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Shoaib Akhtar Predicts India's ICC Trophy Drought Will Extend Due To 'no Cricket In 2020'

Shoaib Akhtar feels that India's inability to win ICC trophies in recent times shouldn’t be the only criteria to judge them & gave a reason for the same.

Shoaib Akhtar

Indis has been a force to reckon with during the last decade in world cricket, moving from strength to strength. They have won at home as well as overseas, stamping their authority in all formats of the game. But the one thing that they have been deprived of in recent times is a major ICC trophy. India's last major ICC trophy win came in 2013 when they won the Champions Trophy by defeating England in the final at Birminghan under MS Dhoni's captaincy.

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Shoaib Akhtar backs India despite failure at ICC events

Since then, India have featured in five global events including the ICC ODI World Cups (2015 and 2019), two ICC T20 World Cups (2014 and 2016) and one ICC Champions Trophy (2017). But they didn't manage to win any of them. This is why the Indian team has been a subject of staunch criticism.

However, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar feels that India's inability to win ICC trophies in recent times shouldn’t be held against them entirely. Shoaib Akhtar told PTI that winning tournaments is one thing and staying at the top was another. He added that India is still the top-ranked Test team and is almost among the top teams in the limited-overs formats. So, they should not only be judged by their performance at the ICC events.

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Shoaib Akhtar further stated the reason behind India's inability to win ICC tournaments. Shoaib Akhtar claimed that India lacked a match-winner much like they did in the 90s. Shoaib Akhtar opined that India should definitely win ICC events when they go beyond relying on their top 4 batsmen to do the bulk of the scoring for them. Shoaib Akhtar said India needs a match-winner like Yuvraj Singh or MS Dhoni in the middle-order.

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Shoaib Akhtar also said that when they toured India in 1998, they always thought they would run through India after getting the top order. There was no match-winner until Yuvraj Singh came in, followed by MS Dhoni. Then the results started to change. Shoaib Akhtar cited lack of finishers as India's main problem.

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Speaking about ICC events, Akhtar added that with the uncertainty surrounding the T20 World Cup this year in Australia, it is unlikely that the tournament will take place. The 'Rawalpindi Express' boldly predicted that no international cricket or any event involving major crowd gathering will be held 'atleast for another year' as getting rid of the coronavirus pandemic is the world's top priority as of now. If Akhtar is proven right, that could well mean that India's tour of Australia in late 2020 would also not be held, making India's wait to win an ICC event as well as prove themselves overseas after their loss in New Zealand earlier this year, will be put on hold.

IMAGE COURTESY: SHOAIB AKHTAR YOUTUBE

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