ICC World T20 2014, ICC Champions Trophy 2017, ICC World Test Championship final 2021. In the past seven years, the Indian cricket team has made the final of these marquee events but on all three occasions, they finished as the runners-up.
In between, they have also been exited ICC events during the knockout stages with the latest such defeat coming at the hands of New Zealand in the semifinal of the 2019 ODI World Cup. The last ICC trophy India won was the 2013 Champions Trophy under the captaincy of the legendary MS Dhoni.
So why India fails at the final hurdle?
West Indies fast bowling legend Curtly Ambrose suggests that either the enormity of the occasion may be getting to India or they end up changing their game plan.
“In the last 6-7 ICC events, Team India has failed in the finals or lost in the semi-finals. I am just wondering (why). Because they have been so successful. But when you get to those big occasions, they tend to fail on a consistent basis," Ambrose said on The Curtly & Karishma Show on YouTube.
Ambrose reckons if something is working, it shouldn’t be tinkered with.
“Is it a situation where they change their game plan or they put themselves under pressure because of the occasion? If that is the case, then it is wrong. As a former cricketer (I can say), the things that you do to make you successful, to get you to where you are, you continue to do them and try to improve," he said.
“You don’t change your game plan or style of play because it is semi-final or final. That is their loss. You’ve got to keep doing what you have been doing all along, that brought you success," he added.
However, he did praise New Zealand, their wonderful captain Kane Williamson and a world-class pace attack that fired them to an eight-wicket win in WTC final.
“You have to give New Zealand credit. They have got some fantastic bowlers in their line-up. They have got Southee, Boult and Wagner for company and Kyle Jamieson. These guys, when they get conditions that suit them, are more than a handful. And, they are led by a wonderful captain. I have got a lot of respect for Kane Williamson. He has led this team for years magnificently," Ambrose said.