Former England skipper turned reporter Nasser Hussain points out the reason for India’s inability to win an ICC competition in past seven years. He states that India in wrong selection and absence of Plan B. Since winning the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013, India have entered the T20 World Cup last (2014), Champions Trophy last (2017) and made the knockouts of ODI World Cup and T20 World Cups different events.
“I would say the selection is where India has gone wrong over the ICC tournaments, adapting to conditions a little bit. So it’s not just about having one game plan,” Hussain told Star Sports’ Cricket Connected.
At the 2019 World Cup semi-final, India lost to New Zealand after top-order’s failure.
“Adapting to conditions, if it’s nibbling around (ball swinging) and if you are in a World Cup semi-final against New Zealand and it’s doing a little bit, where is your middle-order if you are 20 for 2 and Kohli and Sharma are out?” Hussain asked.
“It could almost be a fault of Indian cricket that they are too good at the top of the order. When it’s good and flat, okay Kohli hundred, Sharma hundred, hundreds at the top and lads in the middle order don’t get a hit,” he added.
He continued, “…..and suddenly you are 20 for 3 because you have come up against (Mitchell) Starc, (Josh) Hazlewood and suddenly all the guys haven’t had a hit and we are four down and how we are going to get out of it now. So it’s about having a Plan B that will get them across the line, not just having a Plan A.”
Selection, Hussain says, is one of India’s weakest points. “Selection – I know people say what’s that got to do with Kohli, but you got to have a selection plan. I think India did a lot of things well, I’m not sure selection is one of them,” he said.
However, Hussain still feels that despite the shortcomings, Virat Kohli’s record as a captain is right up there with the best. “Coming to a World Cup, not knowing who your No. 4 is when you got so many great batsmen in India, their selection issues that need to be sorted out, but the whole point of captaincy is to win games of cricket. And if you look at Kohli’s record as a captain, it is right up there with the best there’s ever been,” the 52-year-old said.