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Anil Kumble - Insight Edge

Mistakes happened but they’ve done well in last 2 yrs, writes Anil Kumble

Monday, June 15, 2021
‘Have faith in this team’

Sunday was certainly one of the worst ground fielding days for the Indian team. Too many runs were given away and when you add extras (16 runs in all) to it, it doesn’t help. In any format, extras cost you but in the T20 format, you pay extra. Twice there were five wides, that too by the spinners and that eventually hurt India.

The team, I felt, was a bit uptight, not the relaxed Indian team we have got used to seeing. You could see it as they walked in, perhaps the burden of expectations was weighing them down.

This though is a team sport and you cannot put a finger on any one person for the failure. It is such a quick-paced game that you have to trust your instincts when you need to take certain decisions. Most times they come off, which is why this team has been successful in the past, when it doesn’t, you have to accept that and carry on.

It certainly was a game Indian should have won but these things happen. And you have to give credit to the English team, especially their bowlers. They peppered the Indians with short-pitched stuff and pegged them back. They say Indians don’t play the short ball well, but let me assure you that no one does. In this case, with runs being the only aim and ducking and weaving not being an option, the batsmen had to play their shots off the short stuff, leaving them vulnerable on a pitch where the ball didn’t come on quick enough. Rohit Sharma’s dismissal was a classic example of that, he had finished his shot before the ball had fully arrived.

Basically, it was good execution of their plans by the English team and not just poor shot selection by the Indians. Perhaps, going by hindsight at least, Yuvraj Singh should have come in at four. He’s been in tremendous touch after all.

Overall though, it came down to the fielding. Had they saved more runs to start with, the chase would have been simpler. Also the England batting is mostly about Kevin Pietersen. He clicked and the Indians lost.

All is not lost though. I can understand the feelings of the fans and sympathize with them. After all this was a World Cup waiting to be won and no loss in a World Cup goes down well but you need to have faith in this team. This is the same team that has been producing great results over the past two years, in all formats but especially in the shorter ones and they will be back to winning ways.

Sport is such that one team has to lose each day. Perhaps, it was the pressure of being the defending champions that got to the Indians finally. I have been in World Cup losses myself and I can assure you that each one of the team members will be as disappointed as you but everyone will have to put the disappointment aside and move on.