'When we lost last year, everyone said it was Virat Kohli's fault, now...': Former opener on India's woes in tournament
India had fallen out of the T20 World Cup in the UAE last year after losing their first two matches to Pakistan and New Zealand and now fail to reach the Asia Cup final in the same venue after losing their first two matches in the Super 4 stage.
India have faced disappointment in a tournament hosted in the United Arab Emirates for the second consecutive year. They had earlier been dumped out of the T20 World Cup 2021 in the first stage of their involvement in the tournament, having fallen to heavy defeats to Pakistan and New Zealand in their first two matches. They have now missed out on reaching the Asia Cup final after losing to Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the Super 4.
The T20 World Cup was going to be Virat Kohli's last as captain of the team in the shortest format of the game. While Kohli was replaced by Rohit Sharma, head coach Ravi Shastri also chose not to seek another term in the position, stepping down when his contract ran out after the tournament. Current head coach Rahul Dravid took over from him.
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While India's failure in the 2021 T20 World Cup was put on Kohli and Shastri's shoulders by many with the expectation that Dravid and Rohit may provide better results, India haven't been able to fare much better under them in the UAE just under a year later. Former India opener has said that the answer may not lie in who is captain or coach but in India's constant experimentation with their team.
"When we lost here last year, many said it was because of Virat Kohli and that they should change the captain. Now even Rohit Sharma couldn't win here. So that shows that the team selection is the problem and not the captain," said Chopra on his Youtube page.
"Last time you suddenly picked players out of the blue and left out (Yuzvendra) Chahal. You opened with Ishan Kishan. And now you continue to do the same. You opened with Ishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, and Deepak Hooda, and now suddenly you don't have Dinesh Karthik the finisher at No. 7, and have just three (fast) bowling options," he said.
Chopra said that in stark contrast to this, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, who will play the final on Sunday have hardly changed their squad throughout the tournament.
“India might play Deepak Chahar and Axar Patel or Ravi Bishnoi. You need to play wicket-taking bowlers and play DK if you aren't going to give Hooda any overs. There is a lack of clarity in the planning. We do so many changes looking at the opposition, but Sri Lanka and Pakistan have made just one change each and yet are in the final,” he said.