Former India pacer Irfan Pathan thinks that planning and zeroing in on a stable XI stands in the way of Virat Kohli’s side winning big tournaments, something that has eluded the Men in Blue since the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy.
Pathan lamented India not having a fixed No 4 going into the World Cup last year, something that cost the two-time champions in the semi-finals against New Zealand following a top-order collapse during the run chase.
“If you look at the 2019 tournament, it was bad planning, I think the team can plan better,” Pathan told Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected.
“Look, we have the resources, we have the players, we have fitness... we have everything that it takes to be a world champion. However, we did not have a No 4 batsman just before the World Cup as well. We were struggling with having a proper eleven.
“I think we need to make sure that we have better planning going into the ICC trophies, going into the World Cup. If we have better planning, we have all the resources to be a champion,” Pathan added.
Between 2013 and 2019, India lost the T20 World Cup final in 2014 and were knocked by West Indies at the last four stage in 2016. Despite going into the Champions Trophy final in 2017 as firm favourites, Kohli’s side were stunned by arch-rivals Pakistan. Despite having an unblemished run till the semi-finals in the 2015 World Cup, MS Dhoni’s side were halted in their tracks in the semi-finals by eventual winners Australia.
World Cup-winning batsman Gautam Gambhir also weighed on India’s poor record in knock-out games in recent years and questioned the side’s fortitude despite consistently going past the group stages.
“If you look at all the semi-finals and finals, it just shows when playing really well in the league stage and you don’t play well in the semi-finals or in the knockouts, it’s probably your mental toughness as well,” the two-time Indian Premier League-winning captain said.
Watch Irfan Pathan’s response on India’s failure in knock-out games in recent times here: