India stares at T20 WC exit after Black Caps hammers Kohli & Co

Trent Boult was the pick of bowlers, having bagged three wickets.

India-born Ish Sodhi (in beard) crippled India with two big wickets — Kohli and Rohit.

India’s horror run in the T20 World Cup continues.

After being hammered by Pakistan by 10 wickets, India lost their virtual do-or-die match against New Zealand in the T20 World Cup in the UAE on Sunday. In response to India’s paltry 110/7, the Black Caps romped home with the loss of just two wickets, that too with almost six overs to spare.

The defeat has put India in serious danger of losing out on a semi-final berth. If Pakistan match was a humiliating experience, the encounter against New Zealand was embarrassing to say the least as a meagre target of 111 was chased down by Daryl Mitchell (49 off 35 balls) and skipper Kane Williamson (33 not out off 31 balls) in only 14.3 overs.

The equation for India now gets muddled up and only Afghanistan’s victory over New Zealand can raise hopes of an outside chance to qualify for the semi-finals. That too if they win all their remaining matches against Afghanistan, Namibia and Scotland.

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Asked to bat first in the must-win match in Dubai, India faltered right from the word go. With no batsmen finding his form, India lost wickets at regular intervals, ended up scoring a below-par 110/7 in the stipulated 20 overs. Jadeja was the top-scorer (26* off 19).

Trent Boult was the pick of bowlers, having bagged three wickets. There were no demons in the track and Indias shoddy show with the willow was a consequence of poor team selection, not relying on form players and the failure to have any flexibility in the side, which lacked proper multi-skilled cricketers.

Earlier, New Zealand won the toss and decided to field against India, which has effected two changes from the team it played against Pakistan. Ishan Kishan is replacing Suryakumar Yadav while Shardul Thakur is playing instead of Bhuvi.

Both teams tasted defeat in their opening matches, and are looking to register their first win in the tournament. 

India was completely outplayed in their opening game as Pakistan romped to a 10-wicket win.

New Zealand too lost their opening fixture to Pakistan. While they didn’t fare as poorly as the Indian team, Kane Williamson’s side too were outplayed.

Ahead of the match, batting legend and commenter Sunil Gavaskar advised India against making too many changes.

“They [New Zealand] wouldn’t be looking to make too many changes after a defeat for that is a sure sign of panic and frankly, there is no need for that.

Gavaskar said that Hardik Pandya’s fitness remains the team’s only concern ahead of the game. “The only concern would be the shoulder injury to Hardik Pandya and he is reported to have bowled a few deliveries in the nets which encourages the belief that he could be the sixth bowler if required in the team,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for Khaleej Times.

He also said that the match-up between Rohit Sharma and Trent Boult would make for interesting viewing. The Indian opener was dismissed on a golden duck by left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi in the side’s opening match against Pakistan.

“What will be interesting to see is how Trent Boult bowls to Rohit Sharma. In the game against Pakistan Kane Williamson seemed to have erred in not giving the new ball to Boult. The white ball swings and seams for barely a few overs and your best bowler has to be given the hard new ball and not brought on after a few overs have been bowled,” wrote Gavaskar.

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