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ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 – India vs New Zealand – Talking Points

It was an absolute hammering that New Zealand inflicted on India as they won a crucial Group 2 encounter in the Super 12 round of this ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021. Kane Williamson won the toss and had no hesitation in opting to chase and India were never in the game from the word-go. The New Zealand bowlers fired in unison as they never allowed the Indian batters to get away.

Virat Kohli and Co huffed and puffed their way to 110/7 in their 20 overs. Only two batters from the Indian top seven scored better than a run-a-ball as both the Kiwi pacers and spinners were absolutely spot on. In reply, the New Zealand top three wiped out the chase with ease and wrapped up the 111-run chase with 5.3 overs to spare.

This loss puts India on the brink of elimination and their net run rate has taken a massive hit as well. New Zealand are back on track after their initial loss against Pakistan.

Here are the talking points from the match:

India tinker around with their batting line-up

Suryakumar Yadav suffered from back spasms in the lead up to this game and he was ruled out of this encounter. Ishan Kishan replaced him in the playing XI. The left-hander had been striking the ball really well in the recent past and looked in sublime touch even in the warm-up game against England. But his good form was at the top of the order and India promoted him to open alongside KL Rahul.

Kishan walked out to bat alongside KL Rahul at the top of the order. It was only the fifth time since the start of the Champions Trophy 2013 that Rohit Sharma did not open the batting in a white-ball game for India. Rohit batted at 3 while skipper Virat Kohli walked in at No. 4.

India start slow before a massive middle-overs struggle

India lost early wickets in the game against Pakistan and that affected the tempo of the entire innings. The same was the case in this game. The pair of Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul couldn’t take off. The New Zealand new-ball bowlers were very tight with their lines and lengths and Kishan who was promoted to give that flying start holed out to deep square leg off a leg-stump half-volley from Trent Boult in the third over.

Rahul struck a few boundaries and was looking in decent touch but he couldn’t really make it big. Rohit was dropped on his first ball and he smashed Adam Milne for a four and a six in the fifth over but he couldn’t convert his start either. He fell trying to force the pace against Ish Sodhi. Kohli came in and struggled against the spinners and finally lost his patience as he was caught at long-on, trying to slog Sodhi out of the ground.

Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant tried rebuilding but they couldn’t get any momentum either. There was a period of 71 deliveries where India did not score a single boundary. It was a slugfest almost throughout the innings. If not for Ravindra Jadeja’s late blows, India may well have struggled to touch the 100-run mark as well.

Entire Kiwi bowling attack stands up

New Zealand’s entire bowling attack had excellent figures. Barring one 15-run over from Adam Milne, in which Rohit hit him for a four and a six, almost the entire bowling innings was spot on for New Zealand. They constantly created pressure with dot balls and the field placing was accurate as well. The pacers hit the hard lengths and barely gave anything away while the spinners just strangled down the Indian middle-order.

The powerplay saw India reach 35/2 and post that, New Zealand conceded just 65 runs in the remaining 14 overs. Tim Southee and Milne were the only bowlers who conceded more than 25 runs in their respective spells. But both of those bowlers picked up a wicket each. Sodhi picked up two wickets while Boult returned with three scalps. Mitchell Santner didn’t take a wicket but conceded a mere 15 runs from his four overs.

New Zealand finish it off in a canter as Jasprit Bumrah the lone standout bowler for India

India had to attack and pick wickets upfront. However, that wasn’t the case. The New Zealand openers got off to a good start and lay the platform. Varun Chakravarthy opened the bowling alongside Jasprit Bumrah. Martin Guptill attacked Chakravarthy before the Kiwi opener was foxed by a slower one from Bumrah. The ace Indian fast bowler bowled a very good opening spell but he didn’t have much support from the other end.

Daryll Mitchell started finding the boundaries consistently. Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur and Hardik Pandya didn’t really cause any sort of trouble. Mitchell helped himself to 49 off 35 balls before Bumrah had him caught at long-on. Kane Williamson batted calmly at the other end and remained unbeaten on 33 off 31 balls to steer the Blackcaps home.

Apart from Bumrah, no other Indian bowler really looked like even taking a wicket and their misery continued. It is their second successive loss and they have almost been knocked out. New Zealand continued their dominance over India in ICC events and extended their lead to 8-1. 

India cannot get over New Zealand jinx

This was India’s seventh successive defeat against New Zealand in an ICC event since the 2003 World Cup. In the last 18 years, India have played the Kiwis in the 2007 T20 World Cup, the 2016 T20 World Cup, the 2019 World Cup semi-finals, two World Test Championship games in 2020 besides the World Test Championship final earlier this year.

Also read: ENG vs SL, T20 World Cup 2021 – Fantasy Preview and Top Picks 

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