One of the top players of 2023 in white ball cricket, Sri Lankan superstar Chamari Athapaththu has set her eyes on the big prize at the ICC Women's T20 World Cup later this year.
Following India’s T20I series loss to West Indies, former Indian pacer Venkatesh Prasad expressed disappointment with the team’s performances, calling it a “very ordinary limited overs side” which has been “living in an illusion” and is missing the hunger and fire in their game.
Nicholas Pooran and Brandon King’s blistering batting display at Lauderhill helped West Indies clinch a five-match T20I series 3-2 against India here at Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground on Sunday.
Venkatesh Prasad pointed out losses to the West Indies, which have not qualified for the 50-overs World Cup this year and missed on main stages of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia, crashing out in the first round and to Bangladesh, another side ranked low as compared to India.
“India has been a very very ordinary limited overs side for sometime now. They have been humbled by a West Indies side that failed to qualify for the T20 WC few months back. We had also lost to Ban in the ODI series. Hope they introspect instead of making silly statements #IndvWI,” tweeted Venkatesh.
The former pacer said that the team misses hunger and intensity and needs skillset improvement as it has batters who cannot bowl and bowlers who cannot bat.
“India needs to improve their skillset. There is a hunger & intensity deficiency & often the captain looked clueless. Bowlers can’t bat, batsmen can’t bowl. It’s important to not look for yes men and be blinded because someone is your favourite player but look at the larger good,” he added in another tweet.
While replying to a user, Venkatesh said that the captain and team management are responsible for the position the team is in. He also said that words like “process” often used in the post-match presentations are misused.
“They are responsible for the debacle and need to be accountable. Process and such words are misused now. MS meant it, guys now just use the word. There is no consistency in selection, random stuff happening too much,” he replied to a user.
Venkatesh said that India is performing poorly, but is brushing it under the carpet under the garb of illusion.
“Not just 50 overs, West Indies had failed to qualify for the T20 World Cup last Oct- Nov as well. It pains to see India perform poorly and brush it under the carpet, under the garb of process. That hunger, fire is missing and we live in an illusion,” said Venkatesh Prasad while replying to another use.
Coming to the match, electing to bat first, India was off to a bad start, losing openers Yashasvi Jaiswal (5) and Shubman Gill (9) quickly, reducing Men in Blue to 17/2. Following these two quick hiccups, Suryakumar Yadav had a 49-run partnership with Tilak Varma (27 in 18 balls with three fours and two sixes). After the dismissal of Tilak, it was all pretty much downhill for India.
Suryakumar scored 61 in 45 balls (four boundaries and a six), but Sanju Samson (13) and skipper Hardik Pandya (14) failed to provide much support to the number one-ranked T20I batter from the other end. Wickets kept falling and India finished at 165/9 in their 20 overs.
A four-wicket haul by Romario Shepherd (4/31) put brakes on India’s progress during the innings, as he got crucial wickets of Samson and Pandya. Akael Hosein (2/24) got both the openers while Jason Holder (2/36) got the crucial wicket of Suryakumar.
In the chase of 166, WI lost Kyle Mayers (10) cheaply. But a 107-run stand between Brandon King and Nicholas Pooran (47 in 35 balls, with one fours and four sixes) took the match completely from India, before Tilak dismissed Pooran. King, who scored 85* in 55 balls with five fours and six sixes, joined forces with Shai Hope (22* in 13 balls) to take WI to a win with two overs to spare.
Tilak and Arshdeep took a wicket each for India.
Shepherd’s four-fer earned him the ‘Player of the Match’ award. (ANI)
Pooran got the ‘Player of the Series’ award for scoring 176 runs in five matches with the best score of 67 and a strike rate of almost 142. (ANI)