Former India cricketers Sunil Gavaskar and Madan Lal have criticised India's decision to demote Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli from their usual batting positions. During's India's crushing 8-wicket defeat against New Zealand on Sunday, Rohit Sharma walked in at No. 3 and Virat Kohli after him at four.
Batting great Sunil Gavaskar was left guessing over India's decision to demote two of their best bastmen. He questioned if the management does not trust "great batsman" Rohit Sharma against left-arm pacers. He also pointed of that Ishan Kishan, "a hit-or-miss" batsman was suited to play in the middle-order.
"I don't know if it is a fear of failure but I know that whatever changes they made to the batting order today did not work. Rohit Sharma is such a great batsman and he has been sent in at No.3. Kohli himself, who has made so many runs at No.3 demotes himself to No.4. A young player like Ishan Kishan has been given the responsibility of opening the batting," said Sunil Gavaskar as quoted by India Today.
"Ishan Kishan is a hit-or-miss player and it is better if a batsman like him walks in No.4 or No.5. He could then play according to the situation of the game. Now what has happened is that Rohit Sharma has been told that we don't trust you to face the left-arm fast bowling of Trent Boult. If you do that to a player who has been playing at a position for so many years, he himself will think that maybe he doesn't have the ability. If Ishan Kishan had made 70-odd runs we would have applauded. But when the ploy doesn't work, you are going to be criticised," Gavaskar added.
With the presence of the likes of MS Dhoni and Ravi Shastri in India's team management, Madan Lal said that the decision to demote himself and Rohit may not have been entirely Kohli's decision.
"Many a times there are decisions that the captain simply has to take and the decision to demote Rohit Sharma was wrong. He has been playing for so many years at the top but now the entire battling order changes," he told Sports Tak.
Talking about the encounter at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, India batsmen were miserable in the Powerplay overs again as Tim Southee and Trent Boult got the better of KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan respectively. Rohit Sharma walked in at No. 3 in the match but could manage to add only 14 runs to India's tally. Virat Kohli's 17-ball struggle in the midde came to an end after Ish Sodhi dimissed him for 9 in the 11th over. Rishabh Pant (12 off 19) also found the going tough in the middle and was castled by Adam Milne.
Hardik Pandya (23 off 24) and Ravindra Jadeja (26* off 19) scored some important runs as India posted a below par total of 110 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
New Zealand lost the Wicket of Martin Guptill (20 off 17) in the fourth over but then a solid 72-run partnership between the opener Daryly Mitchell and Kane Williamson followed. Mitchell fell one run short of his fifty but Williamson continued from the other end and scored unbeaten 33 runs as India registered a thumping win over India.
With two defeats in as many matches, India are on the brink of crashing out of the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021. They next face Afghanistan on November 3.