Former Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has urged the Men in Blue to take cues from England following their exit in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup 2022 at the Adelaide Oval. Harbhajan observed that his former side surrendered to England on Thursday (November 10) without a fight.
England ran riot as Jos Buttler and Alex Hales hammered Team India's bowling attack to chase down the target in 16 overs. England also delivered a reasonably disciplined bowling performance to restrict a star-studded batting unit to 168.
Speaking to India Today on the Battle of Champions show, Harbhajan Singh highlighted how England played like champions, unlike their opposition. He also questioned Yuzvendra Chahal's exclusion from the squad, stating that he should have been India's first-choice spinner.
Harbhajan Singh said:
"It is hurting more because we did not fight at all. India batted like ODI in the first 10-12 overs like they still had 40 more overs to play. India should learn this format from England. They played like champions. It is very disappointing to see India's approach throughout the tournament where they did not look like they would score more than 35 runs.
"I don't know what are the reasons that a champion bowler (Yuzvendra Chahal) is not in the team. He must have done something to someone that he is not getting a game. With his credentials, he should have been your first-choice spinner."
Team India's bowling unit looked incisive throughout the tournament, doing well against the likes of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and South Africa. Nevertheless, they struggled against Hales and Buttler. The spinners - Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin - went wicketless for 57 in six overs.
"With the ball, we just didn't turn up today" - Indian captain Rohit Sharma
Skipper Rohit Sharma observed that India's bowling performance in the semi-final was disappointing as they failed to protect the square boundaries at the venue without keeping it tight. He said, as quoted by ESPN Cricinfo:
"I thought we still batted pretty well at the back end to get to that score but we weren't good enough with the ball. It was definitely not a wicket where a team could come and chase down in 16-17 overs. But yeah, these things happen. Like I said, with the ball, we just didn't turn up today."
"We wanted to keep it tight, not give room, we looked at Adelaide pretty well, we know where the runs are scored. Square of the wicket is what we were quite aware of, and that's where all the runs went today.
"Keeping it tight is something we spoke of but from there if the batsman plays a good shot we'll take it. But that is something that didn't happen today and that is a little disappointing."
The Men in Blue's defeat on Thursday meant the side have now lost their last four World Cup semi-finals, dating back to 2015.
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