They think playing IPL is enough: Wasim Akram criticises India for neglecting intl cricket amid T20 WC turmoil

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Nov 02, 2021, 07:08 PM IST


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Legendary Pakistan pacer Wasim Akram has criticised the Indian team for ignoring international cricket to focus only on IPL amidst their poor run in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021.

Legendary Pakistan cricketer Wasim Akram has slammed the Indian team for neglecting international cricket and focusing on the Indian Premier League (IPL) as Virat Kohli & Co. continue their horrible run in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021. India has had a shambolic start to their campaign in the showpiece event as they find themselves languishing at the fifth spot on the points table after back-to-back losses in their first two matches.

India lost against arch-rivals Pakistan by ten wickets in the opening game before going down against New Zealand by eight wickets in a one-sided second game in Dubai. The Men in Blue have been facing flak from all corners for their terrible show so far and have been criticised for their woeful performance.

Former Pakistan pacer Akram pointed out that India are not taking international cricket seriously while focusing only on IPL. Explaining how the lack of limited-overs cricket in the last few months could have cost the Indian team in the T20 World Cup, Akram said India's senior players were involved in a white-ball series last in March this year.

The former Pakistan pacer has made a valid point as the majority of the players in India's current T20I squad last played a white-ball series against England at home in March this year. India did travel to Sri Lanka for a limited-overs series in July but the squad was full of youngsters and not the senior members, who were busy in the Test series against England at the same time.

"India last played a limited-overs series with all the senior players in March. Now we are in November. So that shows they are not taking those international series seriously. They think playing the IPL is enough. You play as much league cricket in the world that you want. While playing league cricket, you will find one or two good bowlers in the opposition. In international cricket, you will face all five good bowlers," said Akram on Pakistani sports channel A Sports.

Asked to bat first against New Zealand, India's move to promote Ishan Kishan as an opener in place of experienced Rohit Sharma backfired as the young left-hander was dismissed cheaply on 3. The likes of Rohit, KL Rahul and captain Kohli were also sent back cheaply as the team could only manage 110 runs in 20 overs.

New Zealand chased down the target with ease and registered a comprehensive win by eight wickets with as many as 5.3 overs to spare. Akram said it was a one-sided game and that the move to demote Rohit to no.3 in a crucial encounter was a 'big mess-up'.

"It wasn’t a great game. It was a one-sided game. India committed a lot of mistakes. When they lost the toss, I feel they were pushed back a little psychologically. The biggest mess-up was downgrading Rohit Sharma to 3 in a crucial, do-or-die game. The guy has got four centuries in T20Is as opener. They could have made Ishan Kishan bat at 3 too. This was the start when the panic button was pressed," Akram added.