Former India pacer criticises Hardik Pandya's captaincy on social media
A questionable bowling change and inability to maximise the turnaround witnessed at the fag end of West Indies' run-chase in India's loss in the second T20I in Guyana have piled on criticism against skipper Hardik Pandya, whose tactical mistake hurt the side eventually.
Despite experienced wristspinner Yuzvendra Chahal delivering an excellent 16th over and taking two wickets, Hardik decided not to give him the 18th over to bowl at the Caribbean tail. The stand-in captain instead preferred his pacers Mukesh Kumar and Arshdeep Singh to defend the remaining 24 runs off the last four overs.
As it panned out, Mukesh and Arshdeep offered capable lower-order men Akeal Hosein and Alzarri Joseph just enough pace to hit the ball through the gaps by finding optimum connection on a slow surface and India lost a great opportunity to get back in the series.
Fans were left fuming on social media over Hardik's decision to not stick with Chahal when he could've been a real handful with momentum in his favour against Hosein and Alzarri, who wouldn't have enjoyed facing his mix of leggies and googlies on such a track.
Venkatesh Prasad calls out Hardik Pandya for 'textbook' captaincy
Part of the critical brigade was former India pacer Venkatesh Prasad, who felt Hardik Pandya was being premeditative and "textbook" with his captaincy under pressure when he could've tweaked the original plans after Chahal had bowled a tremendous over to bring India back in the contest.
Taking to Twitter, Prasad stressed the Indian skipper needs to be "smarter" in tinkering with his plans according to the game situation and opting for the best possible bowling options at all stages of an innings.
"Yuzi got India back into the game in what was his third over and West Indies 8th down and he didn’t bowl again and No 9 and 10 for WI found the pacers easy to handle. Should be smarter at these moments then just doing textbook stuff," Prasad wrote.
Loss in the second T20I left India in an unexpected scenario for the series, needing to now clinch all three of the remaining fixtures to win the T20I series. The next match will also be played in Guyana on Tuesday (August 8).