Tom Moody believes India hampered their chances of winning the 2019 World Cup by the excessive chopping and changing of their batting order in the lead-up to the tournament.
India failed to find a permanent solution to the No.4 conundrum ahead of the tournament, trying the likes of Ambati Rayudu, KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant among others for the role.
While India started off with Rahul as their primary number four in the tournament, Hardik Pandya was promoted to the spot in their second match. Rahul was forced to don the opener’s role following an injury to Shikhar Dhawan, after which Vijay Shankar and Rishabh Pant, along with Pandya, were used at the much-debated spot as well.
Moody feels the uncertainty, which the constant shuffling — before and during the tournament — caused, led to India’s downfall.
“One of the huge challenges that India have to face, whether they like it or not, is the expectations on their talent,” Moody said while in conversation with Harsha Bhogle on Cricbuzz. “There is no question that India has got more talent by a long stretch than any country playing our game. But sometimes that can be a burden, not just the expectations but when you got too many players to choose from, it can cloud your thinking and your philosophy on how you want to play and how you feel you need to play to win a particular tournament.
This day, last year.
— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) July 10, 2020
“I suppose the best example from mind was the campaign in England when it seemed that India, twelve months out, was ready to play that tournament. [But] the next twelve months, leading up to the actual start of the tournament, they did their very best to sabotage their hopes of winning that tournament by changing batting orders, changing personnel within that batting order, creating uncertainty amongst the whole playing group.
“If anything, when you come into major tournaments, that’s where you want to crystallise people’s thoughts and not get influenced by, what I call, the white noise that the media might be talking about. Because you know exactly what path you are on, you know what exactly you need to be doing, you just need to remain consistent with that. Because players also sense the uncertainty when those things are happening.”