‘It cost India’: Ravi Shastri explains reason behind India’s two World Cup debacles during his tenure

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri recently opened up on the team’s failures in the ICC ODI World Cup 2019 and the T20 World Cup 2021 last year. While India had made it to the semi-finals of the 2019 ODI World Cup, the Men in Blue crashed out from the group stages at the T20 World Cup in UAE last year. 

Shastri, who served as India’s head coach from 2017 to 2021, failed to inspire the team to a major ICC trophy during his tenure. Nonetheless, he had developed a great relationship with former captain Virat Kohli and the duo made India a force to reckon with across all three formats. However, when it came to winning big tournaments, India failed to live up to the expectations.

India came close to bringing an end to their ICC trophy drought in the 2019 ODI World Cup where they dominated in the group stages to reach the semi-finals. However, India lost the semi-final against New Zealand by 18 runs to bow out of the tournament. India then lost the ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand last year before failing at the T20 World Cup 2021.

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Explaining the reason behind India’s debacles at the two World Cups in 2019 and 2021, Shastri said he always wanted an all-rounder in the top six who can contribute generously with the ball. However, a back injury to Hardik Pandya meant India lacked that all-round option in the playing XI.

“I have always wanted a guy who could bowl in top six. And with Hardik getting injured, it became a massive problem. And it cost India. It cost India a couple of World Cups. Because we didn’t have anyone who could bowl in the top six. So, that was a liability. We told the selectors, ‘look for someone’. But then, who is there?” Shastri said on FanCode.

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While Hardik was bowling regularly during the 2019 ODI World Cup, he didn’t contribute much with the ball for India during the T20 World Cup 2021 last year. Sastri’s tenure as the head coach of the Indian team came to an end following the conclusion of the T20 World Cup last year where India faced back-to-back defeats against Pakistan and New Zealand to bow out of the tournament.

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