India’s defeat in the ICC World Cup semifinal on Wednesday came as a shock to many fans, who had more or less confirmed an Indian presence at Lords on Sunday where the final match will be played. Wednesday’s match exposed India’s weakness in the middle order after the top three batsmen, including skipper Virat Kohli, were dismissed in quick succession. Ravindra Jadeja’s cameo and MS Dhoni’s valiant knock failed to take India past the finishing line, with New Zealand going through to the finals.
However, India’s struggle on the big stage is not new, not in the recent past at least. Since 2014, India has tasted defeat at the knockout stage in 5 big-ticket ICC tournaments including the World Cup 2019 – World T20 (2014 and 2016), ODI World Cup (2015), Champions Trophy (2017).
ICC World T20 (2014)
The tournament was held in Bangladesh during March-April 2014 and saw 16 teams participating in it, including Ireland, UAE, Hong Kong and Nepal. India lost to Sri Lanka in the final by six wickets.
India had cruised into the knockout stage by topping Group 1, and faced South Africa in the semifinals. A winning knock from Virat Kohli (72 not out) helped India seal a berth in the finals. Sri Lanka, similarly, topped Group 2 to enter the finals.
Batting first, India put up a score of 130 in 20 overs with Kohli scoring an unbeaten 77 and captain Dhoni not out on 4 at the end of the innings. Sri Lanka chased down the target successfully in 17.5 overs. Kumar Sangakkara, who was playing his final international T20, steered Sri Lanka to victory with 52 off 35 balls.
ODI World Cup (2015)
India lost to Australia in the semifinal of the 2015 Cricket World Cup, which was held in Australia and New Zealand. The tournament saw 14 teams contesting for the title. India, the defending champions, went in as one of the favourites, looking to retain the trophy.
Australia won the toss and elected to bat first setting a target of 329. Steve Smith scored a brilliant century while Aaron Finch scored 81 to guide their team to an imposing total. For the Indians, although Umesh Yadav picked up 4 wickets, they were unable to stem the flow of runs.
India began its innings with a solid 76-run stand between Dhawan and Rohit Sharma before the former was dismissed for 45. Skipper MS Dhoni was the highest scorer with 65 runs before he was run-out by Maxwell. The team got bowled out for 233 runs in the 47th over to exit from the tournament.
Australia went on to lift the title after defeating New Zealand by seven wickets in the final.
ICC World T20 (2016)
The tournament which was held in India saw West Indies walking away with the title defeating England in the finals.
India, led by Dhoni, put up an impressive target of 193 for the West Indies to chase in the semifinal but failed to defend it. Kohli scored a scintillating 89 off 47 balls to remain not out at the end. However, the West Indies made a mockery of the target achieving the total in 19.4 overs with Lendl Simmons contributing 82 off 51 balls. The Indian bowlers were made to look ordinary with four of them going for over 10 runs an over. Nehra was the only bowler to return with respectable figures of 1 for 24 from his 4 overs.
Champions Trophy (2017)
Played in England and Wales, Champions Trophy 2017 saw rivals India and Pakistan battle it out for the title. The finals which was played at The Oval in London had Pakistan batting first. Opening batsman Fakhar Zaman hit 114 runs off 106 balls to help his team post a formidable total of 338 on the board. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the most economical bowler for the Indians returning with figures of 1 for 44 off 10 overs. The Indian response started on a terrible note as Rohit Sharma was dismissed in the first over. Thereafter Kohli and Yuvraj also went quickly to leave India in dire straits at 33 for 3. Two more wickets fell with the score on 54 as Yuvraj and Dhoni got out. The Indians were never able to recover and folded up for 158. For Pakistan, Mohammad Amir and Hasan Ali picked up 3 wickets each.