Since their disappointing campaign in this year’s T20 World Cup, many fans and experts have wondered what went wrong for Team India in the showpiece event. The Men in Blue began their campaign with two back-to-back defeats in the Super 12 stage. In their opener, they lost to Pakistan by 10 wickets and then to New Zealand by eight wickets. Speaking to Sport360, legendary Pakistan cricketer felt that India could never recover from Shaheen Shah Afridi’s iconic first over. The pacer gave Pakistan a fantastic start and took the wicket of Rohit Sharma in the fourth delivery of his first over. The pacer went on to dismiss KL Rahul in the third over and also sent Virat Kohli back to the pavilion in the 19th over.
India eventually managed to set a target of 152 runs for Pakistan, which they reached in 17.5 overs without losing any wickets.
“I suppose after the first game, after especially Shaheen’s first over, they (India) never could recover”, said Akram.
“Then you see there was a lot of talk that they concentrate in IPL a lot. Their players don’t play against international players much and also in the other leagues.”
He also added that Indian batters have not faced Shaheen, Haris Rauf and Hassan Ali much.
“Pakistan and India hardly play cricket. Very few have faced Shaheen Shah, very few have faced, hardly faced Haris Rauf or Hassan Ali”, he stated.
The 55-year-old also suggested that the BCCI “needs to think back” and allow players in at least try “one or two” more leagues worldwide.
“When you play leagues in different countries – one or two, I’m not saying play every league. At Least your players get the experience to play against the other bowlers, different pitches, different teams, different conditions”, he said.
“I think India needs to think back. IPL is the number 1 league, yes money-wise, talent-wise but they have to allow the players at least one or two more leagues worldwide.”
After the two defeats, India went on to win their remaining Super 12 games but it wasn’t enough to ensure progress into the semifinals.
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