Defeat to West Indies raises concerns
After losing the second T20I to West Indies by 2 wickets, Venkatesh Prasad reiterates his ‘ordinary’ take on the
Indian cricket team. A second consecutive defeat to West Indies has come as a wake-up call to Hardik Pandya’s
ambitious bunch of youngsters, as another defeat would mark their first bilateral series defeat to the Caribbean
side in 21 years. This is also the team’s third defeat on the tour, which raises concerns about India’s preparations
for the World Cup two months from now and the World T20 next year. The Men in Blue need to address certain burning
questions, one of which is the lack of intent, pointed out by Prasad.
India’s underperformance in T20 World Cup
Last month, Prasad had called India an ‘ordinary’ team after their defeat to West Indies in the 2nd ODI. In
an extension of the same tweet, Prasad highlighted which he felt were certain shortcomings plaguing the Indian
team. The former India fast bowler, who was part of India’s support staff when the team won the T20 World Cup
back in 2007, feels the team has underachieved given the IPL experience most players have.
“Very, very ordinary. No point in brushing it aside. After the 2007 T20 World Cup, IPL started and we haven’t won
a T20 World Cup in 7 attempts since, making only 1 final. The intensity and hunger to win needs to be far more,”
India’s second best T20 World Cup performance was back in 2014 when they reached the final but lost to Sri Lanka.
They finished runner-up in 2016 and put up one of their worst shows ever in 2021 when they were eliminated in
the first round itself following defeats to Pakistan and New Zealand. Last year, India reached the semifinal again
but were outplayed by England, who knocked them out by 10 wickets. Roughly 10 months remain for the 2024 T20 World
Cup, but going by Prasad’s comment, he clearly isn’t too optimistic about the Indian team’s chances.
Prasad baffled at India’s tactical blunder
Weighing in on India’s defeat in the Guyana, Prasad was at a loss of words not seeing Yuzvendra Chahal finish
his quota of overs. The leg-spinner had picked up two wickets in the 16th over, dismissing a set-looking Shimron
Hetmyer for 22 and Jason Holder for a duck, but as the equation got tighter with West Indies requiring 12 off
the last 2 overs, Hardik gave the ball to Mukesh Kumar, who in 5 balls, conceded a six and a four to give West
Indies the win and a 2-0 lead. Prasad, like many others, failed to make sense of Hardik’s tactics that has made
this series do-or-die for India.
“Yesterday after Yuzi took 2 wickets in the 16th over and got India back into the game in what was his third
over and West Indies 8th down and he didn’t bowl again and No 9 and 10 for WI found the pacers easy to handle.
Should be smarter at these moments then just doing textbook stuff,” he mentioned.