India’s failure to win an ICC trophy in almost a decade has been a cause of concern for the cricketing community. Although the team has reached the semi-finals and finals of several ICC tournaments, they have failed to clinch the silverware since winning the 2013 Champions Trophy under MS Dhoni. However, the upcoming ODI World Cup, which is set to happen in India this year, presents an excellent opportunity for the team to end their drought.
Expressing his concerns, veteran India spinner Harbhajan Singh has criticised the team for constantly shuffling players in the last few years, which has weakened the squad. He also blamed the inclusion of inexperienced players for India’s failures in major tournaments, highlighting that not everyone can handle the pressure of big matches.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Harbhajan said, “It has become a bit of a pattern. In 2018-19 we saw that there was a lot of shuffling of players. Dinesh Karthik was playing, Rishabh Pant was also playing… How to win a big match, there is a little lack of experience. Big matches are high-pressure. World Cup pressure is different from bilateral series. Bigger the tournament, the higher the pressure is. Very few people actually take that kind of pressure.”
The former spinner also criticised India for not winning a title despite having talented players. He mentioned that India is no longer dependent on one or two players to win big games, which is why the expectations from them to perform at major tournaments are even higher now.
“We used to say that if Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli make runs, then India will win. But now there is Hardik Pandya. We have more players now (potential match-winners) and I hope this trend will change. With the kind of talent we have, I think we should be able to. If you are unable to win with the talent we have, then when will you win?” he questioned.