Former Pakistani cricketer has highlighted the reason for Team India’s failures in the Asia Cup 2022 tournament and has now given his verdict on the same.
India’s shoddy performance in the Asia Cup 2022 was out for everyone to see. The Men in Blue were touted to be the favorites at the start of the tournament, and they started their campaign like a house on fire, getting the better of Pakistan and Hong Kong, which meant that they entered the Super-4 as the group toppers. However, things went downhill from there as they lost two consecutive games against Pakistan and eventual champions Sri Lanka, which meant that they were dependent on external factors for a chance to qualify, which did not materialize.
While there were a bunch of positives to look up to, India had a rather disappointing outing at the continental tournament. A host of factors were outlined as reasons for failure, ranging from middle-order collapses to poor death bowling, and captaincy blunders in key situations. However, if Bazid Khan is to be believed, the relatively slow nature of the top-order was one of the main reasons for India having an early exit.
Speaking to Hindustan Times in an exclusive interview, the former Pakistan batsman spoke on a wide range of topics concerning both India as well as Pakistan. When asked about India, he applauded the change of approach from the Indian batting from a conservative one to a much more aggressive approach, saying that this change in mindset has gone a long way in making India a much more well-rounded and an even more dangerous T20 outfit in recent times. He said, “India has done very well in playing this way because this is the way forward. The fact that you are 150-5 in 20 overs means that you have wasted your resources. There is no merit in playing conservatively nowadays”.
However, in spite of having such an aggressive approach, and having some really attacking players in the side, India lost the games when it mattered. When asked about why India did end up losing those games, Bazid Khan initially pointed out that the conditions in the UAE are not always conducive to playing aggressive T20 cricket. He elaborated, ” UAE is a very different venue to play T20 cricket, as in a lot is dependent on the toss. If statistics are to be believed, the side winning the toss always bowls first as it becomes easy to chase later. It is one of the very few venues which allow you to have an anchor in T20 cricket, because the ball gets stuck in the wicket, making stroke-play very difficult”.
However, he does believe that India did have issues, and they were stemming from the top order. While he acknowledged that Indian top-order batsmen did find their form toward the end of the tournament, by then it had become too late to make an impact in the competition, as they were all but eliminated from contention. “I mean, yeah Virat Kohli did score a century and he looked good throughout the tournament, but the top-order, in general, were not in form, and they found form as the tournament progressed. The fact that they did not hit the ground starting from the start meant that India lost those close matches”, Bazid opined.