After suffering a 10-wicket thrashing from the hands of Pakistan, many expected India to make a stunning comeback against the Kiwis but it never transpired to reality. Indian batters couldn't do anything with the bat and New Zealand decimated them by eight wickets to virtually end India's campaign. VVS Laxman found that as extremely disappointing and stated that for the first time, in his recollection, he saw fear among the Indian batters.
"To say that India's batting against New Zealand was disappointing will be an understatement. Several times in the past few months, India have bounced back from setbacks with courage and positivity. It might have been in a different format, but resilience and self-belief is what one has come to expect of the current Indian side. None of that was on view in Dubai on Sunday," Laxman wrote on his column for Times of India.'
"For the first time in my recollection, I saw apprehension, if not fear, on the faces of the batsmen. They were hesitant and uncertain, and it reflected in faulty shot selection. Three wickets in the first eight overs didn't help their cause against a New Zealand attack that bowled tight lines and gave nothing away. India would have come prepared with their plans to counter the Kiwi discipline, but those never manifested themselves on the park," Laxman opined.
India were one of the favourites to win the World Cup and they showed great intent in taking down England and Australia in the warm-up fixture. With a solid arsenal of batters and bowlers, armed with the knowledge of UAE conditions, the Indian team could have done things a lot differently but none of that was on show during the first two games.
"India had so many things going for them leading into the tournament. There was an experience, great skill and an understanding of what they would expect in the T20 World Cup, given that they had just finished playing in the IPL in the UAE. Armed with all that knowledge, you'd have expected India's batsmen to give a better account of themselves. 110 for seven, no matter how superbly New Zealand bowled, is simply not acceptable. It will be interesting to know what target India had in mind when they went out to bat, and what was the communication from the openers to the dugout after the first couple of overs," Laxman added.