It has been proved that cricket has changed a lot in recent past the cliché of going with old guns has backfired. Pakistan were also very old fashioned as far as giving chance to the new faces but this time they did it and it paid off with triumphant victory in Champions Trophy 2017 as they fielded as many as three debutants in must win games and all of them exceeded the expectations. Teams have moved ahead by accepting this truth and doing well. India started the tournament pretty well by beating Pakistan comprehensively but our fielding was never up to the mark. If you lose one match than people can say it was a bad day but how same thing can happen twice? SL also beat India comprehensively. Is there something wrong with the team balance?
In one side we have excellent fielders like Jadeja, Hardik, Kohli etc but on the other side we have aging Yuvraj Singh, if you have watched him closely he was even struggling to bend down. The Yuvi we used know is done and dusted, dragging him by the name sake of senior player costing the team dearer and don’t find any logic backing him now, one advantage with him was his bowling that also has vanished. Kedar Jadhav has also disappointed with fair amount of mis-fielding. India trolled Pakistan for dropping catches in first match but this time it has haunted India more. I don’t remember that in any ICC event we dropped catches like this, that was may be in early 80’s and 90’s. Ground fielding has been below par missed quite a few run-outs overall it was a mess.
Almost in all the matches our top order has finished the job & middle order never been tested. In the most important game when their turns come they failed to deliver big time though Kohli was confident that guys are raring to go whenever they get a chance to bat but in reality it hasn’t happened. Top 3 was the leading run scorer in the tournament from India but their failure made India failed miserably. The runs Yuvraj added in the match against Pak was of sheer luck. His body language suggest that he has lost his charisma. Pandya got some skills with bat and in the final he looked in his zone when he bludgeon quick fire fifty but it was of no use as initiative already lost due to collapse of middle order batting.
After long long time India pace bowling attack is developing into a force to reckon in ICC event with pace quartet of Bhuvi, Yadav, Bumrah and Shami, many cricketing pundits around the glove hails as this is the best pace attack India ever got. Arguably this is the case this but unfortunately they all didn’t get a chance as a single unit throughout the tournament. In first match of ICC Champions Trophy against Pakistan our pace attack looks lethal and did majority of the damage and proved their worth but in final Virat Kohli opted for an extra spinner with Ashwin, who has a mediocre limited record and looked out of sorts when he was taken to the cleaners by Pakistan batsman. Bumrah with new ball proved another disaster and icing on the cake was his no-balls issue. Wicket on a no ball put new life in Pakistan. When you have Yadav and Shami who can bowl pretty well with new than why were they warmed the bench in major part of the tournament.
According to the experts the team combination was the major reason for India’s downfall in must win final to defend their title.