India Fallen Way Short in Opening Two Games of T20 World Cup

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India went into the T20 World Cup this year as the favourites to prevail, however, they have fallen a long way short of their best in the opening two games, losing to Pakistan and New Zealand. In their opening match of the tournament, India suffered an embarrassing defeat to their rivals Pakistan, losing by 10 wickets. After India finished with 151/7, Pakistan reached their total with ease, not losing a wicket.

India were favourites to bounce back against New Zealand but their batting line-up failed to shine again. They were restricted to a tame score of 110/7 following their 20 overs. Ravindra Jadeja was their highest scorer with a 26 not out. The Kiwis reached their target following just 14.3 overs.

Those two disappointing results will have come as a big surprise to India fans: their side looked in great form in their two warm-up matches. They beat the number one ranked team in the ICC T20 rankings, England, by seven wickets. A game later, they were impressive in their success over Australia, where Rohit Sharma starred with the bat.

India have been successful in six of their last seven T20 series. Their only defeat in that run came in Sri Lanka where some of their biggest names were rested. Unfortunately for supporters of India, their side have been unable to replicate that form so far.

Given the weight of the nation, there is a lot of pressure on India to perform at this World Cup. They have only once lifted the trophy and that was in the inaugural year of the tournament in 2007. In 2014 they did reach the final but were beaten by Sri Lanka. It looks like they are feeling that pressure in Dubai and Oman.

This World Cup is set to be Kohli’s last in charge of the T20 team. He is set to give up the role following the competition; however, he will be available for selection. India’s captain has given so much to his country over the last decade. The team will be desperate to ensure he bows out from the captaincy with the trophy.

IPL Yet To Benefit India On International Stage

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is the biggest franchise T20 cricket league in the world. It is a great chance for domestic players to make a name for themselves on a huge stage. Big performances in the IPL can lead to an international call-up.

Unfortunately for India, they do not seem to have benefited on the international stage by the IPL. Their T20 cricketers play a lot of this format throughout the year, but it has not helped them in the T20 World Cup. West Indies are the only team which have done the best so far as they are the only repeat winners of the competition.

It could be argued that the IPL has benefited from the input of many other countries as the franchises invite overseas players, which has helped to sharpen their short-format game. The biggest names in the world will return to India in 2022 for the next edition of the league, which is already looking to be promising. Evidently, the popularity of the league is huge. Just take a look at the best cricket betting sites in India and you can come to understand the hype, with betting markets already open and available for eager fans to hedge their predictions for the tournament all the way in 2022.

Chennai Super Kings, who are captained by MS Dhoni, won the IPL in 2021. They are amongst the early favourites to defend their crown next year. Their roster includes the likes of Jadeja and Shardul Thakur, two players who are featuring in the T20 World Cup for India at the moment.

What Does Future Hold For India?

The post-Kohli period in T20 cricket is the chance for India to name a new leader of the team. There are a number of candidates who are being linked with the role, including Sharma. The vice-captain has a lot of experience in international cricket and he would ensure there is a seamless transition.

Prior to the World Cup, Sharma has been in excellent form in all formats of the sport. He had a brilliant tour of England where he helped India have a lot of success in the Test arena. The opening batsman is also heavily respected inside the dressing room. Sharma is 34-year-old now so he would not be a long-term option. However, what it would do is give the selectors more time to find a replacement for the future. They could work alongside Sharma as the vice-captain of the team to gain experience.

India will be hoping to bounce back from their disappointing defeats to Pakistan and New Zealand. There is no more room for error in the tournament. They need to find their best game fast.

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