The Men in Blue went down to Sri Lanka by six wickets in their second Super 4 clash on Tuesday, September 6. Earlier, they also lost to arch-rivals Pakistan by five wickets.
With two consecutive defeats, Team India only have a mathematical chance of reaching the final of the T20 event now. Discussing India’s lackluster performance, Sharma said that the team's planning left a lot to be desired. He told India News:
“There seems to be some miscommunication between the team management and the captain.”
Elaborating on his views, he pointed out the strange selection of Deepak Hooda over Dinesh Karthik. Sharma stated:
“If you are picking Deepak Hooda, it means that he is your sixth bowling option. In both matches, though, he did not bowl. If the captain did not have confidence in his bowling, India could have played a match finisher in Dinesh Karthik. There were a lot of loopholes in India’s strategy."
Karthik was picked over Rishabh Pant for Team India’s opening match of the tournament against Pakistan. However, following the injury to Ravindra Jadeja, the management preferred Pant over Karthik as the keeper-batter for the Super 4 games as they wanted a left-hander in the middle order.
“If you have greater trust in Pant, then why was Karthik picked?” - Sharma on Team India’s lack of planning
Continuing the debate on India’s team strategy, Sharma claimed that the move to play both Hooda and Pant ahead of Karthik was difficult to comprehend. Urging the think tank to scrutinize their failures, he commented:
“India need to analyze where they are going wrong. If India are looking at Hooda as a match-finisher, then why is Karthik in the team? If you don’t play Karthik in this situation, then when will you play him? If you have greater trust in Pant, then why was Karthik picked in the 15?
“Lot of questions will be asked now that India have lost. When a team wins, such questions are not raised. But once you lose, all these queries come to the fore.”
Batting first after losing the toss, Team India put up 173 for eight on the board. Sri Lanka, however, sneaked home in the last over with one ball to spare.
Find out more about India's position in the Asia Cup 2022 points table here.