The Twenty Twenty Cricket World Cup 2009, currently in progress in England, ended in a debacle for India. It was the defending champion, since it won the first edition of the Twenty Twenty Cricket World Championship held in South Africa in the year 2007.
Before the beginning of the tournament, tipped as the joint favourite with South Africa to win the World Twenty Twenty Championship, 2009, India failed miserably losing all its matches that it played at the Super Eight League stage with the West Indies, England and lastly with South Africa. Australia, the champion of both the shorter and longer version of the game also made its early exit by losing in the qualifying rounds. The early Australian exit did not shock anybody because the team having lost many of its cricket legends like Shane Warne and others was only a shadow of its former strong cricket outfit.
Considering their present form and performance, the South African and the Sri Lankan teams having won most of the matches that they have played so far, are now tipped as the hot favourites to win the Twenty Twenty Cricket World Cup Championship 2009 in England.
The Indian cricket team’s debacle has raised many eye brows. It has shocked the cricket crazy people of India to whom cricket is a religion. The BCCI had sent a very strong contingent, under the leadership of M. S. Dhoni, who has always been in the limelight for his calm and unassuming manners and leadership qualities.
But India’s debacle in the tournament, that too at the international level has sent shock waves and its reputation is at stake. Despite of being rich in resources, India’s poor performance in the current Twenty Twenty World Cup Championship, 2009 has prompted the cricket pundits to come up with some strong reasons to justify their poor performance.
o The Indian team has been playing too much of cricket almost non-stop for the past one year.
o Apart from the test and ODI cricket series, the IPL cricket series played every year during April has practically sapped their energy.
o India has always been a paper tiger, being very strong only at the Indian soil.
o Indian team has failed to read the English conditions quickly and acclimatize itself. However, India also played two warm up matches before the commencement of the tournament with New Zealand and Pakistan respectively, losing the former by 9 runs and winning the later by 6 wickets.
o India choked at the super eight league stage because the team was totally out of form.
o Viru’s early exit from the game and return to India because of a torn shoulder muzzle injury weakened the team at the top of the order. Dinesh Karthick who was sent in as a replacement for Viru was not a opening batsman.
o Rohit Sharma who was promoted to the opening slot did not perform well and justify his promotion, scoring poorly at the Super Eight league stage.
o There was a talk of disunity among the Indian players even before the tournament which played a havoc in their performance. There is every reason to suspect such a phenomenon, because, in the IPL series, Viru was the captain of Delhi Dare Devils which topped the points table in the IPL tournament. Yuvaraj Singh was the captain of Punjab XI team and M. S. Dhoni was the captain of Chennai Super Kings. Perhaps the egos of these captains clashed and played a significant role in the India’s debacle.
o Though hailed as a brilliant captain, M. S. Dhoni’s captaincy at the Super Eight league stage was not up to the mark. Especially, during the match played with England, having won the toss, Dhoni ought to have chosen to bat first; instead he elected to field , permitting England to bat first. This tactless decision was proved very costly that paved the way for the early exit of India from the tournament.
o Even in the last match played with South Africa, India did not play even to save its pride and lost the match woefully falling short to chase 131, a paltry total.
Having performed shabbily in the Twenty Twenty World Cup Championship, 2009, the Indian team awaits the most unceremonious welcome from the cricket crazy fans in India. Let us hope that the ailing Indian team will get well soon and do well in the forthcoming ODI series with the West Indies that begins shortly after India’s return to India.