T20 World Cup: Team India captain Virat Kohli in action against New Zealand© AFP
India’s top order once again failed as the team led by Virat Kohli was beaten by New Zealand by 8 wickets at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday. India made two changes to the team that was beaten by Pakistan last week as Ishan Kishan and Shardul Thakur got a place in the starting line-up ahead of the injured Suryakumar Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar respectively. After batting first, India started slowly as Kishan could not make an impact at the top of the order. The south leg was sacked for an 8-ball 4 as Trent Boult struck early, reducing India to 11/1.
KL Rahul (18 of 16) was the next one to fall after failing to escape the border as Tim Southee removed him on the penultimate delivery of the power play and reduced India to 35/2.
India’s white ball vice-captain Rohit Sharma also could not do much magic as he was sacked by Ish Sodhi for 14.
Skipper Virat Kohli then became Sodhi’s next victim, with a pullout to Boult after a slow stroke 9 of 17 deliveries.
However, Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya saved some pride when they took India to a total of 110/7. Jadeja shot in with a 19-ball 26 while Pandya also contributed with a 24-ball 23.
In response, New Zealand started a boom thanks to opening batsmen Martin Guptill and Daryl Mitchell before the former was suspended for a 17-ball 20 in the fourth over by Jasprit Bumrah.
However, Mitchell continued his onslaught and smashed 49 off just 35 balls before also losing his wicket against Bumrah. Kane Willaimson then made sure that New Zealand crossed the finish line without any further hiccups, as he remained unbeaten at 33.
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