Finishing with 110-7 in 20 overs only meant no one barring a cameo from Ravindra Jadeja (unbeaten 26 off 19 balls) at the death, could put a foot on the pedal to see India to a total that could be deemed as a fighting one
India’s Ravindra Jadeja en route his unbeaten 26 against New Zealand on Sunday. Pic/AFP
There are days when a team look listless and confused. India mirrored the mood of being under pressure from the time they were put into bat against New Zealand on Sunday.
Ishan Kishan opening the batting was the first indication of a change in strategy and a thought process within the think tank. If your best batsman in this format is batting down the order it reflects hesitancy and insecurity.
This isn’t taking anything away from Kishan’s ability, but to throw him in for a job that he may not be prepared for is unfair to him. Losing the crucial toss didn’t help a team that hasn’t found its momentum, yet in this tournament. A hesitant approach, some good bowling and loss of early wickets in the power play halted India in setting a competitive score.
Finishing with 110-7 in 20 overs only meant no one barring a cameo from Ravindra Jadeja (unbeaten 26 off 19 balls) at the death, could put a foot on the pedal to see India to a total that could be deemed as a fighting one.
Santner, Sodhi on target
Team plans can often get disrupted when bowlers on target have a good day. New Zealand spinners Mitchell Santner (0-15) and Ish Sodhi (2-17) did just that. They throttled the runs and in doing so India’s plans to target them. Chasing a target of 111 can be difficult only if one loses early wickets and the runs in the power play dry up.
The Kiwis ensured both these didn’t happen. Daryl Mitchell (49) and the classy Kane Williamson (33 not out) exhibited a performance of maturity, fearlessness and ensured an emphatic win.
Where do India go from here? win all, hope others lose, find their mojo. All these making their journey all the more difficult. But this game can embarrass the best in predictions, so all we can do is hope for what’s in Team India’s control!
The writer is a former Mumbai captain and currently CEO of Baroda Cricket Association