'This has been poorest of all what I have seen in last 4-5 years': Disappointed Ganguly rates India's T20 WC performance
- This was the first time India did not make the semi-final of an ICC tournament in nine years.
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly opened up on India's performance in the 2021 T20 World Cup for the first time since their early exit at the tournament where Australia had emerged as champions, calling it the team's worst performance at an ICC event in the last five years.
Comparing to India's performance in the 2017 Champions Trophy, where India had lost to Pakistan in the final, and the 2019 ODI World Cup, where India lost to New Zealand in the semis, during the show 'Backstage with Boria', Ganguly admitted that he was left disappointed with the team's performance in the UAE.
"To be honest, 2017 [and] 2019, I think India was good. 2017 Champions Trophy we lost the final to Pakistan at the Oval, I was a commentator then. Then the 2019 World Cup in England, we were exceptional right throughout, beat everyone and lost to New Zealand in the semi-final - one bad day and the entire good work for two months was just wiped away. [I am] a little disappointed with the way we played this World Cup. I think this has been the poorest of all what I have seen in the last four-five years," he said.
India, who were pre-tournament favourites, lost to Pakistan by 10 wickets in their opener and by five wickets against New Zealand before winning three in a row in the group stage, but the victories weren't enough for Virat Kohli's men as they failed to proceed to the semis. This was the first time India did not make the semi-final of an ICC tournament in nine years.
Although Ganguly couldn't pick a primary reason behind the early exit, he opined that India played to only 15 per cent of their ability.
"I don't know what's the reason but I just felt they did not play with enough freedom this World Cup. Sometimes it happens in big tournaments, you just get stuck and when I saw them playing against Pakistan and New Zealand - I just felt this was the team which was playing to 15% of its ability. And sometimes you can't just a finger on it that this is the reason why it happened," he added.
With eight ICC tournaments in the next eight years, Ganguly hopes that India will bounce back strongly to perform better in the next T20 World Cup which will be played in Australia.
"Hopefully, they'll learn from it because see, the difference from my generation and this is that [now] there's a world title tournament every year. The next cycle will have eight tournaments in eight years. So, it will be an opportunity for them to turn things around and hopefully in Australia this team will play a lot better. The talent is without any question, the ability of players is without any question, it's just that I felt the execution in this World Cup wasn't good."