'They think IPL is enough': Akram says India 'not taking international series seriously', identifies 'biggest mess-up'
- Although the players took part in the Indian Premier League recently, no amount of league cricket can match the standards of international cricket, let alone in the World Cup, highlighted Akram.
Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram believes India's negligence towards playing limited-overs international cricket seems to be the reason behind their poor show in the ongoing T20 World Cup. The legendary former pacer, who is second-highest wicket-taker in ODIs, pointed out an interesting fact that prior to the T20 World Cup, the last big international limited-overs series the senior players played was back in March against England.
Although the players took part in the Indian Premier League recently, no amount of league cricket can match the standards of international cricket, let alone in the World Cup, highlighted Akram.
"India last played a limited-overs series with all the senior players in March. Now we are in November. So that shows they are not taking those international series seriously. They think playing the IPL is enough. You play as much league cricket in the world that you want. While playing league cricket, you will find one or two good bowlers in the opposition. In international cricket, you will face all five good bowlers," Akram said on A Sports following India’s defeat to New Zealand.
Akram makes a valid point. India did play three ODIs and three T20Is in Sri Lanka around July end, but it was a squad filled with youngsters since the senior players were participating in the Test series in England. Weighing in further on Sunday's match, which India lost to New Zealand by eight wickets to keep their semi-final chances hanging by a thread, Akram reckons losing the toss deflated India in the first place, which further worsened when the management decided to push Rohit Sharma at No. 3.
"It wasn’t a great game. It was a one-sided game. India committed a lot of mistakes. When they lost the toss, I feel they were pushed back a little psychologically. The biggest mess-up was downgraded Rohit Sharma to 3 in a crucial, do-or-die game. The guy has got four centuries in T20Is as opener. They could have made Ishan Kishan bat at 3 too. This was the start when the panic button was pressed," Akram pointed out.