Gautam Gambhir has questioned Virat Kohli's decision-making after defeats to Pakistan and New Zealand at the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021. Gambhir asked of the team to change the brand of cricket they play, and present more positive body language ahead of their remaining Super 12s matches.
India had a dismal start to their T20 World Cup 2021 campaign with successive defeats to Pakistan and New Zealand. Their chances for semi-finals qualification seem bleak, as they'll have to rely on other results while winning each of their own remaining Super 12s games.
"Kohli has never impressed me as a strategist," Gambhir wrote in his column for the Times of India. "Once again, he was a disappointment on Sunday. For starters, why did he change the team from the one that played against Pakistan? If that was not enough, he also changed the batting order and had Ishan Kishan open in place of Rohit. I have played long enough to know that he would have nothing to do with these knee-jerk changes just after one game. And what I also understand is that the other support staff hardly challenge Kohli's calls."
Gambhir believed that the team needs to be a bit more positive in their approach, ahead of their next fixture against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, November 3.
"Our campaign is almost done barring some major upsets," he wrote. "Before the upsets happen in our favour, we also need to get past the spin and courage of Afghanistan today. The evidence on offer so far is not too encouraging , but then it is sport at the end of the day. India just needs to tone down their panic, change the brand of cricket they had played in the last two games and present more positive body language. Trust me it doesn't take too much."
Gambhir, who was an integral part of India's victorious campaigns at the T20 World Cup 2007 and World Cup 2011, believed that India needed better application with the bat against New Zealand. He added that India made the opposition bowling look better than it actually was, with their own below-par performance.
“If you look closely, the Indian batting line-up is well suited for these conditions. There is Kohli, whose game is built around hitting the gaps and running hard. There is KL Rahul, who can set the grass on fire with his ground strokes and still look set for a batting beauty pageant. Although they did not play Suryakumar Yadav in this game, he too can manufacture gaps even after the powerplay is over. In summary, we needed more application from the batsmen and not some sensational hitting,” he remarked.
"The question is whether Sodhi and other New Zealanders bowled well or India batted below par. I am the first one to acknowledge opposition's supremacy but after seeing Kohli and his men play the way they did on Sunday, I'd say they made Sodhi and Co. looked better than they were. From a distance it seems there was no clear planning, role allocation and proper assessment of the conditions. Clearly, they were searching for a mountain of a score. Lack of understanding of the pitch meant they were in pursuit of a score around 170-180. As a result, Indian batsmen kept hitting in the air like millionaires and folded for 110."