India’s dream run in the ICC World T20 2016 has finally come to an end in the Semi Finals. The West Indians proved to be too good on a placid Wankhede track, as Dhoni and his bowlers failed to defend a steep target of 192. Virat Kohli’s unbeaten 47 ball 89 went in vain as West Indies pulled off a stunning win, driven by a sublime knock of 82*(51) from Lendl Simmons. Here are 3 reasons to explain the result in the India v West Indies game last night.
#1. The team that makes the least number of errors wins
This has been one of the unspoken laws of cricket since time immemorial. And the India v West Indies game aptly highlighted its importance. Both India and West Indies committed a volley of errors on the field to gift the opposition many easy runs. While the islanders let Virat Kohli off the hook by missing a couple of run out chances and dropping a number of tight catches, India seemed to have returned the favour by dismissing Lendl Simmons twice on No Balls! Skipper MS Dhoni himself pointed out in the post match media conference how disappointed he felt with the two unpardonable No Balls which, quite literally, changed the fate of the contest.
#2. MS Dhoni’s captaincy
While it would be naive to say that ‘India lost because of Dhoni’s captaincy’, one could be forgiven for saying that numerous tactical errors in his leadership cost us the game last night. As has been pointed out by Virender Sehwag himself, India’s strategy looked highly erroneous all throughout the West Indian chase. While Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya bowled their quota of 8 overs, conceding 91 runs without a wicket, ace bowler Ashwin had to stay content with just 2 overs! Suresh Raina, who has proved to be a game-changer for India on numerous occasions, was coldly sidelined despite the bashing that the West Indian batsmen were doling out to the regulars. Sensible bowling changes were too few and far between, and the very fact that a part timer like Virat Kohli managed to pick up a wicket with his first ball (in the 14th over) suggests that things might have gone down differently had Dhoni not persisted with errant bowlers like Jadeja and Pandya for such a long time.
#3. Dew factor in the run fest
The dew factor had a big role to play in negating the effect of Indian spinners during the West Indian innings. And though inconclusive, this might have been the reason for Dhoni holding Ashwin back with just 2 overs in the match. The two Indian spinners bowled 6 overs for 68 runs, without taking a wicket. This stands in sharp contrast to Samuel Badree’s stellar figures of 1/26 in 4 overs, which might have just created the all important hairline difference between the two sides in such a high scoring game. Lendl Simmons, with his experience of playing at this venue, was able to easily negotiate the rest of the bowling attack.