It won’t be wrong to say that New Zealand have stamped authority over India across all World Cup formats now. From MS Dhoni’s run out in semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup to outplaying India in the World Test Championship Final 2021, to now the battering of the Men in blue in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021; the Kiwis have become India's Achilles heel at the biggest of stages. With repetitive humiliating defeats, it is time for India to introspect what went wrong on a fateful night despite going in with their best team possible.
Not to forget that the threat of an early ouster from the World Cup already looms at large, Indiatvnews.com takes a look at the moments that invited the unwanted defeat.
While Virat Kohli maintained going into the tournament that the team knows its best playing XI, A experiment with the top-order by demoting Rohit Sharma to number 3 didn’t bear the desired results. Understandably, the team management went for Ishan Kishan as KL Rahul's partner but it was clear the young southpaw is not yet ready for the big stage. Rahul, who has played and significantly performed as No.3 as well, could have been demoted down the order.
Experimenting with opening combination gone wrong
While Rahul's recent form suggests his batting is unmovable but playing Sharma at No. 3 made little sense as this was only the third time since 2013 that the Indian management had demoted him to the number 3 batting spot.
71-ball boundary drought
Let’s call a spade a spade and swallow the bitter pill of India’s abysmal batting performance. The top-order woes has only worsened since the Pakistan humiliation as the Indian batters went boundary-less for almost 12 overs. The misfiring was no less than a crime, especially in the shortest format of the game.
Spin bowling fiasco
Going into the tournament with four spinners on degrading UAE surfaces, India were considered the favourites solely because of their slow bowling prowesses alone. However, Varun Chakravarthy and Ravindra Jadeja turning ineffective after tasting success on the same pitches in IPL barely weeks ago has left many puzzled if not baffled. This has brought the talking minds discussing if Ravichandran Ashwin’s inclusion was the need of the hour. The veteran spinner comes with a reservoir of street-smart, trickery and intelligent bowling and could have been the difference when wickets alluded Indian bowlers.
The surface provided everything that a spinner needed and one have to look no far than New Zealand spinners Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner, who exploited the conditions and kept it cut-throat for the Indian batters.