Win against Afghanistan heals deep wound a little

Source :SIFY
Author :SIFY
Last Updated: Thu, Nov 4th, 2021, 08:20:08hrs
  • Facebook-icon
  • Twitter-icon
  • Whatsapp-icon
  • Linkedin-icon
Win

The last few days were the worst in Indian cricket since the national team’s first-round ouster from the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies. 

Following 2021 World T20 losses against New Zealand and Pakistan, they were almost out of contention for the semis in what was a big jolt to Indian cricket. 

Now they were playing for pride – going into their third Super-12 game against Afghanistan in Dubai on Wednesday. All eyes were on the batsmen, how they were going to play. Will it be the same story as in the last two matches or will there be a good show for a change?

Against such a backdrop, Rohit Sharma, favourite to become India’s next captain in T20Is, and KL Rahul brought their A game to the fore and that did lessen the pain of previous two defeats, if not completely then definitely to some extent.

After starting cautiously, both batsmen found their long-missing mojo back and tore into the Afghan bowling. They added 140 for the opening wicket and set the foundation for a big score with aplomb. After the NZ defeat, Virat Kohli had said the batsmen weren’t brave enough and he couldn’t fathom why they were hesitant when it came to unleashing big shots.
It appeared his remarks were noted duly and on Wednesday there was a lot of intent to play big shots for the very large part of the innings. Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant picked up where the openers had left off and added 63* off just 27 balls to help India to a massive 210/2, the highest total by any team in this edition so far. With that performance, the Indian batsmen of old were back.

The bowlers did the rest and Afghanistan dispatched without any fuss. R Ashwin’s return to T20Is after more than four years was particularly heart-warming. And then the way he bowled only strengthened the argument that Kohli missed a trick by not playing him in the previous matches.
Now what has happened in the past can’t be changed but this is the kind of intensity India will have to continue showing in their remaining two games against Scotland and Namibia. 

They don’t have any control on whether or not Afghanistan beat New Zealand to increase their semis chances but they certainly have control on how they play against their next two opponents, even if they are not up the same street. 

Similar wins will help Indian fans move on from the ignominy they have experienced in this tournament, no two ways about it. This should be Kohli’s target for now. 
 

  • Facebook-icon
  • Twitter-icon
  • Whatsapp-icon
  • Linkedin-icon