Yuvraj, Harbhajan blame 'wrong planning for India's World Cup ouster

Updated: 18 December, 2019 09:58 IST | PTI | New Delhi

Yuvraj and Harbhajan blame team management for India's World Cup ouster in England and call for better planning ahead of next year's T20 mega event

Opener Rohit Sharma is dejected after India's World Cup exit at Old Trafford in Manchester last July. Pic /AFP
Opener Rohit Sharma is dejected after India's World Cup exit at Old Trafford in Manchester last July. Pic /AFP

New Delhi: Former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on Tuesday slammed the Indian team management for the country's World Cup ouster in the semi-finals, saying its planning for the 50-over tournament was "completely wrong". Yuvraj suggested that the management should now ensure that Virat Kohli's T20I World Cup team should be finalised four months prior to the marquee event. In 2019, pre-tournament favourites India went into the World Cup without settling the No. 4 spot and it affected the team as Kohli's men made a semi-final exit from the marquee event.

"In this World cup, they dropped [Ambati] Rayudu and then they had Vijay Shankar, who had some injury and then Rishabh Pant came in. I have nothing against them but both played five ODI games, I mean how do you expect a guy with such less experience to win big matches," Yuvraj said during a session of Agenda Aaj Tak. "What was the think-tank doing? Dinesh Karthik was going through the tournament and suddenly he plays the semi-final and a guy like MS Dhoni is batting at No 7. It was all hotchpotch.

You can't do that in such big matches, you have to be sure. Your No. 4 batsman had a highest score of 48, so I thought the planning was really poor because they were thinking that Rohit [Sharma] and Virat are in good form but teams don't win like that," added Yuvraj. Harbhajan Singh too felt that things need to be better planned ahead of next year's T20 World Cup in Australia. "The team should be set and players should know that they are playing the World Cup.

Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj SinghHarbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh

No one should be doubtful about their place and role in the team. The more clarity they have, the better it will be for India's preparation," said Harbhajan, who was part of two World Cup-winning teams. The off-spinner felt a lot of players, who were part of the 2011 World Cup, could have played the next edition in 2015. "Many players from the 2011 World Cup team could have played the next World Cup, like Yuvraj, me, Viru [Virender Sehwag], Gautam Gambhir but I don't know what was the agenda behind leaving us all aside. It was like 'your work is done, so you leave now and we need to make a new team'. Why do you need a new team? You need it when the team has not won. We won the World Cup and you should take the team forward."

India is auditioning for next year's T20 World Cup by trying out a lot of youngsters with Mumbai's Shivam Dube making his debut in the three-match T20I series against the West Indies. And Yuraj and Harbhajan backed the Mumbai all-rounder to come good. "I liked the fact that they included Shivam Dube. He is a good option because he a left-hander, who can bowl also because Hardik [Pandya] has fitness concerns," said Yuvraj, India's 2011 World Cup hero.

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First Published: 18 December, 2019 09:42 IST

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