India will look to end their underwhelming T20 World Cup 2021 campaign on a high when they take on Namibia in the final league game on Monday. Coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli would also eye a winning end to a significant chapter in the history of Indian cricket, as Shastri and Kohli are stepping down as the head coach and T20I captain after this tournament.
Against Namibia, they will surely like to win it big and skipper Kohli would do a world of good if he allows the likes of Rahul Chahar to get a game and gives Ishan Kishan another go. The senior players would gain precious little against the David Wiese's of the world save for beefing up their individual statistics.
Very rarely has an Indian team played such an inconsequential game at an ICC event since its last league game in the 1992 World Cup against South Africa after already being out of the race for the semi-finals.
It is not the first time that India is out of a global tournament before the last four stages, but it was not at all frustrating when one can clearly read the writing on the wall.
The two losses to Pakistan and New Zealand -in which they got outplayed - had already put India on the exit path. From there, it was more of a battle pitching hope against hope and it eventually all came crashing with New Zealand's eight-wicket win over Afghanistan.
And that is something that will hurt Shastri, a proud man, who has done his bit to make this a formidable all-condition Test team with a lethal fast bowling attack.
Their fabulous term saw India achieve the pinnacle of Test cricket glory with back-to-back series wins in Australia, a near-win on the recent tour of England, three dominating seasons at home and a phenomenal run up to the semifinals of the 2019 ICC 50-over World Cup.
This campaign also brings an end to the four-year stint of head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar, who have decided to move on.
For Kohli, who is all set to even lose his ODI captaincy in the coming days, this wasn't how he would have liked to end his T20 captaincy stint with the national team having already quit IPL captaincy.
It is also the first time since the 2013 Champions Trophy that an Indian men's team has failed to reach at least the semi-final stage of an ICC event.
They were champions in the 50 over Champions Trophy in 2013, followed by runners-up finish in T20 World Cup in 2014. In the 2015 ODI World Cup, the team lost in the semifinals.
The 2016 t20worldcup saw them reach the last four stage while they lost to Pakistan in the 2017 final of the 50-over Champions Trophy.
In 2019, his ODI World Cup campaign ended in the semi-finals, and the two-year Test World Championship also ended in a final defeat.
A combination of factors led to this debacle and if Kohli's poor captaincy and selection is one factor, the problems were certainly compounded by players like Hardik Pandya, who didnt reveal the full extent of their fitness status to the national selectors.
However, these fatigue-levels notwithstanding, the team faltered on multiple fronts too. Shreyas Iyer and Yuzvendra Chahal's non-selection, uncertainty about who'll open, an unplanned middle-order and not having a game plan with an in-form Shardul Thakur in focus could've been aspects for the indian cricketer to look at.
cricket india will take the flight back home and begin their journey to the 2022 edition of the T20 World Cup under new head coach and a new captain on a fresh note.
Namibia have managed to beat only Scotland so far in their Super 12 engagements after making the tournament-proper for the first time in the T20 format.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Rahul Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy, Shardul Thakur
Namibia: Namibia: Gerhard Erasmus (c), Stephen Baard, Karl Birkenstock. Michau du Preez, Jan Frylinck, Zane Green, Nicol Lofie-Eaton, Bernard Scholtz, Ben Shikongo, JJ Smit, Ruben Trumpelmann, Michael van Lingen, David Wiese, Craig Williams and Pikky Ya France.