Bengaluru, July 20: It was a shocking exit for India from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 after they lost a rain-affected semifinal to New Zealand at old Trafford by 18 runs.
Virat Kohli's side played fantastically in the league phase of the tournament by winning seven of their eight completed games and lost the remaining one to England.
They went into the semifinals as the table toppers with 15 points (one game, against the Black Caps, was washed out by rain).
But law of average struck India in the last-four game and they crashed out because of, as Kohli said later: "40 minutes of bad cricket".
A dejected Kohli later said that the semifinals of the World Cup should have a format like the one used in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
There, the top two teams get a second chance even if they lose their first match by playing the winner of the game between the third and fourth-ranked teams in the virtual semifinal. The third and fourth teams play in an eliminator and the winner of that game face the loser of the match between the top two-placed teams. The team that wins the game between the top two teams make the final straight.
Had the same format been used in the World Cup, India would have got a second chance even after losing the first qualifier (which they would have played against Australia). India's bowling coach Bharat Arun, too, favoured the same during an interview with the The Hindu daily.
One, however, feels that uttering these words now is tantamount to finding excuses. The semifinal that India lost was not an impossible one to win, but for their fragile batting order and a suspicious call of sending the batters out. Australia haven't complained after losing their first semifinal in their World Cup history and before the loss against arch-rivals England, the Kangaroos had won as many as seven last-four ties and went on to lift the trophy on five occasions.
Even South Africa haven't yet called for an IPL-like format in the knock-outs despite losing the semifinal as many as four times and earning the tag of 'chokers'.
It doesn't fit the stature of somebody like Kohli to look for excuses in the format after losing a big game. India need to work more on their killer instincts in knock-out games. That will help their cause in future campaigns.