Tuesday, January 18, 2022
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Cricket’s new chokers – Times of India

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Crushing defeat in sports generally causes outrage or despair among the involved; sometimes both. But the dominant emotion following the losses to Pakistan and New Zealand in the ongoing T20 World Cup was neither. Instead, many felt a strange sense of hollow that happens when the events unfolding appear almost surreal.

In the match against New Zealand, Indian batters faced 54 dot balls. Against Pakistan, there were 46 such deliveries. In other words, they didn’t score a single run off 100 balls out of a maximum of 240 balls or 40 overs; a staggering 42%. The bowlers took a combined two wickets in the two games. The team seemed gutless, clueless and collectively enveloped by a fear of failure. The matches never became a real contest.

Bio-bubble fatigue has been cited as among the key reasons for these sorry shows. And it’s possible to argue that it played a role though it can also be suggested that India was the best acclimatised team since the recently concluded IPL was also staged in Dubai. Strangely, the fatigue vanished against lesser opponents such as Afghanistan and Scotland. In fact, there was little evidence of “bio-bubble fatigue” during the two warm-up games against formidable England and Australia.


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