New Zealand kept their unbeaten record against India in T20 World Cups intact as the Kiwis demolished the Men in Blue in Dubai to leave Virat Kohli’s side on the brink of elimination. India lost the toss and were put into bat, but a listless showing with the bat saw them post just 110 off their 20 overs. The bowling was no better, and the BlackCaps eventually chased the target down in just 14.3 overs to push India to fifth on the points table. The Men in Blue will now have to win the rest of their games handsomely and hope for other results to go in their favor in order to progress to the semi-finals.
New Zealand shell-shock India by removing the Big 4
As Virat Kohli lost yet another toss, there was anxiety amongst a section of fans. Still, there was also optimism, for this was, after all, a new day. But everything that could go wrong for India went wrong in the first phase of the game as they lost four wickets, including that of skipper Kohli, inside the first 61 balls. And it wasn’t even due to exceptional bowling.
The first one to perish was Ishan Kishan, who’d replaced Suryakumar Yadav and had been promoted up the order. Kishan tried to heave Boult towards long-leg, but instead ended up finding the hands of Daryl Mitchell. India were one down inside the third over.
It could very well have been two in two as Rohit miscued a hook shot on the very next ball, but to Williamson’s absolute dismay, Adam Milne put down a dolly.
To New Zealand’s delight, however, the drop did not cost them.
Rahul, after looking good for 15 balls, miscued a pull and found the hands of Mitchell again, while just two overs later, Rohit walked back to the pavilion after hitting one straight to Guptill at long-on. 40/3 was what India were in the eighth over.
Kohli, at this point, looked like the last hope, but he too, quite unfathomably, skied one towards long-on, after top-edging a slog-sweep, and India were in absolute tatters just 11 overs in, teetering at 48/4.
For the Kiwis, it was all about discipline. In the first 11 overs, only one over cost more than 6 runs, and no bowler put a foot wrong. In particular, mighty impressive was Mitchell Santner, who conceded just 9 off his first 3 overs.
Intent-less India crawl their way towards 110
At 48/4, all was not over for India. They still had Pant, Pandya and Jadeja and the wicket was far from demonic. But in one of the most baffling, intent-less performances in T20I history, the Men in Blue could just aggregate 62 runs in the final 10 overs, despite losing just three wickets. Quite flabbergastingly, four boundaries was all they hit in the final 10 overs of the game. They simply showed no intent whatsoever.
The runs in the second half were accumulated by Pant (12) and Pandya (23), but neither batter was able to get going. They accounted for 35 runs scored, but those runs came off 43 balls. Really, the only batter who got going was Jadeja, who scored 26 off the 19 balls he faced and showed some intent.
Such was the lack of intent shown by the batters that New Zealand’s performance with the ball, which was nothing more than normal, even surprised Ish Sodhi, who finished with 2/17 off his 4 overs.
New Zealand chase tame target without breaking a sweat
111 was always going to be a tough target to defend, but India, with the ball, for the second match running, were demolished. The Kiwis did not break a sweat en route chasing the target.
And the wrecker-in-chief in the second innings was none other than Daryl Mitchell. Last week, people questioned why Mitchell was bizarrely asked to open, but today, he showed exactly why. The all-rounder smashed 49 of 35 balls at a strike rate of 140.00, and had something no Indian batter showed: intent. Ball after ball he was looking for the boundary, and he reaped dividends for his positive approach.
India burnt six overs of Bumrah and Chakravarthy inside the first 10 but it did not go according to plan, with the Men in Blue only accounting for the wicket of Martin Guptill in the phase. Chakravarthy was tidy but that’s about it. He did not threaten. The BlackCaps took 23 off his 4 overs without taking a single risk.
It’s hard to be critical when you’re defending 110, but one bowler who was completely off was Jadeja. The left-armer strayed too short far too often, and his two overs cost 23 runs and pretty much helped New Zealand kill the chase off.
Mitchell perished one short of his fifty but, as he does always, skipper Kane Williamson remained unbeaten and took the team over the line to give New Zealand their first points of the 2021 T20 World Cup.