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India v New Zealand: Ruthless New Zealand bury India with clinical performance

New Zealand humbled India with stellar performances with both bat and ball and have pushed India to the danger zone of being knocked out.

October 31, 2021 / 10:41 PM IST
India's captain Virat Kohli hugs New Zealand's captain Kane Williamson after New Zealand won the game during the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup match in Dubai, UAE, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

India's captain Virat Kohli hugs New Zealand's captain Kane Williamson after New Zealand won the game during the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup match in Dubai, UAE, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

In an eerie reminder of what unfolded in the 2019 ODI World Cup and the 2016 T20 World Cup, New Zealand humbled India in another ICC tournament courtesy of a stellar performance with bat and ball. Perhaps it was telling that a makeshift opener, sent in to maximise the powerplay overs, was responsible for New Zealand taking another hit at India's already pathetic net run rate.

Daryl Mitchell, who opened the batting in T20 cricket for the first time against Pakistan earlier in the week, carted the Indian bowlers around with zero respect, racing to 49 in 35 balls. In a group where Afghanistan could spring a major surprise if they just win a game against India or New Zealand thanks to their humungous net run rate, New Zealand's carnage will have a huge impact.

Mitchell was responsible for a large chunk of it as he thwarted the Indian bowlers around with no care in the world even as Kane Williamson and earlier, Martin Guptill, held one end up. Mitchell's stellar attack will hold New Zealand in good stead for the next few games as they now know the tactic to utilise someone as attacking as Mitchell at the top of the order on these sluggish wickets bear fruit.

But the story of the match was formed in the first half when Kane Williamson sent India in to bat after winning the toss. While conditions in UAE have helped batting later in the game in this T20 World Cup, India's debacle, that began with an ugly hoick to be out caught in the deep, had little to do with the conditions or Trent Boult.

Instead, things started derailing for India right from the toss, which they lost. With Suryakumar Yadav out injured, India brought in Ishan Kishan whose best position is at the top of the batting order. Kohli confirmed that Kishan would bat at the top, but in a surprise move, it was Rohit Sharma, and not KL Rahul, who moved down the order.

Close

With Kishan failing, Rohit walked in, but it did little to avert fears of what New Zealand's new ball attack could do. India seemed to be too worried about what the bowlers could do and heedlessly took on the bowling to lose wickets. If Kishan got out slogging, Rohit nearly followed next ball, but was saved by a dropped chance from Adam Milne.

KL Rahul perished attempting a pull shot and Rohit was out slogging. Kohli followed with another questionable shot and India were in tatters in no time. At 70/5, as Rishabh Pant went leaving the side in complete disarray, memory jogged back to the 2019 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand when India had lost Pant as the fifth wicket with 71 on board.

This game, like that, remained one-sided for the large part of it with India barely even in the match after the powerplay in the first innings. If there were hopes of Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja turning things around with a late cameo, it remained a distant dream as New Zealand tightened the screws further. There was no final flourish and little hope as India's innings came to a halt with a mere 110 on board.

True, New Zealand had pulled off a miraculous win in the Super 12 against India in 2016 after putting on just 126 batting first, but here in Dubai, with the dew a factor and India's bowling attack already misfiring this tournament, hopes were slim.

The only glimmer of hope rested in dragging the game long in the hope of minimising the net run rate damage, but Mitchell ensures there was no respite for India tonight. They didn't deserve it after what was on show.

Final score

India 110/7 in 20 overs (Jadeja 26*, Boult 3/20, Sodhi 2/17) lost to New Zealand 139/5 (Mitchell 49, Williamson 33*, Bumrah 2/19)



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first published: Oct 31, 2021 10:41 pm
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