind Namibia in Group 2 of the Super 12s.
The Dubai International Stadium was already two-thirds empty before even the match ended against New Zealand and the frustration of the fans was visible. The in-person crowd made it evident with their leave, boos, and silence, however, the netizen fans had their keyboards to express their frustration and discomfort.
In their second game of the T20 World Cup, India faced New Zealand, and it turned out to be another painful episode in their struggling run in the World Cup following their loss to Pakistan. Twitterati appeared to be furious with the squad after a shattering 10 wickets loss to arch-rivals Pakistan followed by the 8-wickets defeat against New Zealand. Top-four qualifying for the Men in Blue now appears improbable, with the outcome dependent on the destiny of the other teams.
Everyone is having their opinions on social media. However, some of these opinions will really make you think, make you scratch your head. Like, sure, Kohli’s captaincy has long been under the gunpoint, but this particular tweet by Nick Compton will bring back some old controversies and leave you with several questions. Nick wrote, “I just don’t understand how Kohli’s prickly relationship with Ashwin is allowed to keep him out of Indian teams? Do you think Captains should be allowed such autonomy?” Is Nick on point?
On 31st October night, India seemed to be totally out of form. Yes, there will always be a losing and a winning side in a game. However, the attitude on the pitch is something you cannot hide. Journalist Boria Majumdar explained what most of us die-hard fans felt yesterday. He wrote, “India did not compete. That hurts. You win and you lose. But here you did not even compete.”
John Etheridge also had something similar to say while pointing out the problems of the bio-bubble that the Indian players are facing. “India lose again and are struggling to avoid an early exit. They have taken a total of two wickets in two matches and the batting is malfunctioning, too. Several players have been in bubbles since June. Maybe they are jaded – they certainly lacked inspiration or intent,” John tweeted.
Now, coming to another point of view, and it’s about the Indian Premier League. IPL 2021 has provided an excellent opportunity for Indian cricketers to acclimate to the temperature and pitch conditions. Despite having the advantage of playing on UAE wickets, Team India’s batting lineup played badly against New Zealand, leaving supporters upset, as seen by the #BanIPL hashtag on social media.
A user named @devarpana wrote: “All eyes on money. Not on country” with #BanIPL. These are some serious allegations. However, it may be time to rebuild the T20 side in the same way as England did following their early elimination from the ICC 2015 Cricket World Cup. The IPL may have given India a plethora of options, but because those pieces fit very well for their respective franchises.
But there is no guarantee that they will perform well at the national level unless the players play the brand of cricket required in the modern game and play a role that they may not be comfortable playing in the IPL. Either they are overly cautious or they go for their shots from the first ball. Hence, Michael Vaughan had some advice for the men in blue. “India should take a leaf out of all other countries … Allow their players to play in other leagues around the World to gain experience … #India #T20WorldCup,” the English pundit wrote on Twitter.
It’s worth noting that these guys have been playing in bio-bubbles nonstop since July, and tiredness may have set in. The players were in the UAE for the IPL in less than a week after playing four Test matches in England, and the IPL wasn’t done when the World Cup began. Many desperate fans, on the other hand, stated that the BCCI and Indian players are just concerned with what pays them money.
A user named @Viv1_Yadav_ wrote: “#INDvsNZ #IndiaVsNewZealand #BanIPL These are not Indian player , These are Businessman Virat – Environmentalist nit Captain”
@yashbansal906 wrote: “#BanIPL #T20WorldCup21 #IndiaVsNewZealand #INDvNZ This is IPL team. IPL should be banned. They are just creating propaganda. Virat kohli the worst captain ever.”
@Adarshshrma2429 took a shot even at MS Dhoni as well: “The kind of hype was created when he became mentor was like India have won World cup already. Now he’s seen nowhere when Team India is struggling. Everyone including BCCI selectors, Mentor, Coach, Captain, Players will be responsible if India lost today. #INDvsNZ #banIpl”
Team India hasn’t shown any form of spirit that would make all the fans cheer from their heart once again. Yes, there are still people who are standing by Virat Kohli and by all means, we still believe in him. But something needs to change. There is a sense of doubt, lack of confidence, and a lot of inconsistencies in this Indian squad. Sure, India may still qualify for the World Cup semi-finals, but failing to do so may serve them better in the long run.
Their defeat to the West Indies in the 2016 World Cup, in which their obsession with running twos and keeping wickets in hand was exposed by a team of power-hitters, did not result in any obvious change in their T20 strategy; perhaps a humiliating exit in Kohli’s final act as captain will signal a culture shift.
Having a look at the semi-final scenario, India will require both Scotland and Namibia to defeat either New Zealand or Pakistan, or both, while New Zealand defeats Afghanistan. Even if India wins the next 3 games, they will still be at the mercy of other teams which is already humiliating enough. Surely, New Zealand has taunted India once again. As @Vimalwa writes: “NZ population is lesser than Delhi and yet they have humbled India in 2019 ODI World Cup semi, 2020 WTC final and now an all important #indvsnz game in #T20WorldCup21 #CricketTwitter #t20worldcup2021 . Clearly,NZ is the bogey team for Team India.”