T20 World Cup: New Zealand Crush India As If Fulfilling The Hot Favorites’ Death Wish!

For the second time in a row India captain Virat Kohli lost the toss, this time to New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and the latter unhesitatingly decided bowl first. In Dubai, the venue of this crucial encounter, in all the six matches played so far the chasing teams have won all the time. If that was not enough Kohli took Ishan Kishan in place of a supposedly injured Suryakumar Yadav and allowed him to open which was somewhat justified as left-right combination. But the biggest shocker came when Rohit Sharma, one of the most successful openers for India in all the formats of cricket, did not come in to open. As I mentioned in an earlier post the dropping of a sound opener Shikhar Dhawan who performed very well in the IPL-2021 was a huge mistake and his absence is now felt at every moment apart from disturbing the right-left combination. Then, the non-bowling, the supposedly non-fit Hardik Pandya still remained in the team. The team lost its balance completely and that effectively ended the match for India, now almost out of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup-2021.


Ishan failed after hitting a four; KL Rahul, relentlessly being promoted as an opener while he ideally remains India’s best No.3 batsman in all formats, failed again; Rohit Sharma, probably unable to adjust to his first-time-in-life No.3 position, failed to push on after hitting a few lovely shots; and captain Virat Kohli added to the drama created by him and his advisers by failing too, reducing the hot favorites of the tournament to 48/4 in the 11th over. It was now up to Pant and Pandya to do all the repair work. Pandya fully vindicated his captain’s faith in him by becoming the second highest scorer of the innings at 23 off only 24 balls and the highest scorer being Ravindra Jadeja at 26 in only 19 balls, and thanks to them India brilliantly managed to cross the daunting 100-run mark, setting an equally impeccable target of 111 to get for New Zealand. Wow! What an achievement! Earlier, Kohli took in Shardul Thakur too in place of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar to strengthen India’s bowling attack, apparently unable to understand the fact that India actually needed at least 10 bowlers to get New Zealand all out, if the wicket-keeper could be spared the trouble.


However, the Kiwis were in a merciless mood to fulfill India’s death wish, because they fully realized and were sympathetic that their beloved fellow cricketers have been suffering from IPL-fatigue, bubble-fatigue and all the fatigues imposed on them by an equally merciless cricket board. Therefore, they did not tire the Indians much by sparing the labor of more than 5 overs at 111/2 , winning by  8 wickets. Now the ideal moves would be for Kohli to prepone his stepping down from T20 captaincy, for Ravi Shastri to resign and for the mentor-Dhoni to mentor the team to a healthy mindset of returning home sooner than later.  Anyway, fans need not be discouraged, because the Blues though in the blues can still make it by defeating Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia along with scoring tons of runs to improve their net run-rate and Afghanistan beating New Zealand. Even otherwise, fans can still watch their superstars in the flowing commercials without minding their absence in the field.


In other matches South Africa managed to beat Sri Lanka at the death yesterday to keep them in contention for a semi-final berth in Group-1. England, the bulldozer in Group-1, kept on their act by crushing Australia in the other match yesterday amassing 6 points from 3 matches and almost sealing their semi-final berth. Tomorrow's match of England Vs Sri Lanka and the and the double header on November 2 including the match of South Africa Vs Bangladesh are set to clear up the Group-1 prospects a lot. Earlier today, Afghanistan registered their second huge victory by routing Namibia by 62 runs rising to the second position with 4 points and a very healthy net run-rate.


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