Another former Indian cricketer, Ajit Wadekar blames the Indian opening pair of Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir to be a reason for the failure. He said, “The Indian opening pair flopped. They (Sehwag and Gambhir) seemed to be terribly out of form.” The stats also do not do any justice to Sehwag and Gambhir, who were once the most feared opening pair in world cricket. In the opening match against Afghanistan, India lost its opening wicket for just 15 runs on the board. In their matches against Pakistan and Australia in Super Eights, this pair only managed 1 and 21 runs respectively only.
The Indian think tank was aware of the importance of getting to a good start. They even promoted Pathan to open the batting and see if anything would work out. It did not. Look at the performance of the Aussie opening pair of Watson and Warner. They have single handedly helped their country in winning the matches. In any T20 game, it is the openers who are required to give a flying start and build a strong platform for the middle order batsmen.
India for too long has been an unbalanced side, and depends hugely on the batsmen, as the bowlers have always been considered to be the weak link. Wadekar said, “In the bowling department, somewhere it does lack the killing aggression.” Apart from the match against the English and the Pakistanis, the Indian team failed to put up a good performance bowling wise. Kirmani brings in the consistency factor, which the Indian bowlers have not been able to showcase. He added, “Players need to be consistent with their performances.”
There is no denying the fact that the Indian team were unlucky on some front as well. They only lost a single game in the tournament and it was that loss against the Aussies, which has haunted them badly. The Australians could have pleased India by defeating Pakistan in their last super eight game and helped India reach the semis after India's victory. But, not only did the Aussies fail to win, they lost with a huge margin making the task for India's qualification doubly difficult.
Kirmani seems to believe in luck as he said, “Luck has to be a part of every activity. It is a cycle by itself. One cannot be lucky every time scoring hundreds, taking five wicket hauls. It is the cycle the Indian team is going through.” Though, some fingers have been pointed towards MS Dhoni for India's performance, but both former cricketers do not agree with it.
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