With the 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia around the corner, it will be exciting to see if Harmanpreet Kaur-led team India will be able to break the jinx of faltering in ICC knockout games and achieve what Virat Kohli-led men’s team couldn’t.
The 2013 ICC Champions Trophy in England was the last instance of an Indian Cricket team winning an ICC Championship.
A strong Indian Men’s team defeated the hosts England in a rain-curtailed match to lift the Champions Trophy title. It’s been more than 6 years post the Champions Trophy victory but the drought of an ICC trophy in the BCCI cabinet continues.
With the 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup around the corner, the onus of ending the ICC Championship drought now lies with the Indian Women’s team. A well balanced Harmanpreet Kaur-led Indian team, one of the potential contenders for the championship, will be expected to cross the finish line this time around.
Heads Up! Will Harmanpreet Kaur-led team India do what Virat Kohli-led team couldn’t?
- Team India faltering in ICC knockout games
- No ICC trophy for Indian team since last 6 years
- When will the ICC trophy drought end?
- Why is the team failing under pressure?
- Can Harmanpreet and co. break the jinx?
Falling short of the finishing line
With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) revamping its system and providing top notch facilities and resources, the progress made by the game in the last decade has been leaps and bounds. The Indian Men’s, Women’s and the U-19 Men’s teams have emerged as world-beaters as far as Cricket is concerned.
However, the team’s inability to get hold of any major ICC Trophy in the last few years has been a major talking point among the fans and media. Post 2013 Champions Trophy victory, the Indian team has played 10 knockout ICC games – across age and gender groups – which include 5 finals.
Out of these 10 knockout games, the team has managed to win only one – the final of the ICC U19 Men’s World Cup 2018 in New Zealand.
Team India’s poor run in ICC knockout games
In spite of having a great team balance, the national teams haven’t been able to cross the finish line on a number of occasions. The players seem to buckle under pressure.
Here’s a list of how the Indian team has fared in ICC tournaments post 2013, across various age and gender groups.
- T20 Men’s World Cup 2014, Bangladesh (Runners)
- Men’s World Cup 2015, Australia & New Zealand (Semi-finalist)
- T20 Men’s World Cup 2016, India (Semi-finalist)
- Men’s U19 World Cup 2016, Bangladesh (Runners)
- Men’s Champions Trophy 2017, England (Runners)
- Women’s World Cup 2017, England (Runners)
- Men’s U19 World Cup 2018, New Zealand (Winners)
- Women’s T20 World Cup 2017, West Indies (Semi-finalist)
- Men’s World Cup 2019, England & Wales (Semi-finalist)
- Men’s U19 World Cup 2020, South Africa (Runners)
So, a success rate of mere 10% in the knockout games in the last few years doesn’t justify the potential of a strong cricketing nation. It does put a question mark on the team’s ability to deal with pressure in crunch games.
Harmanpreet Kaur & Virat Kohli – Leading teams having a similar composition
Harmanpreet Kaur’s team has a similar mix of youth and experience as that of Virat Kohli’s team that reached the semi finals of the 2019 Men’s World Cup.
A classy Smriti Mandhana along with a young and fiery Shafali Verma form a formidable opening pair. The impact of the duo is similar to Rohit Sharma and Sikhar Dhawan opening for the senior men’s team.
With the likes of Jemimah Rodrigues, Veda Krishnamurthy and Tanya Bhatia; the middle order looks much more settled than the men’s team that headed for the World Cup 2019 in England. Each player is much more clear about their role as an individual.
An able bowling unit
The bowling unit comprising of Shikha Pandey, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad are no less than the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Their performance in the tri-series in Australia is a testament to this.
Finally, Harmanpreet Kaur herself is the ‘queen’ of the team. Her captaincy and performance as an individual in the 2017 Women’s World Cup was a testimony to her thought process and game awareness. She knows how to carry this group of girls forward.
If Virat Kohli is the ‘king’, Harmanpreet Kaur is surely the ‘queen’.
Will the Indian Women’s team end the drought?
The Indian Women’s team led by their flamboyant skipper Harmanpreet Kaur will be bearing the burden of millions of Indian fans to lift the first women’s championship for the country. The team’s good performance in the recently concluded tri-series in Australia will help them stand in positive space.
The team has a good composition of youth and experience – similar to Virat Kohli’s World Cup team of 2019. Just like the men’s team, the women’s team will be expected to return home as champions.
However, the bigger question is – Will Harmanpreet Kaur’s team succeed where Virat Kohli’s team failed?