Amidst the ongoing five-match T20I series, the Indian team and their support staff find themselves under a barrage of criticism following West Indies’ attainment of a commanding 2-0 lead. Following a narrow four-run victory in the initial T20I encounter, Rovman Powell’s squad further solidified their advantage, securing a nerve-wracking two-wicket triumph in the second clash held in Guyana. As they stand on the cusp of an unusual T20I series victory, the West Indies are making their mark.
In the wake of India’s disheartening defeat in the second T20I, Parthiv Patel weighed in with his perspective. He affirmed the leadership prowess of Hardik Pandya, but importantly emphasized the necessity for robust support, particularly akin to the mentoring provided to Pandya at Gujarat Titans by Ashish Nehra. Patel’s reservations were directed at India’s head coach Rahul Dravid, casting doubt on his proactive role as a coach and how this shortfall has hindered Hardik Pandya’s development, in turn impeding the team’s progress.
To quote Parthiv Patel directly from his discussion on Cricbuzz, “Hardik Pandya has been brilliant as a captain for GT, but over there he had support from Ashish Nehra as well. Is Rahul Dravid the proactive person or coach, which we are looking for in the T20 format? In my opinion, I don’t think so. We need someone who is proactive, Hardik Pandya has that spark, but he needs that support and Rahul Dravid does not provide that for him.”
Yuzvendra Chahal emerged as a game-changer during the 16th over of the West Indies’ pursuit of a 153-run target. The accomplished leg-spinner conceded a mere two runs while bagging two pivotal wickets, effectively reinvigorating India’s prospects. Chahal’s adept manipulation of the ball left the West Indies’ batsmen struggling, appearing disoriented in their attempts to decode his deliveries.
With the West Indies requiring 24 runs in as many balls, and only two wickets in hand, cricket enthusiasts anticipated that Hardik Pandya would deploy Chahal to bowl the 18th over, aiming to dismantle the last two West Indies wickets. Nevertheless, the 29-year-old captain retained Chahal until the 20th over, and it was in the 19th over that the West Indies managed to clinch victory. Patel astutely highlighted Pandya’s strategic call as the pivotal juncture of the match.
Summing up Parthiv Patel’s assessment, he said, “Hardik Pandya’s decision to not give Chahal the 18th over was the turning point in the match. He bowled really well in the 16th over, but he did not finish his quota of four overs. So, for me, that was something that turned the game in favour of the West Indies,” solidifying the sentiment that a single decision can sway the tide of a game.