Former Pakistan batsman Salman Butt on Monday reflected on India's defeat to New Zealand in the 2021 T20 World Cup and said that a major factor could be the sheer amount of cricket Indian players have been playing at a stretch.
India have had a horror start to the competition, losing their opening two matches to Pakistan and New Zealand. This was after the 2021 IPL concluded less than a week before the T20 World Cup.
Speaking about the effects of a hectic schedule, Butt said on his YouTube channel:
"It is important for players to be fresh. Look, you are doing the same thing every day (when you play hectic schedule). There is no doubt that the incentive, salaries and contracts are very high and attractive. But at times, you have to have your heart in the job that you have to perform optimally. If you are not fresh enough, if you can’t disconnect and connect again, then your concentration span or your intensity to go out and do your best, that gets hampered. There is a drop in your interest."
The former Pakistan captain said Team India had little time to regroup after the IPL.
"It needs to be managed in a way that ahead of a major tournament, teams can regroup. For 15-20 days or for a month before the World Cup, teams should have their own preparation instead of playing in some competition, especially in one where they are playing as part of separate teams."
Butt also said that it was only natural for teams to suffer the kind of poor run India are having when they are playing so much cricket, adding that they just need to absorb what is going on and move on.
"India just need to reboot. People need to realise that when there is so much hype, so much pressure and when you are playing so much cricket, then these sudden and drastic defeats do come. When the volume of cricket that you play is so high, then this will happen. You need to absorb it and move on," Salman Butt said.
Butt went on to add:
"And they didn’t regroup before the World Cup. Before the Test series in England, India’s players had a month off. Then they played the series and then immediately had the IPL. Four days after the IPL final, the World Cup started, and the first match in the World Cup is one where expectations are sky-high."
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India don't need major changes despite defeats: Salman Butt
Salman Butt insisted that India don't need wholesale changes after the two big defeats to Pakistan and New Zealand, but instead they should address issues that existed from the start of the tournament.
"Coming back from bad form and drastic failures is a part of the game. This is not the first time in the world that a team has lost like this. I don’t think they need major changes. The issues that needed to be addressed before the World Cup are still the only areas where they need change in. Carrying half fit players, some selection issues, over reliance on some players who don’t have a lot of international exposure -- all of this hurt India," Butt said.
India are currently on the brink of elimination from the T20 World Cup and their fate is dependent on how results in other matches go.