5 things India did wrong to lose the one-off T20I

West Indies beat India
The tournament-winning team returned, India didn’t turn up

India lost the one-off T20I against the West Indies last night. Badly. It was the World T20 semi-final all over again as the Men in Blue put up a below par score that was still worth giving a fight, and one West Indian just got stuck into the visitors’ bowling and decimated.

Evin Lewis’ 125 off just 62 balls was just too hot for India’s bowlers to handle and in a flurry of dropped catches, missed stumpings, poor bowling and Virat Kohli shouting, India sunk. We look at five reasons where India remained below par in the T20.

#1 Jalebi Fielding

India fielding
Are dropped catches becoming a problem for Team India?

It is one of the funniest things in cricket to see fielders tumble around each other. It is less fun when you look up, see your home team capitulating. Twice in two overs, off Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Kuldeep Yadav, Evin Lewis offered high catches.

In the first instance, Mohammad Shami and Virat Kohli did not call clearly, and as the white orb descended, Kohli waited under it, while Shami charged into it, missed it, tumbled and looked sheepishly at his captain. Kohli was not amused, but he rarely is.

The second instance was at the boundary, where Dinesh Karthik missed a similarly high chance, rolling around like a joyful pig in the mud after missing it on the second chance. It is noteworthy that the wind was making the ball hoop around in the air, but it was a generally appalling display in the field. One or two run outs were missed as well.

#2 Dhoni’s failings, Harsha’s excuses

Dhoni wicket-keeping
Not the usual Dhoni behind the stumps

Dhoni was poor behind the stumps in yesterday’s game. His shoddy performance saw two relatively easy stumpings fluffed and a bye, not that that changed the course of the game much. He seemed deflated behind the stumps, missing opportunities he would not have in any other game. His batting was unremarkable, scoring 2 off 2 before edging off to backward point.

It was an off day for Dhoni to say the least (which loses games if you are the finisher and the wicketkeeper). It was met with the shock and calm commentary of Harsha Bhogle, who himself seemed content to make excuses for Dhoni’s game. We see what you did there, Mr. Bhogle, sticking by your team so no more Bollywood stars get you fired.

#3 Team selection

Ashwin yet again failed to inspire much confidence

Three spin bowlers on a bouncy flat wicket? I understand that Hardik Pandya got injured right before the game, but that’s ridiculous. What did you expect on a smallish ground with a flat pitch and Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis and Marlon Samuels?

This isn’t the West Indies side that got bullied for two weeks, Team India. These guys will destroy anything a touch full and eat spinners like Ashwin and Jadeja for lunch in the shorter formats. Let’s face facts, Ashwin and Jadeja are waning powers in the shorter formats and are liabilities.

Their batting isn’t up to scrap and their bowling, while it serves India well in Tests, is a little obsolete in T20s. The batting order was okay.

#4 Captain Kohli’s continued confusing complacency

Virat Kohli West Indies
Angry Kohli is great to watch, till it becomes a giant spewing eruption all over India’s T20 record

Look. I know Kohli’s relatively new at this, but it was a little strange the way he went about his captaincy today. The bowling changes were a little strange, with just the four bowlers bearing the brunt of Lewis’ attack and Jadeja bowling alternative overs through 13-20.

He also did not make Lewis hit into the breeze, allowing him the luxury of hitting with the wind into the stands. The plans (what plans) were half executed. Bringing Bhuvi back resulted in a chance of getting a wicket, but he did not persist with him. He did not try anything unorthodox against Evin Lewis and seemed to let the game slip out of his hands from the fourth over onwards.

#5 A general lack of sense when losing wickets

India West Indies.jpg
What do we do when a wicket falls?

There’s an old saying in cricket that “One brings two” and the Indian players seemed to be following a strict buddy system: following their predecessor into the pavilion just moments after he is dismissed. And some of the dismissals were just weird.

Dhawan and Pant’s mix-up was inexcusable at this level, Pant’s shot was unnecessary, Kohli tried a shot too many on a bouncy wicket and Dhoni; well, it’s best that fans of Dhoni’s don’t hear about that shot.

The idea to go harder when they lost wickets just did not work. Players got set to explode, then imploded. Every partnership until Dhoni came in looked good enough to take India single-handedly to 220, but not one stepped up and dominated. India’s lower middle order seemed out of sorts, with Dhoni, Jadhav, Jadeja and Ashwin all failing to meet the demands of the situation, which is unacceptable considering India’s dream start.

Edited by Staff Editor


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