Given the side India had and given India’s past record in ICC events, anything less than a win would be seen as a disappointment. This Indian side is on par with the best of the world in terms of talent and their ability to bring their A game when it comes to ICC events shows how the side soaks up pressure and gives their best performances when it matters. Expecting a win wasn’t arrogance but a rational expectation from a top side.
India brushed away Pakistan in their opening game. Although their fielding was shoddy, their batting and bowling were both enough to record yet another crushing win over their famous rivals. In the next game against Sri Lanka, the batters did their job by posting a total of 322 but given the flat pitch at the Oval that total seemed underpar. And so it came to be as Sri Lanka chased it down with ease after they cleverly targeted the 4th & 5th bowlers. Against South Africa, India bowled well while South Africa succumbed to the cliche and choked with the bat. Through to the knockouts, the Bangladesh semi final was where India won the game through Kedar Jadhav with the ball and some brilliant batting by Rohit Sharma & Virat Kohli.
India sealed a massive 124-run win against Pakistan in their first match
The final though was an altogether a different story. Despite having initially tied down Fakhar Zaman well and getting him out, Jasprit Bumrah’s no ball proved to be a fatal mistake. Once that happened, Pakistan’s batting finally showed up at the CT and boy dii they do it at the biggest stage.
No-Ball Will Haunt Jasprit Bumrah For A Long Time
Even more, the Indian batting then decided not to show up for the first time in the tournament and just like Pakistan they selected the biggest stage to do it. Credit to Pakistan though for bowling their hearts out to secure the win.
Last time when India won the champions trophy, their spinners played an important role picking up 20 wickets at an average of 19.5 while giving away 4.28 runs per over. But this time around the spinners failed to show up as they picked only 8 wickets at an average of 60.37 runs while conceding 5.81 runs per over. The lack of wickets through the spinners hurt India and is a point of worry for the future since the next WC is also in England. And given that both Ravis Jadeja & Ashwin didn’t contribute much with the bat maybe it’s time we look into Krunal Pandya who can provide something with both the bat and the ball.
India’s batting is good, but this side can become better. India aims for 320, but the side has the ability to score much more and that’s where they can improve their game. They have the resources to do it but they need to plan their innings in a better manner.
Kohli’s captaincy as well leaves a lot to be desired, and bowling Jadhav in the crucial junctures of the final was not required. Hopefully Kohli will learn over time as this was his first ICC tournament.