After a disastrous T20 World Cup where the Indian Men’s cricket team under, for the first time in its famed history, capitulated to cross border rivals Pakistan, the ICC has given another rude shocker to the team. Reportedly, not a single member of the T20 team has made it to the ICC Men’s T20I team of the Year, 2021. Pakistan captain Babar Azam has been named as the skipper of the curated team. In total, 3 Pakistani players find themselves on the list.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s Aiden Markram finds a spot at No. 4 while Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh, who shone in the T20 World Cup, gets picked as the all-rounder.
World No. 1 T20I spinner Tabraiz Shamsi in the Team of the Year while Sri Lanka’s Wanidu Hasaranga also finds a place. Shaheen along with Mustafizur Rahman and Josh Hazlewood form the pace bowling trio of the team.
The collective snub –a Kohli-Shastri doing
The collective snub given to Indian players by ICC has been the doing of the player-coach duo of Virat Kohli-Ravi Shastri. The duo channelled their and team energies on the politics and woke agendas which led to the downfall in the performance. Add to it, the quizzical selection choices that left many baffled.
India was ousted at the group stage after being thrashed by Pakistan and New Zealand before winning three inconsequential games against Afghanistan, Scotland, and Namibia. In the opening match against Pakistan, it was Kohli’s woke team that took the knee in support of the ‘Black Lives Movement’ and caused a massive uproar in the country.
Taking the knee controversy
After the national anthems of the respective teams, the two Indian openers sauntered across the turf to open the batting. However, a momentary confusion was ensured as Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul looked towards the dressing room as if waiting for some kind of signal.
The commentators were perplexed, so were the viewers, before it became clear that the Indian openers were seeking the nod to go ahead and take a knee for the Black Lives Movement campaign.
After 30-seconds of confusion, the two openers knelt while the entire Indian squad, behind the boundary lines, sat on one knee. The Pakistani team didn’t take the knee but crossed their hands and placed it on their hearts. The confusion amongst the Indian camp meant that the decision was taken at the eleventh hour with little to no consultation with the players.
Indian side and social justice warriors
With the Indian side having few Social Justice Warriors in its ranks, it didn’t take much for the cricket fans to join the dots as to who might have orchestrated the entire act. While Virat Kohli, the team skipper, rightfully got the stick for allowing it to happen, a handful of netizens slammed coach Ravi Shastri as well.
Then came the Mohammed Shami saga, where Virat Kohli reacted, unnecessarily to the Pakistani trolls, in an attempt to gain a few woke points and caused further drama within the team.
Perhaps this gesture and the negative reaction to it broke the team morale at the starting of a premier biennial event. The team looked disjointed and could never really recover from the initial thrashing.
The organization of the Indian Premier League (IPL) may have been a commercial success, but hosting IPL or securing rich sponsors hasn’t seemed to have helped the Indian cricket team at an international level – at least in the last 8 years when the team has failed to win a single ICC trophy.
With Kohli stepping away from the white ball captaincy duties and Ravi Shastri replaced by Rahul Dravid, the Indian cricket fans are hoping for the restoration of some normalcy and that the focus will shift entirely on the game only.