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T20 World Cup 2021 Match 42: India vs Namibia Talking Points

India beat Namibia by nine wickets in the final group match of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. Bowling first, India restricted Namibia to 132 and then gunned down the target in the 15th over. Here are all the major talking points from the game.

Indian team pays tribute to Tarak Sinha

Members of Team India wore black armbands to pay their tributes to legendary cricket coach Tarak Sinha, who passed away on Thursday after losing battle to lung cancer at the age of 71. . Sinha, who was conferred with the lifetime Dronacharya Award in 2018, was a big name at Delhi’s Sonnet Cricket Club, which has produced some famous cricketers like Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Anjum Chopra, Ashish Nehra, Nitish Rana and others. Sinha, who coached several cricketers and teams for nearly five decades, also served as Indian Women’s Cricket Team coach for a short period of time. Several cricketers, including Chopra and Pant, paid tribute to the late coach on Twitter.

Virat Kohli’s last game as India’s T20I captain

Kohli had announced in a tweet before the start of the T20 World Cup that he will be stepping down as India’s T20I captain after the tournament. Kohli’s captaincy in the shortest format of the game has been a memorable one, even though he is yet to lead the team to an ICC trophy in any format. Under him, India played 50 T20Is, of which they won 29 and lost 16, while four games ended in no result. This makes him the second-most successful captain after MS Dhoni, under whom India won 42 T20Is.

As captain, Kohli scored the most number of runs by any Indian skipper in T20Is – 1489. He is also the only Indian captain to register a win in all SENA countries in T20Is away from home. India won 5-0 in New Zealand, and 2-1 against England, Australia, and South Africa. Although Kohli’s team selections were sometimes criticised, and India’s performance at the on-going World Cup largely condemned, the 32-year-old will statistically still go down as one of India’s best T20I captains.

Kohli drops a hint at the toss

A lot of speculations are being made on who will be India’s next T20I captain, but the best guess is Rohit Sharma. At the toss, Kohli dropped a big hint that Rohit will take charge of the team from here on. While saying that it was an honour for him to lead India in T20Is, Kohli also added, “I think it’s time for the next lot to stake this team forward. Obviously, Rohit is here and he’s overlooking things for a while now.” The mention of Rohit makes it clear that he is likely to be India’s next T20I captain.

Ravi Shastri’s last game as India’s head coach

Not just Kohli’s last game as T20I captain, this was also Ravi Shastri’s last game as the head coach of the Indian Cricket Team. Before the World Cup, the BCCI had announced that the tournament will mark the end of Shastri’s tenure as the head coach. Although Shastri didn’t win any ICC events with India, the team registered some impressive wins under his tenure. The Men in Blue got the better of Sri Lanka 9-0 across all formats, defeated Australia by 2-1 in Australia to become the first Asian team to win a test series Down Under, and won the Asia Cup in 2018. Rahul Dravid has been announced as India’s next head coach.

India’s bowlers shine

The Indian bowlers put up a combined bowling effort to restrict Namibia to 132 in 20 overs. Jasprit Bumrah picked up two wickets, while Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin picked up three wickets each. For Jadeja, his three wickets took his tally to 49 in the format, thus making him go past Hardik Pandya to become India’s fifth highest wicket-taker in T20 internationals. For Namibia, the top individual scores came from David Wiese (26) and opener Stephan Baard (21).

A comfortable chase for India

Chasing 132, India got off to a good start with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul sharing 86 runs for the first wicket. While Rohit departed on 56 in the ninth over, KL remained unbeaten on 54. Suryakumar Yadav, meanwhile, remained unbeaten on 25 as India chased down the target in 15.2 overs to end the Kohli-Shastri era on a high.

A journey to remember for Namibia

Although Namibia won only a solitary game in the Super 12s, qualifying for the T20 World Cup 2021 will go down as one of their all-time biggest achievements. This was the first time when the team made it to the Super 12 – until this tournament, Namibia had never played at a T20 World Cup and in any major event since the 2003 ODI World Cup. They won two games in Round 1 – against Ireland and Netherlands, before defeating Scotland in their only win in the Super 12s.

India’s campaign to forget

Pre-tournament favourites India were knocked out of the race to the semi-final of the tournament on Sunday, after New Zealand beat Afghanistan by eight wickets in Abu Dhabi and joined Pakistan in the semi-finals. This is the first time since the 2012 T20 World Cup that India have not been able to make it to the final four of an ICC event. India began their campaign against Pakistan, which they lost by 10 wickets, followed by another loss, this time to New Zealand, by five wickets. However, they won their next two games, against Afghanistan and Scotland, to stay afloat in the race for the semi-finals.

But for India to make it to the semi-finals, Afghanistan needed to beat New Zealand, which was not to happen. New Zealand have now eliminated India thrice in big tournaments – they beat them in the semi-finals of the ODI World Cup in 2019, in the World Test Championship final earlier this year, and then at the on-going T20 World Cup.

What next for Team India?

The next T20 World Cup is less than a year away, and India will be looking to make a note of all their mistakes and work on them in the next one year. They play New Zealand in a T20I series at home later this month, which will be their first series to prepare for next year’s World Cup in Australia.

Umaima Saeed
A writer who primarily writes on cricket. As of 2021, she has covered cricket for more than a dozen publications.


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