'In T20 cricket, if you do the basics better than the opposition you win the game.'
'The West Indies' fantastic performance was why India got knocked out in the semi-finals.
Former leg-spin ace Shane Warne explains what went wrong for India in the World T20 semi-final against the West Indies. Harish Kotian reports.
Australia’s spin legend Shane Warne blamed a lacklustre performance with the ball as the main reason for India’s defeat to the West Indies in Thursday’s World T20 semi-final in Mumbai.
"192 was a good score, but the Indians didn’t bowl well enough. And a couple of no-balls cost them, the dew cost them. (Ravichandran) Ashwin bowled only two overs. (Ravindra) Jadeja’s tactics of bowling wide of off-stump and three points -- he went for 48 runs in his four overs -- I don’t think he got it quite right either,” opined Warne, in Mumbai, on Friday.
Included in the side for the injured Andre Fletcher, Lendl Simmons blasted an unbeaten 82 after being caught twice off no-balls, on 18 and 50, as the West Indies recovered from the early dismissal of Chris Gayle (5) to chase down India’s huge score of 192 for two with two balls to spare.
The home side was made to pay dearly for the let-offs, first by Ashwin -- when the batsman was on 18 in the seventh over -- and then Hardik Pandya -- when he was on 58 in the 15th over -- with the West Indies cruising at 132 for three.
Warne, who led Rajasthan Royals to the Indian Premier League title in the inaugural edition of the T20 tournament in 2008, believes it is important to get your basics right in the T20 format, something India messed up badly during their shock defeat to the West Indies.
"In T20 cricket, if you do the basics better than the opposition you win the game. Keep your feet behind the line (bowling crease), hold your catches; that sort of little things... rotate the strike when boundaries are hard to come, and just those basic things. Yesterday, India didn’t get their basics right; they bowled a few no-balls, etc. etc..
"I was disappointed because I had backed India to win the tournament before a ball was bowled. I thought an India versus England final would be good,” the former leg-spin ace added.
He lauded Virat Kohli’s superb showing with the bat, which saw him finish with 273 runs, including three half-centuries, from five matches in the World T20.
Rating India’s latest batting sensation as the world’s top batsman in T20 cricket at the moment, even ahead of the dangerous Chris Gayle, he said: "When you got a star player like Virat Kohli, I think you got a blank piece of paper and you say ‘who is your first pick T20 player’ and for me it is Virat Kohli. I would select him at No. 3; that is my first selection.
"Second would probably be Chris Gayle for the opening position."
Warne believes that the West Indies deserved to win after their superb comeback with the bat and it would be unfair to term it an ‘upset’.
"People will see this as an upset, but some will say West Indies are pretty good in this form of the game too. I thought West Indies were outstanding yesterday, so the combination of not quite getting it right and the West Indies' fantastic performance was why India got knocked out in the semi-finals."
Asked about taking up a coaching offer in India, Warne was hesitant.
"I am not sure I am ready to coach right now; maybe down the track, but I never say no to an opportunity. If an opportunity presents itself or comes to my door I would always weigh it up and then give an honest answer about what I think.
"If you can’t give a 100 percent to whatever it maybe then you are better off saying no. But if that opportunity came and you say you would love to do it, then everything else stops and you can take up that opportunity that, may be.
"I would love to work with the Indian team. I think they are a very talented team, wonderful team to work for. There is a lot of pressure; a billion-plus people supporting the Indian team. If you make a mistake you cop it. If the opportunity came about, I would think about it."