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T20 World cup: New Zealand beat India by 8 wickets: Lack of confidence for Team India

Every captain puts a marker for the team to follow. Virat Kohli likes his team to bat with intent. In this format, on this stage, there is no room for another word.

That is what he would have reminded them of ahead of the T20 World Cup, a format in which he is leading the team for the last time.

In an effectively must-win match against New Zealand in Dubai on Sunday, India played 50% attacking shots in the powerplay and 42% in the middle overs. By the time they tried to up the ante in the middle overs, it was too late.

All this added up to an eight-wicket defeat, their second in the group. Their hope of making it to the semi-finals is no longer in their hands. Mathematical possibilities aside, India haven’t looked anywhere like championship contenders in the two matches on show.

Rohit Sharma’s innings, a footnote to India’s batting innings—a run-a-ball 14—epitomised their batting struggles against New Zealand. His IPL team mate Trent Boult had warned him of a full in-swinging delivery, but he greeted him with a bumper.

Sharma couldn’t control the hook shot, and it should have been caught at long-leg, but Adam Milne dropped him first ball. He then launched into Milne for boundaries on either side of the wicket, in his fifth over. That was the only over in which the capacity Indian crowd, many of whom had to run through the adjacent sand road to beat the traffic and reach on time, got something to cheer. KL Rahul had square cut the bowler for another boundary in the same over and that 15-run over gave India’s early-six returns some respectability. But India also lost Ishan Kishan and Rahul for the 35 runs they scored.

Sharma had come in to bat at No. 3 as India opened with Kishan, who was a forced change for the Suryakumar Yadav, who didn’t play due to back spasms. Kishan could well have served as an ideal match-up for the Kiwis spinners. But he didn’t last long enough to bring in his flying blade that was for all to see in the warm-ups.

Midle of the post

Left-arm Mitchell Santner and leggie Ish Sodhi are cunning spinners and skipper Kane Williamson gave them 12 balls to bowl in tandem, immediately after the powerplay, to India’s ace batters Sharma and new man Kohli. That was enough time for Sodhi to send Sharma back. Then Kohli fell. In the collective eight overs they bowled, their combined figures read 8-32-2.

Sharma, the white-ball powerhouse, the only one in the game with three ODI double centuries to his name, could never find the hitting momentum. Kohli, one of the leading all-format batters of our times, couldn’t last long enough to resurrect the innings. KL Rahul, India’s batter on song in IPL, couldn’t do much damage either. India’s batting misery gave their supporters little to rejoice. They had to endure a heavy loss after the 10-wicket defeat to Pakistan in a span of eight days.

At 73/5 it was for India to decide if they wanted to aim for 140 plus or bat on. They again chose the conservative option. New Zealand’s medium-pacers stuck to their task, Milne disturbed Rishabh Pant’s (9) stumps. Hardik Pandya, playing for his power-hitting prowess, couldn’t find the boundaries either, getting out for a 24-ball 23. Ravindra Jadeja did manage to strike a few blows with a 19-ball 26 not out, but that took India to only 110, a total that was never going to be enough.

Left with no other option but to dust off the batting disappointment, India began with both their attacking bowling options—mystery spinner Varun Chakaravarthy, who bowled the first ball and Jasprit Bumrah, who came on from the other end. India’s leading speedster came firing on all cylinders, trying yorkers, beamers, all in his powers. A slower ball undid Martin Guptill in the third over for 20. But the flipside of having to use up their primary resources was India’s match-up plans no longer had any place.

New Zealand had no scoreboard pressure to contend with and this was just the situation Williamson enjoys. He likes to soak up the pressure, wait for the loose ball and slowly decimate the opposition. When Williamson begins to play late cuts with a deft touch, you know he is in command. And this was Williamson territory. Daryl Mitchell at the other end continued to attack.

The final over of the powerplay was bowled by Ravindra Jadeja, not Mohammad Shami. Mitchell carted him for two boundaries and a six for a 14-run over. New Zealand were coasting at 44/1 after the powerplay. Shami finally came on in the seventh over and tried to force the batters back with short balls, but Mitchell was in no mood to back off. He launched him to the square leg boundary for a 11-run over as India’s defence withered.

India introduced Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s replacement, in the 10th over. But Thakur was not the kind of bowler who can help you storm back into the contest with the opposition streaming past you. Mitchell went 6-4-4 against him, and by the time Thakur had completed his expensive 14-run over, half the In

https://www.hotstar.com/in/sports/cricket/icc-mens-t20-world-cup/india-vs-new-zealand-m703948

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