4 instances when India failed to get past the knockout stages in ICC tournaments
- Is India's inability to get across crunch situations a major source of concern?
The first semi-final of the World Cup 2019 was contested between India and New Zealand. Chasing a modest total of 240 from 50 overs, the Indian opening batting pair, which came into this match after a strong performance against Sri Lanka last Saturday was expected to put in a similar performance but failed to deliver.
India lost their top three with only 5 runs on the board as New Zealand pacer Matt Henry rocked the Indian batting line-up. With consistent fall of wickets, barring a partnership between MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja, none of the other batsmen stood tall as the team fell 18 runs short.
A strong 116-run partnership between former captain MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja gave great hope to the team, however, their spectacular partnership was brought to an end as Trent Boult sent Jadeja back to the pavilion. Dhoni looked threatening towards the end of the innings but he too had to depart following a stunning direct hit run-out by Martin Guptill.
With this defeat, India have failed to win an ICC tournament for a fifth consecutive time even after reaching the semi-finals. India’s recent failure at the business end of the tournament has hurt the fans immensely and it would be a plausible conclusion to draw that India are now the newest ‘chokers’ in World cricket.
India last won an ICC tournament six years ago in 2013 when they overcame hosts England in the final to clinch their second Champions Trophy title. However, after this triumph India has failed at the knockout stages five consecutive times and we shall now take a look at how India failed at the final stage in recent years.
2014 ICC World Twenty20
India were in fine form during the 2014 World Twenty20 in Bangladesh as they won all their group stage fixtures, overcoming the likes of Pakistan, Australia and West Indies. The team looked composed and were one of the favourites to win the coveted title.
The semi-final against South Africa also saw a dominant performance by the men in blue as they chased down a target of 173 runs with 5 balls to spare and marched into the final with a strong six-wicket victory.
The final against Sri Lanka saw a lacklustre performance by India as they were only able to set an ordinary target of 131 runs from 20 overs. The Lankans easily chased down the target in 17.5 overs and won the World Twenty20 title for the first time.
2015 ICC Cricket World Cup
India entered the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup following an unsuccessful tour of Australia and there were doubts surrounding India’s competence to defend the title they had won 4 years ago in Mumbai. The Men in Blue went up against arch rivals Pakistan in the first match and registered a resounding 76-run victory. They went on to win all their group stage fixtures and were favourites to defend the World Cup title.
The quarter-final saw another dominant performance from India as they defeated Bangladesh by 109 runs and stormed into the semi-finals where they met hosts Australia.
The semi-final against Australia saw a spectacular performance by Steve Smith whose 105-run knock helped the hosts post a mammoth total of 328 runs. India had a promising start as the opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan put together 76 runs for the opening wicket.
However, the batting line-up soon collapsed and India were 108/4. James Faulker was the pick of the bowlers with 3/53 while Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson picked up a couple of wickets as well. India lost the match by 95 runs and their unbeaten streak at the World Cup came to an end.
2016 ICC World Twenty20
India were hosting the mega Twenty20 event for the first time and entered the tournament as favourites following their Asia Cup victory in Bangladesh. India began their campaign with a shocking result as they lost against New Zealand after failing to chase a total of 127 runs.
The Men in Blue struck a comeback against rivals Pakistan and brought their campaign back on track. A thrilling encounter against Bangladesh which India won by 1 run kept their hopes alive and a comprehensive victory against Australia handed them a semi-final berth.
The semi-final against eventual champions West Indies saw India post a decent total of 192 runs. However, it wasn’t enough to send India to the final as the West Indian batsmen chased down the target with 2 balls to spare and booked a place in the final with a seven-wicket victory.
2017 ICC Champions Trophy
The 2017 edition of ICC Champions Trophy took place in England and Wales for the second consecutive time and India entered the tournament as defending champions. Once again India began the tournament with a victory as they defeated Pakistan by 124 runs (DLS method).
The second game against Sri Lanka exposed some shortcomings of the Indian bowling attack as they failed to defend a total of 321 runs. A resounding victory against South Africa in the final group stage match ensured India a place in the semi-final.
The semi-final against Bangladesh saw a dominant performance from India as they chased 265 runs in 40.1 overs and registered a nine-wicket victory to book a place in the final against rivals Pakistan.
India were clear favourites to defend their Champions Trophy title against Pakistan. However, an astounding batting performance by Pakistan coupled with some ill-fated Indian bowling performance gave India the herculean task of chasing down a target of 339 runs in 50 overs. The Indian top order failed at the final and the Men in Blue were handed an embarrassing 180-run defeat.
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