“I knew they would collapse…” Windies Legend Strongly Criticized Indian Team For Their Lackluster Performance In The WTC Final

India’s recent loss against Australia in the World Test Championship final has reignited the debate surrounding the team’s performance in ICC knockout matches. Despite possessing a lineup filled with exceptional match-winners, India has stumbled numerous times in their quest for ICC silverware.

Legendary West Indian fast bowler Andy Roberts has joined the chorus of critics, attributing India’s failures to arrogance and misplaced priorities. The consistent collapses and missed opportunities in crucial matches have raised concerns about India’s ability to perform under pressure.

Since the 2013 Champions Trophy, India has faltered eight times in ICC knockout events, including two World Test Championship finals. This inability to convert opportunities into victories has perplexed fans and experts alike. Even with a team comprising some of the world’s finest cricketers, the quest for a major ICC title remains elusive for India.

Andy Roberts, a part of the formidable West Indies pace quartet, has criticized India’s performance, attributing it to an arrogance that has seeped into Indian cricket. He suggests that India may have underestimated the strength and competitiveness of other cricketing nations. Roberts further emphasizes the need for India to define their focus, whether it should be on Test cricket or limited-overs formats amidst the prominence of T20 cricket.

“There is this arrogance which has crept into Indian cricket; through this, India has underestimated the rest of the world. India must decide their focus—Test cricket or limited overs cricket. T20 cricket will run its course. There is no contest between bat and ball there,” Roberts told Mid-Day.

Roberts highlighted concerns about Shubman Gill’s technique, stating that his tendency to stand on the leg stump has resulted in dismissals bowled or caught behind. Even Virat Kohli fell victim to a remarkable delivery from Mitchell Starc in the first innings. Roberts acknowledges India’s talented players but suggests their away performances have been below par.

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“I expected India to show their batting strength. I saw no bright spot in the final, although Ajinkya Rahane fought hard; got hit on his hand. Shubman Gill looks good when he plays those shots, but he stands on the leg stump and is often dismissed bowled or caught behind. He has good hands, but he must get behind the ball. Virat Kohli, though, got a brute of a delivery from Mitchell Starc in the first innings. India has some very good players, but they have not performed creditably away from home.”

A recurring issue for India has been their propensity to collapse under pressure, especially in crunch matches. This pattern of capitulation has been witnessed in the 2017 Champions Trophy final, the 2019 World Cup semi-final, the 2021 WTC final, and the 2022 T20 World Cup. This lack of resilience and fight in key moments has severely hampered India’s chances of lifting ICC trophies.

“I harbored no such hopes. I knew they would collapse. The batting in both innings was bad,” he added.

With a monumental fourth-innings chase of 444, expectations were low for India. Roberts had little optimism, given India’s track record. The collapse witnessed in the final session of play only reinforced his belief. The disappointing batting performances in both innings further solidified concerns about the team’s ability to handle pressure.

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