T20 World Cup 2021: Dilip Vengsarkar slams India’s “lackluster performance”; questions Ashwin’s exclusion

Dilip Vengsarkar slammed Team India’s lackluster performance | Getty Images

Former BCCI chief selector and India captain Dilip Vengsarkar has opined that the Virat Kohli-led Indian cricket team looked “off-colored and the players looked jaded” during their 8-wicket loss to New Zealand in their last game in the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.

He further slammed Team India’s “lackluster performance” as the Men in Blue are yet to open their account in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE.

The legendary cricketer also questioned R Ashwin’s omission from the first two games of the T20 World Cup 2021 and also called for an investigation into the senior spinner’s repeated exclusion from India’s playing eleven.

Vengsarkar told PTI on Monday, “The team looked off-colored and the players looked jaded. I don’t know if it is the bio bubble fatigue or something else, I have not seen such body language in the players in a long time. It was quite a lackluster performance, be it in batting or bowling. This format demands you to be energetic from ball one.”

Dilip Vengsarkar questioned R Ashwin’s non-selection | Getty Images

Ashwin has been selected in the white ball team after four years but wasn’t picked in both games against New Zealand and Pakistan, as India went with Varun Chakravarthy and Ravindra Jadeja as the two spinners and Vengsarkar said he can’t fathom the logic behind his non-selection.

The former skipper added, “Why is Ashwin being dropped for so long? It is a matter of investigation. Across formats, he is your best spinner with more than 600 international wickets. He is your senior-most spinner and you don’t pick him. I fail to understand. He didn’t play a single game in the England Test series also. Why do you pick him then? It is a mystery to me.”

Meanwhile, Hardik Pandya bowled for the first time in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021 in their last game against New Zealand, but not regularly, and Vengsarkar feels the all-rounder is being picked more as a specialist batter in the playing XI.

Hardik Pandya needs to deliver with both bat and ball | Getty Images

He explained, “We are too top-three dependent. When they don’t fire, the team is in trouble more often than not. I can’t talk about Hardik’s fitness sitting here. All I can say is that as an all-rounder if you are not able to contribute with bat and ball, you are going to be under pressure.”

The 65-year-old also opened up about the much-debatable demotion of Rohit Sharma for Ishan Kishan against New Zealand. Rohit batted number three and Vengsarkar called it a one-off move since Suryukumar Yadav was injured.

He also called for the bigger boundaries in the Indian Premier League (IPL), as most of the Indian batters failed to clear the boundary in Dubai in the tournament so far.

Vengsarkar signed off by saying, “We need to have bigger boundaries in the IPL, especially in India. Most of our batters were caught in the deep yesterday.