World Cup dreams of 1.37 billion Indians came crashing down as India lost to the Kiwis today. Another instance when team India was knocked out in the semifinals of an ICC tournament after being on the top.
In an exciting encounter, India lost to New Zealand by 18 runs. New Zealand emerged as dark horses in yet another ICC tournament. India has been a very strong side and was on the top of the points table in the league round. The team bowled exceptionally well and managed to stop the kiwis at a small target.
But, fate had it another way. The downpour started and did not end. The match had to be pushed to a reserve day which gave the Kiwis a chance of a comeback. India was fabulous yesterday but failed to carry the momentum today.
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Saurav Ganguly opinion:
Saurav Ganguly had speculated this yesterday. He said, that if the match resumes on the reserve day, it will be adverse for Indian side as the pitch and ground will be hostile when India comes out to bat.
His predictions turned true and team India was seen struggling throughout. All the opening batsman surrendered like amateurs.
The Opening stand:
This probably the first time after 2017, that both Kohli and Rohit choked on a crucial match.
It was hard to believe that these two, are the leading batsmen of the world. Rohit had hit 5 centuries in the tournament, but all the numbers could do nothing today. Both of them threw their wickets and put the team under tremendous pressure. A small target of 240 started looking like a mammoth task.
The Middle Order?
Dinesh Kartik too displayed no maturity and intent to support the innings. Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya who were relatively newer members were seen struggling with a better attitude. However, there was a man, who shone bright and how! Ravindra Jadeja put a splendid show and clearly gave the message that he was not going to bow down. Jadeja played a terrific inning but lost his wicket before finishing the match. The result would have definitely been different had he not lost his wicket.
MS Dhoni, the man to be blamed?
MS Dhoni built up the innings and played responsibly. He rotated the strike well and made sure that India remains in the game. However, he too succumbed to pressure and got run out for 50 runs.
Dhoni has been on the receiving end of criticism from the entire tournament.
As per fans, He did not miss to collect run by running between the wicket. Played some good shots too. The only thing that disappointed was that he did not come up the order. He should have come in place of Rishabh Pant. Also, the greatest finisher could not finish the game and got run out.
The only thing we could not accept was the intent during the end overs of the game. Even when the game was in the last four, we could not see Dhoni willing to pull of a big blow or even drive a bowl to the boundary. The need of the hour was to constantly rotate the strike with a double or two or hit over the boundary, but MS wasn’t able to do so. This had a negative impact onto Ravindra Jadeja and he had to try to hit a ball out of the part of the park and got him out. Earlier, in the over with just two balls left, Jadeja had to go over and he had no choice but to go for a good length ball.
This kind of dismissal was very disappointing. When Rohit got out, Kohli should have played with more attention and responsibility. The way our Top order collapsed, made the Kiwis looks like the best bowling side.
If sources are to be believed, Virat Kohli was not very keen to play Rishabh Pant. A report being run by ABP news says that it was on coach Ravi Shastri’s persuasion that he played. He wasted a lot of balls and did not perform according to the hype.
But, Virat Kohli and Rohit were the culprits of the game.
Not just the batting, Virat did nothing as a captain to tackle the situation. No changes were made to the batting order. India was in a similar situation in the 2011 WC, and Dhoni stepped up and lead the team to victory.
Indian Team – The new Chokers?
Although Virat accepted the defeat graciously, India marched a step closer to the tag of New Chokers. Yes, recall all the ICC tournaments where India choked in the semis while being at the top in league matches.