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Venkatesh Prasad slams ‘very, very ordinary India’, says team lacks hunger and intensity

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Chennai: Former India seamer Venkatesh Prasad on Monday came down heavily on the Hardik Pandya-led team following its T20I series loss to a flagging West Indies, dubbing it a “very, very ordinary limited overs side” that is “living in illusion”.

With an eight-wicket thrashing in the fifth T20I, the West Indies humbled India in the five-match series after the visitors fought back to level it at 2-2 following reverses in the first two games.

Prasad, who has been quite vocal in recent times, was least impressed with the result.

Taking to X, formerly Twitter, Prasad wrote, “India has been a very, very ordinary limited-overs side for some time now. They have been humbled by a West Indies side that failed to qualify for the T20 WC few months back. We had also lost to Ban (Bangladesh) in the ODI series. Hope they introspect instead of making silly statements.”

Although the West Indies recently failed to qualify for the 2023 ICC ODI World Cup, it has always been a formidable side in the shortest format.

While the West Indies have won a couple of editions of the ICC T20 World Cup, they are currently ranked seventh in the pecking order compared to India’s numero uno status.

Referring to the Windies’ dwindling fortunes in recent years, Prasad stated that it pained him to see India struggling to perform against them.

“Not just 50 overs, West Indies had failed to qualify for the T20 World Cup last Oct-Nov as well (Super 12). It pains to see India perform poorly and brush it under the carpet, under the garb of process. That hunger, fire is missing, and we live in an illusion,” he said on the social media platform.

Prasad was also critical of T20I skipper Hardik Pandya, saying he looked “clueless”.

“India needs to improve their skillset. There is a hunger & intensity deficiency, & often, the captain looked clueless. Bowlers can’t bat, batsmen can’t bowl. It’s important to not look for yes men and be blinded because someone is your favourite player, but look at the larger good,” he said in another post.

Replying to a fan’s query on his take about the Indian team management comprising Pandya and coach Rahul Dravid, Prasad held them accountable for the “debacle”.

“They are responsible for the debacle and need to be accountable. Process and such words are misused now. MS (Dhoni) meant it, guys now just use the word. There is no consistency in selection; random stuff happening too much,” he replied.

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