Former Indian batter Robin Uthappa reckons that the only reason the Men in Blue lost the T20 World Cup 2022 semi-final to England was that the bowlers had an off day. Revealing that Team India weren’t among his favorites to win the tournament, he stated that Rohit Sharma and co. went into the tournament with a lot of question marks over their bowling.
Despite missing lead pacer Jasprit Bumrah and premier all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja due to injuries, India did well to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup Down Under. However, they suffered an embarrassing 10-wicket loss to England in the knockout clash in Adelaide.
Reflecting on India’s journey in the tournament, Uthappa admitted that people were skeptical about the team’s bowling resources. He, however, hailed Team India’s bowlers for rising to the challenge with the exception of the semis. Speaking to Sportskeeda, Uthappa said:
“When we were going to Australia, we did not have a lot of confidence in our bowling. (Jasprit) Bumrah wasn’t there, Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) wasn’t bowling well at the death, Harshal (Patel) was struggling at the death. (Mohammed) Shami was coming back after a year. (Ravichandran) Ashwin and (Yuzvendra) Chahal’s form was also not good.
“India were successful because they bowled so well. The only reason we didn’t win the semis was because our bowling had an off day. It was a timid kind of effort with bat and ball.”
According to former India batter Mohammad Kaif, Team India made a lot of mistakes and the struggles of their spinners did not help the side’s cause. He explained:
“There were question marks over India’s spinners. There were doubts that they would get found out somewhere. In big matches, they proved ineffective. There was no turn and the finger spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel could not make an impact. India did not play a leg-spinner (Chahal). We made a lot of mistakes.”
While Ravichandran Ashwin claimed six wickets in as many matches at an average of 25.83, most of those scalps came against weaker sides. Left-arm spinner Axar Patel managed only three wickets in five games.
“Their bowling is easily one of the best” - Former Team India batter on Pakistan reaching final
While Pakistan’s batting was inconsistent right through the World Cup, Uthappa wasn’t surprised to see Babar Azam’s team reach the final. He termed Pakistan’s bowling as one of the best in the world. The 37-year-old stated:
“Pakistan were among the top four teams for me because their bowling is easily one of the best in the world at the moment. It is one of the reasons they have been so successful and got into the final. Their batting was patchy throughout the tournament.”
Left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi and leg-spinner Shadab Khan were Pakistan’s standout performers with the ball, claiming 11 wickets each from seven matches.