Monty Panesar believes that Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri and MS Dhoni are not on the same page, following India’s back-to-back defeats to Pakistan and New Zealand respectively at the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021. Panesar believed that the 2007 champions still stand a chance to make it to the semi-finals.
After a 10-wicket defeat in their T20 World Cup 2021 opener against Pakistan, India were outplayed by New Zealand on Sunday, October 31, and their chances for a semi-final qualification stand slim.
There have been questions over the team selections and the batting-order following the results, more so after Rohit Sharma was rather surprisingly slotted to bat at No.3 against New Zealand. The Virat Kohli led side still stand a chance for a top-two finish in the group, if they win each of their remaining three matches and other results go their way.
“India can still qualify. They can still turn it around,” Panesar told TimesofIndia.com. “But it needs a lot of things and all will depend on Virat, Ravi and Dhoni. Virat, Ravi and Dhoni need to be on the same page. I believe they are not. People will remember Virat as a great batsman and massive chaser but will always criticise him as a leader because he couldn’t do anything when the team was under crisis and he failed to turn it around.
“India need to win all the three games massively. They need to win their remaining games by a huge margin so that their run rate goes up. Let’s not think what math says, they need to perform (at) 200 percent and need to pray the other team’s results go as per their wish. They are still not out of the tournament.”
Toss has played a vital role in the tournament so far, with teams finding it increasingly difficult to set a defendable total, and bowl under the lights with dew playing its part. Panesar acknowledged the toss factor, and added that the captain has been low on confidence.
“Toss played a crucial role in the tournament,” said Panesar. “In UAE, the team that wins the toss first, they have an upper hand. If India had won the toss, things would have been different. Virat doesn’t have the best XI at the moment. He is low on confidence. Virat, Ravi and Dhoni need to sit down and sort this out quickly as some easy games are coming up. They need to work out things in terms of approach, play and strategy.”
India will take on Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, November 3.