After India’s back-to-back defeats in their opening two matches at the T20 World Cup, Wasim Akram pointed out that the team is “not taking international series seriously” and that they’re content to play the IPL. Akram further looked up at where India went wrong during their defeat to New Zealand.
India went down to Pakistan and New Zealand by 10 and eight wickets respectively in their first two matches at the T20 World Cup 2021. The results have significantly dented their semi-final qualification hopes, as they now need to rely on other results while winning each of their remaining three Super 12s matches.
The recently concluded IPL 2021 has been marked as one of the major reasons for the poor show.
Wasim Akram, the former Pakistan great, pointed out that India last played a full-strength team in a limited-overs series in March (against England), which, to him, suggested that the team and players might be giving more importance to the IPL. He further spoke about the difference in quality of bowling in international cricket and T20 leagues.
"India last played a limited-overs series with all the senior players in March," Akram said on A Sports after India’s defeat to New Zealand. “Now we are in November. So that shows they are not taking those international series seriously. They think playing the IPL is enough.
“You play as much league cricket in the world that you want. While playing league cricket, you will find one or two good bowlers in the opposition. In international cricket, you will face all five good bowlers.”
India were dominated by New Zealand right from the start in a must win game in Dubai on Sunday. Rohit Sharma was rather surprisingly slotted to bat at No.3, with Ishan Kishan being sent in to open with KL Rahul. Akram marked the move as “the biggest mess-up” as he reflected on India’s poor outing.
"It wasn’t a great game. It was a one-sided game,” remarked Akram. “India committed a lot of mistakes. When they lost the toss, I felt they were pushed back a little psychologically. The biggest mess-up was downgraded Rohit Sharma to 3 in a crucial, do-or-die game. The guy has got four centuries in T20Is as opener. They could have made Ishan Kishan bat at 3 too. This was the start when the panic button was pressed."
India will take on Afghanistan next, in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, November 3.