Indian viewers had to go through another agonising Sunday evening as the Kohli-led side faltered in every step on course to an 8 wicket defeat at the hands of a resolute New Zealand. This slump has put India on the brink of an early exit from the ongoing Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup.
The dismal performance against New Zealand has put Team India on the rocks. Even if they win the rest of their three matches against non-Test playing nations, only a miracle would allow them a passage to the next round.
Question Marks Over Virat Kohli Future As Captain
India could put on a meagre score of 110, clearly not enough for the bowlers to defend on a night when a victory was the only way to redeem themselves from the humiliating loss against Pakistan. In reply, the New Zealand top order batted nonchalantly to the target while losing only a couple of wickets.
The outcome of the match has put serious doubts on Kohli’s captaincy. Although he would be handing over the baton to someone else after the completion of this tournament, even his ODI and Test captaincy role would most likely be under the scanner soon.
India’s Batting Line-Up Collapses
On a pitch that was not throwing in any surprises, the Indian batsmen were to blame themselves for throwing away their wickets one by one due to poor judgement and shot selection. Out-of-form Rohit Sharma cut a sorry figure during his time at the crease. Other big-hitters like K L Rahul and Hardik Pandya too could not dictate terms at any given point in the innings. Widely known as good against spin bowling, the Indian batters could muster up only 32 runs in the eight overs that Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi got to bowl together. The Indian innings consisted of 54 dot balls, pointing to the misery they were subjected to.
Kane Williamson Confident Of Side’s Chances Of Getting Through
Strong batting performances from Daryl Micthell (49 off 35 balls) and Kane Williamson (33* off 31 balls) saw New Zealand cruise to victory on Sunday’s match. They completed their innings in 14.3 overs, making it look too easy. Earlier, bowlers Trent Boult and Ish Sodhi combined to pick 5 Indian wickets and put India’s scoring pace under the bus.
A beaming Williamson had this to say in the post-match interview: “There’s always planning going into the game, but this was a great performance against a side that puts up a fight. The surface wasn’t easy to find rhythm on, and the way the openers came out really set things up for the chase. It’s just about adapting to the conditions as well as we can. The way the spinners kept applying pressure was commendable and it was a complete performance. We play against strong teams all the time, and there are match-winners on every side, and we commit to our brand of cricket and today was a good example of that.”
Praising man-of-the-match Ish Sodhi for his abilities, the New Zealand skipper had this to say about his star teammate: “Ish is an outstanding white-ball bowler, and he’s very experienced in playing T20 cricket, having played in different leagues all over the world, and we’re looking forward to the rest of the games in the league stages.”
Virat Kohli Vows For A Turnaround
Soaking in all the criticisms coming his and his side’s way, a battle-scarred Virat Kohli put on his indomitable face while being interviewed. He summed up the situation in the following words: “I thought we were brutal upfront. We weren’t brave enough when we entered the field, but New Zealand sustained that pressure. Every time we took a chance, we lost a wicket. It’s most often a result of hesitation of whether you should go for a shot or not. When you play for India, there are loads of expectations.
We are watched; people come to the stadium and everyone who plays for India needs to embrace that and cope with it. We haven’t done that in these two games; that’s why we haven’t won. We have to be optimistic and positive and take calculated risks. we have to disconnect from the pressure and continue with our process and play a positive brand of cricket. There’s a lot of cricket to be played in the tournament.”