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India’s Debacle in the Twenty Twenty Cricket World Cup Championship 2009
The Twenty Twenty Cricket World Cup 2009, currently underway in England, ended in debacle for India. It was the reigning champion, having won the first edition of the World Twenty20 Cricket Championship held in South Africa in 2007.
Before the start of the tournament, billed as joint favorites with South Africa to win the 2009 World Twenty20, India failed miserably losing all their matches played in the Super Eight League stage with the West Indies, England and finally with South Africa. Australia, the champion of the shorter and longer version of the game, also made an early exit by losing in the qualifying rounds. The early Australian exit didn’t shock anyone because the team that had lost many of its cricketing legends like Shane Warne and others was just a shadow of its former strong cricketing outfit.
Considering their current form and performance, the South African and Sri Lankan teams who have won most of the matches they have played so far are now billed as the hot favorites to win the Cricket World Twenty Twenty Championship 2009 in England.
The debacle of the Indian cricket team has raised many eyebrows. It has shocked the cricket mad in India, for whom cricket is a religion. BCCI had fielded a very strong contingent, led by MS Dhoni, who has always been in the limelight for his calm and humble demeanor and leadership qualities.
But India’s tour debacle, that too at the international level, has sent shock waves and its reputation is at stake. Despite being rich in resources, India’s poor performance in the current World Twenty20 Championship, 2009 has prompted cricket pundits to come up with some strong reasons to justify their poor performance.
o The Indian team has been playing a lot of cricket almost non-stop for the last one year.
o Apart from Tests and ODI cricket series, the IPL cricket series which is played every year during the month of April has practically consumed their energy.
o India has always been a paper tiger, being very strong only on Indian soil.
o The Indian team has failed to read the English conditions quickly and acclimatise. However, India played two more pre-tournament warm-up matches against New Zealand and Pakistan respectively, losing the first by 9 runs and winning the second by 6 wickets.
o India drowned in the super eight league stage because the team was completely out of form.
o Viru’s early exit from the game and return to India due to a torn shoulder blade weakened the team at the top of the standings. Dinesh Karthick who was sent in as a replacement for Viru was not an opening batsman.
o Rohit Sharma, who was promoted to the opening slot, did not perform well and justified his promotion by scoring poorly in the Super Eight stage of the league.
o There was talk of rift among the Indian players even before the tournament, which wreaked havoc on their performance. There is every reason to suspect such a phenomenon because, in the IPL series, Viru was the captain of the Delhi Dare Devils who topped the points table in the IPL tournament. Yuvaraj Singh was the captain of Punjab XI team and MS Dhoni was the captain of Chennai Super Kings. Perhaps the egos of these captains clashed and played a significant role in India’s debacle.
o Although hailed as a great captain, MS Dhoni’s captaincy in the Super Eight league stage was not up to par. Especially, during the match against England, after winning the toss, Dhoni should have chosen to bat first; instead he chose to field, allowing England to bat first. This tactless decision proved to be very costly which paved the way for India’s early exit from the tournament.
o Even in the last match played against South Africa, India did not even play to save their pride and lost the match miserably failing to chase down 131, a paltry total.
After performing brilliantly in the Twenty20 World Cup Championship, 2009, the Indian team is expecting the strangest welcome from the crazy cricket fans in India. Let’s hope that the ailing Indian team recovers soon and does well in the upcoming ODI series with the West Indies that starts soon after India’s return to India.
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