This year’s Halloween proved to be the scariest one for the team India as it faced a disappointing subduing against New Zealand on Sunday. In their second match of the Super 12 stage, New Zealand gunned down India by 8-wickets virtually ending its hopes to make it to the semi-finals.
Sent to bat first, India looked like a timid calf in front of a disciplined Kiwi bowling attack. None of India’s top-order could quite impress with their batsmanship and, following the dismissal of skipper Virat Kohli in the mid-overs, the team became clueless leading to a subpar total of 11o runs for 7 wickets in 20 overs.
New Zealand Spinners Trent Boult and Ish Sodhi emerged as the nightmares for the Indian batters. While Sodhi picked up two important wickets of Rohit Sharma and Kohli, Boult ended up with 3 wickets for just 20 runs in his 4 overs.
In the second innings, the 111-run chase was comfortable for New Zealand thanks to the dew and weak bowling performance from Indian bowlers. Kane Williamson finished the match in 14.3 overs which improved New Zealand’s net run rate in the points table.
Openers Daryl Mitchel and Martin Guptill provided the start Kiwi’s required before losing their wickets to Jasprit Bumrah. Mitchel stayed 1 run short of his half-century in the match and scored 49 off 35 balls. However, skipper Williamson (33 off 31 balls) and Devon Conway (2 off 4 balls) remained unbeaten to finish the match in favour of the Kiwis.
The humiliating defeat made captain Kohli question his team’s attitude in the match. In the post-match presentation ceremony, he said, “I don’t think we were brave enough with bat or ball. Every time we took a chance, we lost a wicket. It’s most often a result of hesitation of whether you should go for a shot or not… Didn’t have much to defend but we weren’t brave when we walked out to the field.”
“When you play for India, there are loads of expectations. We are watched, people come to the stadium and everyone who plays for India needs to embrace that and cope with it. We haven’t done that in these two games, and that’s why we haven’t won,” Kohli admitted.
Meanwhile veteran Indian cricketer VVS Laxman took Twitter to express his disappointment. He wrote, “This defeat should hurt Team India. Tentative with the bat, their shot selection was questionable. New Zealand bowled superbly, but India made their task easier. With their net run rate also taking a beating, a semifinal spot looks a distant dream #INDvNZ #T20WorldCup.”
The match ended up being India’s second consecutive defeat in the tournament making them the 5th position holder in the group points table behind Afghanistan and Namibia. It was also India’s second-lowest total in the T20 World Cup history. India will next face Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
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