‘Let’s not be harsh’: Harbhajan Singh urges fans after India’s 8-wicket thrashing by New Zealand in T20 World Cup


DUBAI: Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh has urged millions of disappointed Indian fans to ”stay respectful” to Team India players after Virat Kohli-led side suffered a massive 8-wicket defeat at the hands of New Zealand in the Super 12 clash of the ongoing T20 World Cup in Dubai.

‘Bhajji,’ as Harbhajan Singh is popularly known, took to Twitter to remind fans to stay respectful towards their national team even after the loss. Former India spinner while stating that everyone expected better cricket from the ‘Men in Blue’, it is them who are hurt the most.

“Let’s not be harsh on our players.yes we know them for better cricket.Sabse jyada players ko hurt hota hai after such results.but well done to @BLACKCAPS NZ for winning th match.they were fantastic in all departments,” Harbhajan Singh tweeted.  

 

 

India’s superstar cricketers were pummelled on a second-straight Sunday as a disciplined New Zealand firmly pushed them towards the exit door with an easy eight-wicket victory in the ICC T20 World Cup here.

The defeat that puts India in serious danger of losing out on a semi-final berth also raises questions about outgoing T20 skipper Virat Kohli’s abject failure to win an ICC tournament in four attempts as captain. While Kohli is set to step down from T20 captaincy, this defeat puts his ODI leadership future also in doubt.

If Pakistan match was a humiliating experience, the encounter against New Zealand was embarrassing to say the least as a meagre target of 111 was chased down by Daryl Mitchell (49 off 35 balls) and skipper Kane Williamson (33 not out off 31 balls) in only 14.3 overs.

This was after India managed 110 for 7 in 20 overs in which they didn’t effectively score runs in nine of those overs (54 dot balls). Worse, they were just able to hit a single boundary between overs 8 and 15 when two spinners were in operation.

The equation for India now gets muddled up and only Afghanistan’s victory over New Zealand can raise hopes of an outside chance to qualify for the semi-finals.

That too if they win all their remaining matches against Afghanistan, Namibia and Scotland. But for all practical purposes, Kohli’s team, with its archaic version of T20 cricket, does not deserve a place in the last four.

New Zealand exposed the outfit’s inadequacies, mostly poor mindset and atrocious shot selection, something that was exploited to the hilt by Pakistan just a week back. Post World T20, a lot of senior players may not be seen playing the shortest format as the one thing that this team swears by – playing fearless cricket – was nowhere to be seen.

It seemed like catching practice for the New Zealand team as most of the batters were out in the deep trying to force the pace and failing miserably. There were 54 dot balls, which meant that India didn’t score any runs in nine of their 20 overs.

There were no demons in the track and India’s shoddy show with the willow was a consequence of poor team selection, not relying on form players and the failure to have any flexibility in the side, which lacked proper multi-skilled cricketers.

And true to ‘Murphy’s Law’ that “anything that can go wrong will go wrong at the worst possible time”, the team simply fell apart. For example, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli both lost form at the same time. The middle-order, which was a worry, remained so and Hardik Pandya as a batter completely flopped on big days.

He did bowl an over but one didn’t need to be an expert to understand that he is far from being bowling fit. But the biggest of them all was how a country, whose players are considered masters of spin bowling, looked clueless against the slow stuff.

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Sagar Biswas

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