The Indian cricket fraternity has strongly responded to the debacle of Virat Kohli and Company, who are facing elimination from the T20 World Cup before the semi-finals stage. The team had suffered two crushing defeats – by ten 10 to Pakistan in their tournament opener on October 24 and an eight-wicket bashing at the hands of Kiwis on Sunday last.
As the Men in Blue face flak for their meek surrender, cricket fraternity has stood by the beleaguered team. The response has been a mixed one – wide spread support and also questions over some team selection.
There remains little hope of India’s entry to the semi-finals even if they score big wins in their remaining three Group 2 matches. If Afghanistan manage to defeat New Zealand, India will have to rely on a net run rate scenario. Alas, there too appears little hope at present.
As fans have been slamming the team, former England captain Kevin Pietersen appealed to the fans to support Virat Kohli and co. Team India.
“There is a winner and a loser in the game. No player goes out to lose. It is the greatest honour to represent your country. Please realize that the people in the game are not robots and they need support at all times,” tweeted Pietersen in Hindi.
Harbhajan Singh, the veteran off-spinner, has pleaded with the fans to not to be too harsh on the players as they are the ones hurting the most after the wight-wicket loss.
“Let’s not be harsh on our players. Yes, we know them for better cricket. Sabse jyada players ko hurt hota hai after such results. but well done to @BLACKCAPS NZ for winning the match. they were fantastic in all departments,” tweeted Harbhajan.
Pakistani crickets too have come to support India. “I still believe India is the best team, it is just a matter of having a good time or bad time,” tweeted pace sensation Mohammad Amir, adding abusing players and their families “is such a shame.”
“Don’t forget [at the] end of the day it’s just a game of cricket,” he added.
Batsman Azhar Ali said that the situation is not looking good for India. “It’s not looking good for India…but we all want India to stay in the tournament,” he Twitted. “This early exit of India won’t be good for the event.”
VENGSARKAR QUESTIONS CHOICES FOR XI
Meanwhile, former chief selector and India captain Dilip Vengsarkar has questioned the choices made for the XI. “Why is (Ravichandran) Ashwin being so dropped for so long? It is a matter of investigation. Across formats he is your best spinner with more than 600 international wickets. He is your senior most spinner and you don’t pick him.
“I fail to understand. He didn’t play a single game in the England Test series also. Why do you pick him then? It is a mystery to me.” Hardik Pandya bowled for the first time in the tournament on Sunday but has not bowled regularly in a long time and is being picked more as a specialist batter.
“We are too top-three dependant. When they don’t fire, the team is in trouble more often than not. I can’t talk about Hardik’s fitness sitting here. All I can say is that as an all-rounder if you are not able to contribute with bat and ball, you are going to be under pressure.”
About Rohit Sharma’s demotion to number three to accommodate Ishan Kishan, Vengsarkar said it seemed like a one-off move since Suryukumar Yadav was injured.
Most of the batters failed to clear the boundary in Dubai and that is another worry for Vengsarkar.
“We need to have bigger boundaries in the IPL, especially in India. Most of our batters were caught in the deep yesterday,” the 65-year-old added.
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