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'We were timid. It showed in our game': Shastri on India's T20 World Cup low, explains why exiting early 'hurt more'

Former head coach Ravi Shastri recalled India's forgettable performance at the T20 World Cup, saying the team's 'timid and tentative' approach cost them the tournament.
Ravi Shastri recalled India's 2021 T20 World Cup campaign. (Getty Images)
Updated on Jan 01, 2022 07:07 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Despite 2021 being one of the best years in Indian cricket, missing two ICC titles would go down as missed opportunities. After losing the final of the World Test Championship, in a span of four months, India squandered another opportunity to win an ICC trophy when they bowed out of the T20 World Cup.

Former head coach Ravi Shastri recalled India's forgettable performance at the event, saying the team's 'timid and tentative' approach cost them the tournament. India exited the T20 World Cup before making it to the knockouts – the first time it happened in 8 years and as many ICC events. Consecutive defeats to Pakistan and New Zealand technically knocked them out as wins against Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia being a mere consolation.

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India were drubbed by 10 wickets against Pakistan, but Shastri feels it was the game against New Zealand where the shoulders really dropped, and it acted as a detriment for the team's hurtful exit from the World Cup. New Zealand beat India by 8 wickets and ended up reaching the final, with Pakistan finishing as semi-finalists.

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"Pakistan played well on that day, and against New Zealand, we were timid. We were very timid. It showed in the game. We were tentative instead of going for the jugular. You never mind losing as long as you're throwing punches. But if you're timid and tentative then it hurts more. And in a tournament like this if you lose too early then you're in trouble," Shastri said on the Bold & Brave The Ravi Shastri Way' show on Star Sports.

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Shastri added that the room for error is all the more less given the format of the tournament. The former coach pointed out that the format implemented at the 2019 World Cup should be the way forward, where each team plays all the others and called for a Playoff scenario, referring to India's campaign in the tournament. The Men in Blue topped the league stage but a loss to New Zealand ended their run in England.

"It's not like the format in 2019, where you can play every opposition. I think that is the way to go forward. That format is the best, and then have the Playoffs ideally, if you want to decide the World Cup," explained Shastri.

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