With the series win against West Indies, the Indian cricket team has continued their progress in the right direction. It also brought a successful end to the decade which belonged to the Indian cricket in many ways. Be it the 2011 World Cup win on their home turf or their maiden Test series win in Australia the Asian team has enjoyed tremendous success in the last ten years. To be precise they have won 72 of their 112 bilateral series in this decade which gives a win percentage close to 65 per cent.
From the above numbers, one can easily say that India has been the cricketing powerhouse of this period. However, like everyone the Indian team has also seen the other side of the moon, failures and hard-times which eventually became the disappointing moments of their journey. Those moments might not be worth remembering but now they part of the country’s cricketing history.
Here is the list of 10 disappointing moments of the Indian cricket team in this decade:
1. Double whitewash
Going back to the memory lane the Indian cricket fans will want to remember the year 2011 for the country’s historic World Cup win. At the same time, they will also want to erase the haunting memories of the losses which followed that win. Mainly the Indian team’s despair even after having the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman in their ranks.
Unfortunately, it happened after the team’s back to back dismal performances in the away Test series against England and Australia respectively. The team lost 8 Test matches in a row including 4 innings defeats. More importantly, they faced double whitewash in the span of 6 months.
In all, it was disheartening to see the inability of the MS Dhoni-led side to put up a fight against their opponents. On top of that who can forget the dejected faces of Indian cricketers in the post-match presentations and it has to be one of the despondent moments of country’s cricket. Such was its impact that Dravid and Laxman retired from the game without a proper send-off.
2. Humbled at home
At the moment the Indian team has earned the tag of invincibles in their home conditions. Especially in the classic format as they have won 12 series in a row. However, things looked gloomy when the England team toured the country in late 2012. It was the same time when the Indian side was fresh their overseas debacle and it also affected their home run.
Taking advantage of the situation the Three Lions roared in India’s den. In simple terms the MS Dhoni led-side lost the 4-match Test series with a margin of 1-2. What’s more intriguing is the fact that they lost the plot after winning the first game of the sojourn. Secondly, the England spinners outclassed the Indian tweakers on their home turf.
The series loss not only brought an abrupt end to their dominance in home conditions but it also posed some serious questions regarding the future of the team. Particularly the Indian skipper was under the pump as the likes of Sunil Gavaskar and Mohinder Amarnath wanted to see a change in the captaincy role. In the end, it can be said that it was a tough phase for the Indian cricket team.
3. Wounded by Tigers
In recent times the India-Bangladesh cricketing rivalry has really got the fans going. Though it all started way back in 2007 when the Bangla Tigers beat their neighbours in the World Cup it was not until 2015 when this rivalry reached its next level. During this period the Bangladesh team was taking giant strides in white-ball cricket and they also surprised the Indian team with their progress.
After a successful 2015 World Cup where they only lost one game, semi-finals Men in Blue visited Bangladesh for a complete tour. With a well-rounded team, it was expected to be a one-sided affair. However, things quickly took a drastic turn in the 3-match ODI series when the Tigers won the first game by 70 runs. Then like a lightning flash, India lost the second game too which gave the home team their first series win against India.
Thereafter the Blue team avoided the humiliation of whitewash by winning the final tie. Still, the cricketing fraternity couldn’t believe their eyes as the Asian giants looked out of their depth. Immediately the pundits blamed the decision-making of the captain, MS Dhoni and some of them even demanded his sacking. From the results, it was clear that the Tigers wounded the Indian team.
4. Galle slip-up
As the name suggests it is one of those moments when the Indian team slipped ahead of the finish line. Playing a 3-match Test series in Sri Lanka the visitors started their journey on a positive note. After losing the toss at Galle India dismissed the home team for less than 190 in the first innings and then subsequently gathered 375 runs in their first batting essay.
With a lead of close to 200 runs and momentum on their side, the Indian team was flying high. Thereafter as expected the Lankan Lions floundered under pressure and lost 5 wickets for less than 100 and it seemed that the fate of the game had been decided. However, then the tide changed its direction when Dinesh Chandimal walked in and played fearless cricket.
Suddenly the island nation found its lost mojo and with fortune playing its part Sri Lanka put up a stiff target of 175 for Virat Kohli’s men in the 4th innings. Though it was a tricky chase India had the ammunition to achieve the target but this time the Indian team messed it up. In all taking unnecessary risks and playing reckless shots cost them heavily and as a result, they bundled out for 112. What might have been fairytale innings win quickly turned into an embarrassing defeat in a matter of overs.
5. Humiliation in front of home-crowd
When the Proteas visited the Indian shores in 2015 the cricketing fraternity predicted a good contest between the top-tier teams. So after a tied T20 series fans were excited to witness the mouth-watering action unfold in the following ODI series. Needless to say, the series lived up to its billing but the Indian team ended up on the wrong side.
More importantly, it was the manner in which the Men in Blue capitulated in the series-decider. After being asked to bowl the South African batsmen punished the Indian bowlers by whacking them to all parts of the ground. At the end of 50 overs, the scorecard read 438/4 and it reflected the home team’s inability to control the situation when the odds are stacked against them.
