Former Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh on Wednesday (4th May) talked about the reasons behind Team India’s poor performance in the ICC events. He believes that lack of planning has hurt them in the global tournaments.
India last won an ICC event in 2013 when they won the Champions Trophy in England. Since then, they have reached the finals of the World T20 2014, Champions Trophy 2017 and WTC 2021, while finishing semi-finalists in the World T20 2016, World Cup 2015 and 2019.
The loss in the WTC final in June 2021 marked Team India’s fifth straight defeat in the knockout stages of the ICC tournaments. In the recent T20 World Cup 2021, ‘Men in Blue’ were jolted as they failed to reach the knockout stage and were knocked out of the tournament in the group stage.
Speaking in an interview on Home of Heroes, Sports18’s newest offering, Yuvraj Singh highlighted the areas which India lacked in the recent ICC events.
He said that India didn’t have a set position for batters in Cricket World Cup 2019 as they did in 2011. He highlighted they played Vijay Shankar and Rishabh Pant, who were less experienced.
“When we won the World Cup (2011), we all had a set position to bat. I felt the 2019 World Cup; they didn’t plan it well. They got Vijay Shankar to bat at No. 4 with just 5-7 ODIs, then they replaced him with Rishabh Pant, who had played 4 ODIs. When we played the 2003 World Cup, Mohammed Kaif, (Dinesh) Mongia and I had already played 50-odd ODIs,” Yuvraj Singh said.
Yuvraj highlighted that lack of planning has cost India at ICC events, including the recently concluded T20 World Cup 2021.
“Our middle-order (batsmen) in T20 bats higher in franchise cricket. That is where we lacked in the last T20 World Cup,” he said.
Explaining how T20 is taking over everything, including Test cricket, Yuvraj said the shortest format saves time and pays more, adding that players have started to find even the 50 over format arduous.
“Test cricket is dying. People want to watch T20 cricket; people want to play T20 cricket. Why would someone play five-day cricket and get five lakh rupees and today play T20 cricket and get 50 lakh? Players who have not made it to international cricket are getting 7-10 crores.
“You watch a T20 game and then watch a 50-over game – it looks like a Test match now. After 20 overs, they are like, ‘There are 30 overs to bat! So, definitely T20 is taking over everything,” he said.
With major ICC events slated in the next two years, Team India would be looking to change their fortunes and would be eyeing to lift at least one trophy in the T20 World Cup 2022 and Cricket World Cup 2023.