The Indian cricket team ushered in 2021 with performances that defied odds and made for stories celebrating fearlessness. The first quarter of the year was about India flaunting its massive resource pool and the never-to-take-a-backward-step approach.
Virat Kohli’s team was not overawed by any opponent. Hence, it’s rather bizarre how the team turned out in the first two games against Pakistan and New Zealand in the T20 World Cup and looked anything but fearless. The cautious, restrictive approach left everyone watching bemused.
If one looks at India’s performances through the year, the ‘fearless’ brand of cricket only showed up only when the team was pushed to a corner. And the comebacks were largely engineered by the unheralded or the inexperienced players. The young generation of players does not believe in the term ‘failure’.
Now, after walloping Afghanistan and Scotland, Kohli has claimed that the team has found its mojo back. Ravindra Jadeja squarely blamed dew for everything that has happened. “We didn’t press the panic button,” was Jadeja’s curt reply to a query about the discussions the team had after the abject surrender to Pakistan and New Zealand.
“As I said earlier, you will have a few bad matches in T20s. Especially in these conditions, toss has become important. Dew is becoming a game-changer. If the team that bats first in one game gets to chase in another, you can see the difference. Dew is making it seem as if the first team is batting on a different surface from the chasing team,” Jadeja’s answers became rhetorical by the time the press conference ended after the Scotland game on Friday night.
It’s literally in the blood of this team to not talk about its frailties and how hurt it is. Part-and-parcel-of-game cliché comes up after every debacle. What started out as defiance is now bordering on being in denial.
“We basically broke it down to the fact that we couldn’t get away at all in those two games. Two overs could have made the difference. I am just pleased everyone is getting into his own,” Kohli asserted after having blamed the toss and dew for the first two games.