There’s little doubt that the Indian men’s cricket team is having a tough time on the turf, highlighted by their string of defeats to major sides in the sport. It all began at the Asia Cup earlier this month when the Men in Blue lost back-to-back close games against Pakistan and Sri Lanka followed by their shock exit from the prestigious continental tournament. This week, Rohit Sharma and his men were beaten by Australia in the first of the three T20Is at Mohali’s PCA Stadium and that’s when all hell broke loose. Supporters of former captain Virat Kohli and current skipper Rohit Sharma clashed on Twitter, blaming each other’s favorite player for India’s loss in Punjab. While Rohit Sharma was dismissed for 9 off 13 deliveries, in-form Virat Kohli could only make 2 off 7.
Virat Kohli was even slammed by former head coach Ravi Shastri for playing a poor shot to get out cheaply in the contest.
“The kind of game he has got, there is no need for that kind of shots that early. He has got to get in, and run those extra runs. He has got a hundred on his back and he shouldn’t waste good form. He needs to give himself time in the middle,” Ravi Shastri said on air during the match.
“A player of that quality doesn’t need to go in the air that much, especially on tracks like this. At his best, he is a superb place of the ball, he is a fine placer of the ball. He can hit those big shots in the latter half of the innings. He can churn them out at will, once he is in,” the former India all-rounder added.
Though Ravi Shastri was critical of Virat Kohli’s approach in the game, he was particularly disturbed by their fielding standards.
“If you look at all the top Indian teams over the years, there is youth and experience. I find the youth missing here and hence the fielding. If you look at the last five-six years, fielding wise, I think this side is no match to any of the top sides when it comes to fielding. And that can hit badly in big tournaments. It means that as a batting side you have to get that 15-20 runs game after game, because if you look around the field, where is brilliance? There is no Jadeja. Where is that X-factor?” Ravi Shastri argued.
“What I was disappointed today with was the standard of fielding. I mean, it looks sloppy and I think you need a big upping of the ante when it comes to the fielding if you have to beat big sides in big competitions,” Ravi Shastri noted.
Ravi Shastri’s strong remarks came after India failed to stop Australia from winning the first T20I in Mohali despite putting up a total of 208/6 on the board.
With their defeat against Aaron Finch and company, Team India set up an unwanted world record, becoming the first side to lose two matches at home in a calendar year even after scoring 200-plus runs in T20Is.
On the other hand, Rohit Sharma held his side’s bowlers, especially the pacers responsible for the defeat.
“I don’t think we bowled well. 200 is a good score to defend, and we didn’t take our chances in the field. It was a great effort from our batters, but bowlers were quite not there. There are things we need to look at,” a highly disappointed Rohit Sharma opined at the post match presentation ceremony.
“We know this is a high-scoring ground. You can’t relax even if you get 200. We took wickets to an extent, but they played really well. They played some extra-ordinary shots. If I was in that changing room, I would expect to chase that total. You can back yourself to get 60 runs in the final 4 overs. We were not able to take their wicket,” he stated.
But a section of fans was not in agreement with Rohit Sharma and instead pinned the blame on his below-par captaincy.
A few even claimed that if Virat Kohli had been the captain, and lost matches from such positions, as the one against Australia, the media and his critics would have slammed him right, left, and center. But Rohit Sharma isn’t facing the same kind of music because he is the favorite of the media, the BCCI, and even former cricketers.
This riled up Team India captain’s fans who then hit back at Virat Kohli’s admirers in their signature style, posting statistics from the past about how the Delhi-born cricket star failed to win a multi-team event for the national side during his long stint as skipper.
World's Best Captain #RohitSharma and his consistent decision to give 19th over to #bhuvneshwarkumar 🤡🤡
— Cricket CHRONICLES 🇮🇳 (@CricChronicles) September 20, 2022
Umesh Yadav 😂😂😂😂😂
— Cricket Wallah (@Wallah4Cricket) September 20, 2022
Greatest C grade captain since birth of universe
— Indian 🇮🇳 (@sachittraipathi) September 20, 2022
Guy lost the series against Australia at home in 2019 with Bumrah in his team even after that he captained India for 2 more years don't you think that was enough torture we got! 🤷 https://t.co/ocFpEChyiq pic.twitter.com/KVJcaUvUEe
— ∆RKU 45 (@DoubleHundred4) September 20, 2022