India cricket team under Virat Kohli has been able to achieve great success. Kohli led India to a Test series win in Australia in 2018/19. India’s pace battery under Kohli comprising the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, among others has been regarded as one of the best units in the world at the moment. But one thing that Kohli has not been able to get his hands on at the moment as captain is an ICC trophy.
In 2014, when MS Dhoni was the captain, India lost the T20 World Cup final against Sri Lanka. A year later, Dhoni-led India were ousted by Australia in the ODI World Cup semifinal. In 2017, under Kohli’s captaincy, India lost to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final, despite being hailed as the favourites to win the tournament. Last year, India once again stumbled against New Zealand in the ODI World Cup semifinal, and were eliminated from the tournament.
“I would say selection is where India have gone wrong over the ICC tournaments, adapting to conditions a little bit. So it’s not just about having one game plan,” former England captain Nasser Hussain, one of the most respected voices in the game, told Star Sports’ ‘Cricket Connected’.
Hussain further said that India’s middle-order remains untested to deal with tricky situations with India top-order batsmen Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli, always getting runs on the board and winning the games for India.
“Adapting to conditions, if it’s nibbling around (ball swinging) and if you are in a World Cup semi-final against New Zealand and it’s doing a little bit, where is your middle-order if you are 20 for 2 and Kohli and Sharma are out?” Hussain questioned.
“It could almost be a fault of Indian cricket that they are too good at the top of the order. When it’s good and flat, okay Kohli hundred, Sharma hundred, hundreds at the top and lads in the middle order don’t get a hit,” he commented.
The former England batsman further added that India have no answers once they quickly lose three wickets in early overs. “…..and suddenly you are 20 for 3 because you have come up against (Mitchell) Starc, (Josh) Hazlewood and suddenly all the guys haven’t had a hit and we are four down and how we are going to get out of it now. So it’s about having a Plan B that will get them across the line, not just having a Plan A,” he said.