Team India has been facing severe criticism after the two-wicket defeat against West Indies in the second T20I on Sunday. The most amount of backlash was directed towards skipper Hardik Pandya, who was severely criticised for his poor decision-making. After being restricted to 152/7, the visitors bounced back with the ball as Hardik and spinner Yuzvendra Chahal took three and two wickets respectively. However, it was Nicholas Pooran‘s 67-run knock that guided West Indies to victory in just 18.5 overs.
Despite losing wickets early during the chase, West Indies found their way back after Pooran’s fiery performance. Chahal came as a saviour for India as in the 16th over he scalped two wickets and brought the visitors back into the game. However, Hardik went ahead with Arshdeep Singh and Mukesh Kumar in the last four overs, despite Chahal having one over left. Many fans felt that the move was a ‘blunder’ frome the India captain.
Hardik’s decision of not letting Chahal complete his four-over quota did not go well with the fans as they slammed the all-rounder on Twitter.
The netizens also trolled Hardik for his “It’s ok to be unique” remark, which he gave before the third ODI against West Indies. In Rohit Sharma‘s absence, Hardik led Team India in the second and third ODI and was asked by Samuel Badree what it would mean if he failed to carry forward India’s winning streak against West Indies in the bilateral ODI series. To which he replied, “It’s okay. I like to be unique.”
Hardik Pandya became the first ever Indian Captain to lose 2 matches in a series against West Indies!
“It’s OK to be Unique” pic.twitter.com/YR32JCGbj6
— Aryan 45 (@Iconic_Rohit) August 6, 2023
Yuzi chahal in 16th Over 2 wickets one run and a runout.
And guess what Hardik Pandya didn’t give him the next over.
Hardik pandya the captain for you pic.twitter.com/uGV7u4ENRM
— Ansh Shah (@asmemesss) August 6, 2023
Hardik Pandya: “I was saving Yuzvendra Chahal’s 1 over for the Super Over”.
— Silly Point (@FarziCricketer) August 6, 2023
I can’t see India Struggling like this,Hardik Pandya You won’t see heaven for Not Giving Chahal 18th over!
Surely Indian team needs Captain Rohit Sharma!
INDIA NEEDS CAPTAIN ROHIT pic.twitter.com/CyqWUw9eEf
— (@45Fan_Prathmesh) August 6, 2023
Apart from the fans, former India batter Abhinav Mukund also blasted the India captain for not letting Chahal bowl his final over and stated that he was “baffled” by Hardik’s decision.
“I can’t get an explanation for it because 10 times out of 10 you would have gone with another over from Chahal and tried to close out the game there, especially with Alzarri Joseph there. I understand the left-hander is still there, but you got Hetmyer out in the previous over, bowling a full one. You have the bigger boundary to deal with,” Mukund said on Jio Cinema.
“I was just a bit baffled by that decision to go back to Arshdeep because he is your strike bowler. If you wanted to bowl him, you could have had him bowl the 19th, left the last over to Mukesh or even brought Arshdeep for the final over, depending on the number of runs,” he added.
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