India’s robust run in the 2019 World Cup came to an end with an 18-run defeat to New Zealand in the semi-final. India finished the league stage of the World Cup in England as the No. 1 ranked team, tasting just one defeat to England in Birmingham. But having come so close, India’s top order endured a woeful failure in chase of 240 and despite Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni’s fighting knocks, were knocked out of the World Cup in the crunch semifinal in Manchester.
Former all-rounder Yuvraj Singh has blamed ‘lack of proper planning’ as the reason behind India’s ouster in the 2019 World Cup, saying that the inexperienced middle order is what hurt Virat Kohli and his team. Citing example of India’s 2011 World Cup win, Yuvraj felt that guys like Vijay Shankar and Rishabh Pant, who were still young in the international circuit, should not have been slotted at the all-important No. 4 position.
“When we won the World Cup (2011), we all had a set position to bat. I felt 2019 World Cup; they didn’t plan it well,” Yuvraj told Sanjay Manjrekar on Sports18’s show ‘Home of Heroes’. “They got Vijay Shankar to bat at 4 with just 5-7 ODIs, then they replaced him with Rishabh Pant, who had played 4 ODIs. When we played the 2003 World Cup, Mohammad Kaif, (Dinesh) Mongia and I had already played 50-odd ODIs.”
Yuvraj added that India faced a similar problem at last year’s T20 World Cup, where for the first time in eight ICC events, the Men in Blue failed to make it to the knockouts. One of India’s most decorated match-winners, Yuvraj reckons that for tournaments as big an important as World Cups, it is important to identify a set of player for each position.
“Our middle-order (batsmen) in T20 bats higher in franchise cricket. That is where we lacked in the last T20 World Cup,” he pointed out.
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