Before the semi-final began, all the experts were confident that India would easily pip New Zealand to reach the final. Everyone wanted the team to avoid England since it was the only team which defeated the Men in Blue in the league stages. However, it is safe to say that taking New Zealand lightly has cost India the much-deserved World Cup. They had been the best team in the league stages, but the performance against the Kiwis was a shadow of that.
Indian bowlers restricted Kiwis batsmen most of the time for the first innings. Despite Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson fighting tooth and nail which boosted their total, but the bowlers remained accurate throughout. When the play resumed from 211/5 on day two, Bhuvneshvar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah didn’t concede a single boundary in the remaining 23 deliveries, something which speaks volumes about the bowlers’ clinical effort.
However, the weak links in batting led the team down. The top order, which troubled the teams in the league stages, could manage only 3 runs this match, with all the batsmen scoring a run apiece. The fight by the middle order was laudable but could not help the team win. Kiwis bowling attack holed out wickets on the regular intervals. Eventually, run rate seemed to be a mountain and which dented Men in Blue’s morale.
However, the standout moment in the game was a century partnership from Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja. India was reeling at 92-6, but these two stitched a 116-run stand to stage a comeback. The partnership included some quality shots, which prevented the run-rate from going out-of-reach. Jadeja scored a 59-ball-77. Once he fell, Dhoni took the guard. However, a direct hit from Martin Guptill which got him run-out sealed the match.
Dhoni and Jadeja’s display delights Ashwin
Meanwhile, Ravichandran Ashwin is also happy with the approach shown by the two. “Unbelievable effort to stage a fightback from 90 for 6!! Well done @msdhoni and @imjadeja.#ICCWorldCup2019” tweeted the offspinner. Jadeja and Dhoni would be remembered for bringing the life back to the dead semi-final game.
Here is the Tweet
— Ashwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) July 10, 2019
There were many reasons for India losing against New Zealand. Sending MS at the wrong batting position and not judging the pitch rightly are some of the debatable topics. The men-in-blue probably was the best team this time, but failed to capitalize on a big stage. On the other hand, the Kiwis put a punch above their weight to book their final spot.
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