India’s dream of winning their third World Cup was dashed on Wednesday when Virat Kohli’s men lost to New Zealand by 18 runs at Old Trafford. Electing to bat after winning the toss, the Kiwis made 239 for 8 in 50 overs on the reserve day after a rain interruption and then bowled out India for 221. A valiant joint effort from Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni took India close to the target but eventually, it went in vain. This is the second successive semi-final that India have lost at the World Cup.
The defeat hurt as India had won seven out of their eight completed games till the semi-final and all the good work was undone on a bad day. The crash out will now be scrutinised and the team management will await more questions on the vulnerable middle-order that the Indian middle-order had carried into the big event. Players like Dinesh Karthik and Kedar Jadhav could be among the earliest casualties.
Meanwhile, India will be touring the West Indies in August and will play three T20Is, as many ODIs and two Tests besides a three-day match. Suggestions have already poured in to rest captain Virat Kohli and ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah for the tour while a big question mark still dangles over MS Dhoni’s future. The ace wicket-keeper-batsman hasn’t yet revealed anything about his future plans though reports cited sources to say that he will not be a part of the Caribbean-bound squad.
The selection committee will sit together on July 17 and 18 in Mumbai where they will pick the respective squads for the limited-over matches and Tests in the West Indies. It is also being heard that Kohli is likely to miss the limited-over games but join the team ahead of the first Test starting in Antigua on August 22. Rohit Sharma, who hit five centuries in the World Cup, is likely to lead India in the T20Is and ODIs against the Windies even though he too has been playing non-stop cricket.
Pandya, Bhuvneshwar, Shami could also be rested
“More players could be rested. Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami – they’ve been playing non-stop cricket. A call can be taken in the coming week. The campaign has just ended. Not even 24 hours have passed. Let’s wait for the team to get back. Last evening hasn’t been easy on them at all. The board will wait to hear from Dhoni,” Timesnownews.com quoted sources as saying.
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