Salman Butt believes that while the toss played a role in India's heavy defeat to New Zealand on Sunday, it can't justify the dismal batting performance. Virat Kohli's men could only put up 110 in Dubai, which was shot down in 14.3 overs by New Zealand, resulting in India's second consecutive defeat in the T20 World Cup.
Dubai has been a chase-friendly ground in the tournament so far, with no team having won after batting first. But Salman Butt said that more than the toss, it was the lack of "self-assurance" and confidence in the Indian batters that cost them. He remarked that the Men in Blue were almost waiting for some good luck in the match.
In a video on his YouTube channel, Salman Butt said:
"See toss is [crucial factor] but it can't justify such a batting show. And after a long time, I saw that the Indian batters' faces were tense. They were not confident. Their faces didn't have the self-assurance that's usually seen in Indian players. They were waiting for something good to happen, you know, some shots to get the scoreboard ticking and then launch. But that chance never came."
Salman Butt also noted that players like Ishan Kishan (4 off 8) and Rohit Sharma (14 off 14) lacked a bit of luck as well, with their aggressive shots against loose deliveries going straight to the only fielders on the boundary line.
Salman Butt explained:
"I believe they were somewhat unlucky as well. Kishan played some good shots but against a poor ball, which would have been wide otherwise, he connected the shot that went into the hands of the only fielder on the boundary. Then Rohit Sharma came and his catch was dropped. I thought this might be his day and he hit a couple of beautiful strokes. But then the pitch was also two-paced and it was a loose ball from [Ish] Sodhi which came onto him quickly. The ball comes slowly for the pull but it skidded onto him and it didn't connect to the middle. But still not the kind of show everyone was expecting."
The top scores in the batting lineup came from Ravindra Jadeja (26 off 19) and Hardik Pandya (23 off 24). New Zealand bowlers Trent Boult (3/20) and Ish Sodhi (2/17) were brilliant in their attacking approach even as everyone else contributed to the strangulation of the Indian innings.
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"Virat Kohli's shot was purely out of frustration, it wasn't on" - Salman Butt
Further talking about the impact of low confidence, Salman Butt said the inability to hit loose deliveries at the start forced the batters to go hard against good deliveries. He cited the example of KL Rahul (18 off 16) and Virat Kohli (9 off 17) for the same, saying that the latter's slog to Sodhi was filled with frustration.
Salman Butt added:
"Because they were tense, they did things that they don't do usually. For example, the way KL Rahul got out, he played a short-arm jab. Why won't you hit a complete pull shot? If your body will rotate the shot will go the distance. But he played a flick standing still and it went to the fielder... Indian batters didn't take the chances earlier because they were tensed and when they did then those balls weren't there to hit."
Salman Butt concluded by saying:
I haven't seen Kohli play that shot in a while. That shot was purely out of frustration, it wasn't on. He tried to break the shackles and get some momentum. But that didn't happen either and it all went downward."
India will now play against Afghanistan on November 3, with their hopes of making the semi-finals hinged on winning the remaining three games by huge margins and other results going their way.