England former captain Nasser Hussain believes that wrong selection of players in Team India for their reason for failure in ICC tournaments. He also opined that India’s top-order strength has left the middle-order untested in tough situations as it happened in the ICC World Cup 2019 against New Zealand in the disheartening semi-final.
Under the captaincy of Virat Kohli, India won all the group stage matches expect against England before losing to Blackcaps in the semi-final of the ICC World Cup last year. India had an unusual fall of top-order as Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul lost their wickets for three runs. However, Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni tried to pull the game but failed to lead the team to across the line as India lost the marquee clash by 18 runs
India’s loss in the World Cup was attributed to team management’s failure in finding an appropriate No. 4 batsman. If middle-order had handled the pressure on that day, the Men in Blue might have qualified for the grand finale.
Nasser Hussain blames India’s team selection and excellent top-order for failure:
Nasser Hussain also finds the fault in India’s team selection for their downfall in ICC mega-events. He said that the team should not only prepare game plans but also should have the right members to execute them.
“I would say the selection is where India has gone wrong over the ICC tournaments, adapting to conditions a little bit. So it’s not just about having one game plan,” former England captain Nasser Hussain, one of the most respected voices in the game, told Star Sports’ ‘Cricket Connected’.
“Adapting to conditions, if it’s nibbling around (ball swinging) and if you are in a World Cup semi-final against New Zealand and it’s doing a little bit, where is your middle-order if you are 20 for 2 and Kohli and Sharma are out?” Hussain questioned.
Further, he mentions that India’s top-order has century-makers which give fewer opportunities to middle-order batsmen to test themselves in crunch situations which according to Nasser is another fault in the Indian cricket.
“It could almost be a fault of Indian cricket that they are too good at the top of the order. When it’s good and flat, okay Kohli hundred, Sharma hundred, hundreds at the top and lads in the middle order don’t get a hit,” he commented.
Meanwhile, later this year, India would participate in the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia. It would be interesting to witness who Virat Kohli-led side to cope up with the challenges they faced last year.