Even though it looked like an uphill task the Wankhede crowd hoped a fightback from their batting stalwarts. The Indian team started their chase at a brisk pace but then a batting collapse put an end to their dreams. Eventually, they fell short by a huge margin of 214 runs which is unacceptable from a side consisting of some of the best white-ball players in the form of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. After the game, the entire team was criticized as they suffered a humiliating loss in front of their home crowd.
6. Heartbreak at Wankhede
Ever since India’s win in the inaugural T20 championship, they are considered as frontrunners in every edition. Whether the tournament is being played in Asia or any other continent they invariably make it to the favourites list. So it is inevitable that the support and expectations will traverse an exponential curve when the event takes place in India.
The same thing happened in 2016 when the Men in Blue were going to play the 5th edition of the T20 World Cup in their den. After putting up a good show in the group stages the team qualified for the semi-finals. There a stern opposition in the form of West Indies awaited them. Though the history favoured the Caribbean side India had the talent and crowd support in their favour.
Fast-forward to the matchday the Blue team held their nerves and gathered 190 runs in the first half of the game. Considering the magnitude of the game it was a good total and the bowlers also backed their batsmen. However, just when the home team looked on their course to the final a couple of no-ball wickets shifted the momentum towards the defending champions. Thereafter the Caribbean team cashed in their opportunities and won the game with 4 balls to spare. Stunningly within a matter of overs, thousands of smiles turned to tears and the crowd left the stadium with a heavy heart.
7. Kumble-Kohli indifferences :
A successful cricket team has several people working behind the scenes and one of them is the Head coach of an international side. It is an extremely difficult position considering the responsibilities of the job. Even the most renowned cricketers have not enjoyed successful coaching stints but there are some who have played the role efficiently.
One such individual is Anil Kumble who became India’s head coach in June 2016. Within a year the team won 5 Test series and 2 ODI series under him. Also, the team reached the finals of the 2017 Champions Trophy which further proved his excellent man-management skills. Owing to his good track-record he was destined to enjoy another term.
Then suddenly his dream run came to a screeching halt when the skipper, Virat Kohli showed his displeasure with Kumble’s coaching style. There were reports that Kohli repeatedly sent messages to BCCI CEO, Rahul Johri about his reservations for India’s next Head coach. Thereafter Kumble quickly resigned from his post when the BCCI failed to resolve the misunderstandings between him and Kohli. Though their indifferences didn’t affect India’s on-field success it left a sour taste in the mouths of Indian cricket fans.
8. Implosion against arch-rivals
Every India-Pakistan cricket encounter is celebrated across the globe. Especially now these games are considered even more precious as the teams only meet in the ICC events. It was no different in 2017 when India took on Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final. Once again the fans were eager to witness the high-octane clash.
Though the Men in Blue were high on confidence after their unbeatable run in the tournament the unpredictability of the Sarfraz Ahmed-led side posed a threat to them. So by preying on the weak link of the opposition the Indian skipper, Virat Kohli opted to field in the all-important final. In a turn of events, it proved to be a tactical error as the Pakistan batsmen piled on more than 330 runs in their 50 overs.
Notably, the Indian bowlers failed to execute their plans under pressure. Still, there was hope as their batting unit was in good form. However, they imploded in front of a charged Pakistan pace attack. In the end, Virat Kohli’s men bundled out for 150 and lost another clutch game in the ICC event. More importantly, they lost their crown to their arch-rivals and it will always be a bitter moment for the Indian cricket fans.
9. A missed opportunity
The current Indian team has all the attributes to become one of the dominant sides in cricketing history. So nowadays it is not a surprise when they are also expected to win on foreign soil, unlike the past teams. The only black mark in their report card is their mediocre overseas Test record.
Especially India’s red-ball exploits in England has been a major issue as they have lost all the 3 series in this decade. However, when they toured the country in 2018 they were considered hot-favourites to win the 5-match Test series. The reason being their strong bowling unit which is capable of taking 20 wickets on any given surface. Furthermore, England’s fragile batting line-up was the perfect specimen to reverse the trend.
However, the Indian team again failed to deliver on their promise as this time their batting unit let them down with their inconsistency. Besides they also made the mistake of letting the opposition take control of the games at important times. Unfortunately, India squandered the series by the margin of 1-4 which they could have easily won. A couple of poor sessions cost them an elusive series win on the English soil which might haunt them in their next sojourn.
10. So close yet so far
In this decade the Indian team has been the consistent side in the ICC events and it can be verified from their track record. Still a close look at their record might surprise the cricketing fraternity as they have lost 2 finals and 3 semi-finals in their last 5 ICC events. The recent loss coming in the 2019 World Cup semi-final broke millions of hearts around the world.
Before the game Men in Blue were the overwhelming favourites to make it to the final but things took a drastic turn in the second half of the game. Coincidentally their famed batting unit buckled under pressure and then it was up to MS Dhoni to save the day. For the umpteenth time, the veteran kept the Indian team in the hunt with a century partnership along with Ravindra Jadeja.
Thereafter as the match progressed it seemed another masterful run-chase from the legendary finisher. Sadly this time it didn’t turn out to be a fairytale as Dhoni fell short by the smallest of margins while attempting the second run. Eventually, India lost the game by 18 runs but that run-out will always be remembered for the cruel nature of the game. One can also say that India missed the World Cup final berth by half an inch. The Indian cricket fans will like to erase these haunting memories from their memory place.
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