'Why did Rohit bat at 3?': Shoaib Akhtar questions India's game plan, says it was a lost squad against NZ

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Nov 01, 2021, 01:35 PM IST


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Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has criticised India's game plan after their 8-wicket loss against New Zealand in the T20 World Cup 2021 on Sunday. Akhtar also questioned the team management's decision to let Ishan Kishan open the batting instead of Rohit Sharma.

Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar criticised India's game plan against New Zealand as he was left disappointed by Virat Kohli & Co.'s timid show in their 8-wicket defeat in the T20 World Cup 2021 on Sunday (October 31). India's batting line-up was left exposed once again while the bowlers failed to deliver as a unit.

After a humiliating ten-wicket defeat against Pakistan in their opening game of the Super 12, India were expected to dish out a better performance against New Zealand but were completely outclassed by the Kiwis. Invited to bat first, India could only manage a paltry 110 runs on the board in their quota of 20 overs after the likes of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli failed to deliver.

The move to promote Ishan Kishan as an opener and demote Rohit at no. 3 raised many eyebrows and was questioned by many including Akhtar, who said he didn't know what mindset and attitude were India playing with against New Zealand in Dubai on Sunday. 

After restricting India on 110 runs, New Zealand comfortably chased down the target in 14.3 overs and registered their first win in the tournament. Speaking on his YouTube channel while analysing India's loss, Akhtar questioned India's game plan and the decisions to open with Ishan and bowling Hardik Pandya last in the game among others.

"I don't know with what mindset and attitude they were playing. Why did Rohit bat at 3, why did they open with Ishan Kishan? Hardik Pandya, bowling pretty late in the innings, should've bowled earlier. I have no idea whatsoever about India's gameplan. It was a completely lost Indian squad," Akhtar said in a video on his YouTube channel.

"It never seemed as if India turned up for this game or not. Average performance by team India. After all the hype and pressure from the Indian media, I knew that the team would struggle. Again, the team proved to be a weak bowling side," the former Pakistan pacer added.

While the defeat has done significant damage to India's hope for finishing in the top four, they still stand a outside chance depending on the results of the other teams if they can manage to win their remaining three matches by big margins. India will next face Afghanistan on Wednesday (November 03).