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Selection blunders cost India the World Cup

There was no doubt that Team India was the hot favorite to win the ICC World Cup 2019 but the Blacks Caps had other ideas as their new bowlers ripped through the fancied Indian top order to set up an upset in the first semi-final match at Manchester.

Courtesy of the rich form of Rohit Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli, India dominated the league stage, winning seven out of the eight matches, to top the points table of the ICC World Cup 2019. Although the team was doing well, there were plenty of questions on the middle order, which looked very unsettled.

The semi-final match against the Kiwis saw the fears of the Indian team and its supporters come true as it happened to be one of those rare days in the tournament when the duo of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli failed to make a mark. The middle order simply did not have the big names to give any sort of hopes of making a comeback in the match. Certainly, lots of fans who put their money on India will be disappointed but there is plenty of cricketing action going ahead if you are a betting freak, one of them is right here at Fanduel welcome offer, using which you can access a sportsbook to wager on a whole range of sports and events.

Virat Kohli and the team management need to work on their team selection strategies. Photo courtesy of Anand Anil/Wikipedia.org.

Now coming back to the India vs New Zealand World Cup 2019 Semi Final It’s another thing that Ravindra Jadeja, batting lower down the order, swung his bat around to almost pull off a miracle alongside MS Dhoni, who quietly played the anchor’s role. The problem for India right through the tournament was an inexperienced middle order, which usually wasn’t the case in its cricketing history. Perhaps for the first time, Team India lacked proper middle order batsmen who could score a century on their day.

Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya are best suited to come in the lower middle order. It was shocking to see these dangerous hitters exposed so early in the middle with three or four wickets down for nothing. Instead, MS Dhoni with all the experience in the world, with more than 10,000 runs in ODIs was sitting in the dressing room rather coming in at no.4. And when he did come out in the middle, the match was as good as over and nobody could have blamed him from that point with the writing on the wall.

The selectors before the World Cup had missed out on a trick in not considering the likes of Shreyas Iyer, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane, Prithvi Shaw and even the highly experienced Suresh Raina, who could have been better choices. An emerging player like Vijay Shankar was picked as a replacement for the injured Shikhar Dhawan and asked to bat at no.4, literally asking him to play out of his skin.

Kedar Jadhav has just been playing a few promising knocks here and there but wasn’t someone you can rely on. On the other hand, Dinesh Karthik had been picked based on a few crucial cameos he played in the past and not quite the big knocks that are needed for a batsman. India certainly missed a couple of solid batsmen in the middle order at no.4 and no.5 and that hurt them very badly when it mattered the most.

Another selection blunder came from the team management, which includes Virat Kohli, that of dropping Mohammed Shami, the man who took a hat-trick to save India’s blushes against Afghanistan. Had Mohammed Shami played in the semi-final, India could have sustained pressure on the Kiwi batsmen with his pace and bounce, while not letting them off the hook. Shami could have been played instead of Dinesh Karthik and its only a puzzle that he was overlooked when he had been steaming in and bowling beautifully except for that one insignificant match against the Lankans where he was taken to the cleaners towards the end.

Hopefully, the team management and selectors apply their minds better going forward to win matches consistently.

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