'Sachin batted at No. 4': Virender Sehwag compares Rohit's demotion against NZ to India's mistakes in 2007 WC

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Nov 02, 2021, 06:17 PM IST


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Virender Sehwag opined on Rohit Sharma's demotion in the batting order after India lost to New Zealand in the T20 World Cup 2021 edition.

India lost to New Zealand by eight wickets to go down in their second successive game in the Super 12 round in the T20 World Cup, being held in the UAE. After Pakistan stunned India and produced a master class performance to thrash them, India were expected to come hard at the Black Caps, however, they surrendered to the Kiwis by eight wickets to head towards a possible early elimination in the mega event.

While nothing clicked for India, from the coin toss to posting 110/7 and losing by eight wickets, Virat Kohli-led team management were slammed left, right and centre as they demoted vice-captain Rohit Sharma to No. 3, in order to accommodate Ishan Kishan at the top. It is interesting to note that Ishan was roped in the playing XI for Suryakumar Yadav, who normally bats at No. 3 or 4.

As India shuffled their batting line-up, to only manage 110 for 7 and lose convincingly, former Indian opener-turned-commentator Virender Sehwag compared Rohit's demotion to some glaring mistakes committed by Rahul Dravid-led Team India during their forgettable 2007 ODI World Cup campaign.

Sehwag said on Cricbuzz, "In the 2007 World Cup, we had made two mistakes. When we were chasing so well - we won 17 consecutive matches while chasing - but when the World Cup arrived, our coach said 'no, we need batting practice'. I said 'let us win 2 matches first and then we will have 6 matches to improve our batting. But he said 'No'.

"The second mistake was that when the opening pair of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly were performing so well, so why was that broken? Why was it said that if Tendulkar bats in the middle order, you can control it?"

"We had already had three players to control - Yuvraj Singh, Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni. Why did you need a fourth one? Sachin batted at No. 4 and see what happened. When teams change strategy, that is when they play badly. When there is a proven formula, there is no need to change it. That is the best example I can give," he pointed out.

After India's second successive defeat, Kohli & Co. are starring on the brink of early elimination in the T20 WC. They will next face Mohammad Nabi-led Afghanistan and need to win to remain alive in the competition. The Men in Blue require some big wins in the remaining games and will also have to hope for other results to favour them if they have to progress ahead in the showpiece event.