India's wrist-spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal has been a big revelation in recent times for the One-day International set-up. They have helped India get success not just on home turf but also overseas, including South Africa and Australia, in last one-and-a-half years. But against England they both failed to pick wickets and even struggled to contain runs and conceded 160 runs in their combined 20 overs on Sunday. In fact, Chahal's bowling figures of 0/88 in 10 overs was the worst World Cup performance by an Indian bowler. Former England left-arm spinner Monty Panesar feels if both leg-spinners fail collectively "India can't go the distance".
"I guess they are going to have a bad day at some point in time. It shows when both don't bowl well in tandem then India can't go the distance," Panesar told PTI during an interview.
"For India to do well, it is crucial that at least one of the two spinners perform in all the games. If both do well, it's great but today was a great example when England batsmen got on top of them from the start," said Panesar, who played 50 Tests for England, picking up 167 wickets.
The two spinners struggled to contain runs and the shorter boundaries made things worse for them as England batsmen played reverse sweeps to perfection.
"I know as a spinner, it makes it so difficult. Then (Ben) Stokes came in and played those 360 degree shots," Panesar said, referring to the 59-metre boundary on one side.
"You start thinking, 'Oh, should I put two covers or one cover? Do I place a mid-wicket to stop a single or put one at the cover boundary'?
"Once you get smashed, you enter that phase of 'Shall I do this or shall I do that, go to the captain for advice', it disturbs your rhythm. Then you tend to go flatter, and that's when batsmen go on top," he explained.
India next take on Bangladesh at Edgbaston on Tuesday and would not want to leave it to their last league match and secure a semi-final spot with a win over their neighbours.
(With PTI inputs)