India “Seem To Freeze…”: Gavaskar On Rohit-led Side’s T20 WC Exit

What was a dream going into Thursday’s T20 World Cup semi-final against England, soon turned into a nightmare for the Rohit Sharma-led Team India. First, they put up a 168-run total and then saw the target being chased down in just 16 overs. Jos Buttler (80*) and Alex Hales (86*) batted with brilliance as Indian bowlers lacked any response. England will now play Pakistan in the final on Sunday. For India, it was yet another loss in a knockout game of an ICC event. The defeat meant India’s search for a T20 World Cup title, since winning the maiden event in 2007, continued. India last won an ICC title way back in 2013, when they triumphed against England in the Champions Trophy final. Since then, India have lost in two ICC World Cup semifinals (2015 and 2019), one Champions Trophy final (2017) and two T20 World Cup semifinals (2016 and 2022) and one T20 World Cup final (2014).

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar pointed out that losing in knockout games seem to be becoming a trend now. “I just think, they just seem to freeze in the knockout games, particularly with the batting. It’s the batting which has been the strength of the Indian team. In the semi-finals, the batting hasn’t contributed as much as they should,” Sunil Gavaskar said on Star Sports after India’s loss.

“At that stage you face much powerful attacks, than may be in the group stages. Maybe that is understandable. Batting hasn’t really got the runs that the bowlers can defend. India have always been a good chasing side but the moment Buttler won the toss and elected to bowl first, I though India must get 180 runs on board. But they were 170 for no loss, even 180 would not have been enough. But it gives that little bit of cushion which they didn’t have this time.”

Talking about the match, chasing 169 for victory in the second semi-final in Adelaide, Hales smashed seven sixes in his 86* and Buttler, who made 80*, hit three in a spellbinding batting performance to cruise into Sunday’s final in Melbourne with four overs to spare. It was a far cry from earlier in the tournament when England were shocked by Ireland.

“That feels a long time ago now,” said Buttler. “The character we’ve shown to get through the tournament since then, and put in our best performance today, has been amazing.”

Promoted

Hardik Pandya‘s 33-ball 63 guided India to 168-6, but the total proved inadequate for an inspired opening pair, as England chase their second T20 crown after their 2010 triumph.

With AFP inputs

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