NEW DELHI: Former cricketers and cricket experts blamed India's 'conservative' and 'timid' batting approach in the powerplay for their exit from the ongoing T20 World Cup in Australia. India were on Thursday humbled by England in the second semi-final in Adelaide, losing the knock-out match by 10 wickets.
England sent India to bat first after winning the toss and restricted them to 168/6. English openers Alex Hales (86*) and Jos Buttler (80*) then chased down the target in just 16 overs to send the Indian side packing.
India played conservatively in the powerplay managing only 38 runs while England's approach was the opposite as they raced to 63 in six overs.
Ahead of the T20 World Cup, India had adopted a more aggressive batting approach but their openers, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, failed to fire on the big stage.
"India were too timid with the bat. Unfortunately, Rohit and KL were not able to take the game on in the first six overs. They have got the firepower but you have to take the game on in T20 cricket," former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson told Star Sports. "Hardik was able to take the game on but India should have attacked 6-8 overs earlier."
Watson also questioned the absence of Yuzvendra Chahal in Team India's playing XI in Adelaide.
"India did not have a wrist spinner and England had two. In hindsight they certainly missed Chahal. He can control his pace like Rashid did tonight. He has got incredible skills and would have been brilliant tonight," Watson added.
When England skipper Buttler hit the winning six, former England captain Nasser Hussain said on air: "India were timid upfront and England have taken them down."
Commentator Harsha Bhogle too agreed that India are playing conservative cricket.
"India are still playing very conservative cricket. It was an issue they hoped to address and, in all fairness did, in bilateral cricket. But here at the World Cup, India were constantly hoping the back 10 overs would bail them out. Today, it wasn't enough," Bhogle tweeted after the match.
Former India cricketer Irfan Pathan said that England were a better team today, and tweeted: "Team England you were a far better team congratulations. For team India, lot to learn and come back harder next time."
Virender Sehwag, former India batter, believed England openers today were too good for 'clueless' Indian attack.
Former India selector Sarandeep Singh too blamed the openers' failure as one of the main reasons for India's exit.
"Unfortunately for India, Rahul and Rohit could not find form in the big games, putting pressure on Virat and Suryakumar, who both can't perform game after game," he told PTI referring to Kohli and Surya's splendid run.
"One of the team's biggest mistakes was to not play Yuzvendra Chahal in the entire tournament, especially today. You saw how effective England's wrist spinners were. Not playing Rishabh Pant in the league stage (he played only one game) also baffled me."
Sarandeep said some tough calls have to be taken as India plan for the 2024 T20 World Cup in the Americas.
"I don't see at least half of the team members playing the next T20 World Cup including Rohit, Virat, Ashwin, Shami and Bhuvi. The selectors need to take a call on that," the former India spinner added.
(With inputs from PTI)