T20 World Cup 2021: 5 Blunders Team India should be wary of committing in the mega event

The mega event is all set to commence on October 17 with the final scheduled to be played on November 14.

India v England

India v England. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Ashwini Patil

Jr. Staff Writer

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India v England
India v England. (Photo Source: BCCI)

With the T20 World Cup just around the corner, all the teams will be raring to make their impact in the mega event. The tournament is all set to commence on October 17 with the final scheduled to be played on November 14. When it comes to the ICC events the teams aim that their best XI should walk onto the field.

India are one of the strongest contenders in the tournament. With some impressive performances in international cricket lately, the team would have their spirits high heading into the event. However, the asks of the high-profile competition are high and that might sometimes lead to the team taking some tough calls.

Bringing a properly balanced team to the fore after assessing the conditions is a big challenge for the team. Talking about India, there have been certain areas where the team has struggled during crucial matches. India have reached the final of the 2014 World T20, 2017 Champions Trophy, and 2021 WTC. However, the team has finished as semi-finalists in the 2016 World T20, 2015 World Cup, and 2019 World Cup.

As the marquee event is now on cards, here are the 5 blunders Team India should be careful of committing in T20 World Cup 2021

1. Not assessing conditions properly

India win
India. (Photo Source: BCCI)

The T20 World Cup was initially staged to be played in India. However, owing to the uncertainties of the ongoing pandemic, the tournament was shifted to UAE and Oman. Most of the players that are set to be a part of the mega event are currently playing the IPL in UAE itself.

This is expected to help the players in assessing the conditions well in order to decide the right team balance. Often, some decisions do not go the team’s way and that goes down as a part and parcel of the game. But India will have to pay a big price if they are unable to read the conditions well. Taking the instance of the 2017 Champions Trophy, India opted to bowl first wherein many teams looked to bat first.

In the Champions Trophy, the deck appeared to be a flat surface wherein runs came in easier. India’s spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin did not get enough help from the pitch and that led to India conceding a lot of runs. Heading into the tournament, as the players have had enough exposure to the playing conditions it is expected that the side will only benefit from it.

2. Bowling no balls

Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

In T20 cricket, a run saved is probably equivalent to a run scored. In such a case, a minor mistake can go down as a huge blunder for the side. Often one has witnessed that a no-ball has changed the fortunes of the game upside down. Sometimes it is just a matter of a big hit that a batter needs to get the momentum in the game and a no-ball is an opportunity for him to get the impetus.

Having said that, it is not just about a few runs as sometimes it might cost the team an entire match. In the 2016 World T20, Ravi Ashwin came to the attack in the seventh over and then conceded a boundary. The off-spinner came back stronger as he managed to get Lendl Simmons caught by Bumrah at short third man.

However, while bowling the delivery he had overstepped and Simmons survived. The batter then hit an unbeaten 82 as India lost the semifinal by seven wickets. The batter was given one more life as even Hardik Pandya landed his foot outside the bowling crease when Simmons was batting at 50.

In the Champions Trophy final, Bumrah managed to get Fakhar Zaman out only to realise later that he had bowled a no-ball. The batter then went on to score a century that strengthened the team’s position. These deliveries often provide the opposition with an upper hand which one can’t afford in a tournament like World Cup.

3. Top-order collapse in crucial games

KL Rahul & Rohit Sharma
KL Rahul & Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Twitter)

In the shortest format, it is all about building the innings from ball one. A strong start puts the team in a driver’s seat and the batters down the order are then able to capitalise on the start. However, if the top order fails to deliver in important games, India will find itself in a spot of bother. Both India’s openers are currently in good form and a lot of hopes will be pinned on them to continue the momentum further.

Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul are expected to open the innings for India in the tournament. Both of them have had a good run in the recent Test match series against England. Though these are two contrasting formats, they will definitely look forward to continuing their scoring momentum and provide the team with flying starts. Going by history, India’s top order has experienced a collapse in some crunch games.

India’s powerful batting lineup is one of the most sought-after ones in the cricketing world. But the early dismissals of the top order haven’t gone well for the team whether it is during the 2019 semifinal match against New Zealand or the Champions Trophy final in 2017.  In these instances, as the top order was unable to stay firm a lot of pressure was built on the lower middle order which provided a clear edge to the opposition to dominate the match.

4. Making a surprise pick in crunch games

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Owing to the IPL, one has witnessed that a lot of players have emerged as promising talents for India. This in turn has strengthened India’s bench strength. The fact that India played Test series against England recently and an alternative squad was sent to Sri Lanka around the same time to play the white ball series exudes the talent the country possess.

This has vastly affected the selection process for the World Cup as a few key names have made it to the cut. As certain inclusions in the squad for the tournament surprised the cricketing fraternity, a few omissions also raised many eyebrows. If India get off to a great start in the tournament it might prompt the team to bring in few players in the playing XI for a particular game.

However, when it comes to the games of any ICC event, the pressure is higher. If at all India gives a chance to a particular batter or bowler who hasn’t featured in any previous games there are chances that the team might not benefit from it. If the player fails to deliver, it will also affect his confidence. Thus the team shouldn’t go for any surprise pick because even if there are chances that the player might pull an impressive performance, it is a risky alternative.

5. Being stubborn with the team combination

Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Virat Kohli
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Virat Kohli. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav/Getty Images)

Just as the BCCI announced team India’s squad for the T20 World Cup, it was also announced that MS Dhoni will mentor the side for the tournament. It is known to all that the former skipper follows a template wherein he doesn’t believe in making many changes to the winning combination. As he is associated with the team it is expected that he will have the influence on the side.

In any high-profile competition, it is more helpful if the team is built in consideration of the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition. After team India’s squad was announced it was understood that the selection committee has gone by the saying ‘Horses for Courses.’ If this is followed throughout the tournament India will find itself in a commanding position.

Being stubborn with a particular team combination might not necessarily reap rewards for the side. Many times in the past, India didn’t tinker with the winning combination and they might avoid doing so in the crucial tournament. Of course, the conditions will have a big say here and this is something that the Virat Kohli-led side will have to put their thinking hats on for.