Virat Kohli lost the toss again, this time against New Zealand, but he put up a brave lead. Kohli said at the draw that his team would try to rectify the mistakes made against Pakistan. But what followed was an intensification of the same problems. India, just like in the past, had a problem getting a flying start in T20 matches. The batsman cannot break out of the EDI mode and that means the team is under pressure in the second half of the innings as he tries to set a big target for the opposition. The dew factor weighed heavily on their heads when one after another top-order batsman committed hara-kiri. The bowling was equally unsuitable. One can only hope that this tournament will be a watershed moment in T20Is for India, just as the 2007 ICC World Cup debacle was in one day matches.
Here is our report of Team India’s performance against New Zealand:
1) Ishan Kishan (4) – 1/10
Ishan Kishan’s T20 World Cup debut was not one to remember. The south leg played a Test first over from Trent Boult and never looked settled. However, he should get more chances to become a permanent match at the top of the order for the team.
2) KL Rahul (18) – 2/10
KL Rahul did not manage to deliver on important moments for too long, although he showed a lot of promise. He scored a bag full of runs in IPL, but against top-quality opposition his bat fell silent. Looks too tentative and uncertain about his footwork and shots
3) Rohit Sharma (14) – 1/10
Rohit was the only Indian batsman to show a little chutzpah at the top of the order. It seemed like a good move to protect him from Boult, but Rohit could not capitalize. His problems with spinning re-emerged.
4) Virat Kohli (9) – 1/10
Virat Kohli was torn between the demand to drop anchor again or try to accelerate from the start. He played 17 deliveries to score 9 runs and was eventually turned down when he played a fake shot, a strikeout against the spinning ball. Kohli would have expected more from himself and his teammates.
5) Rishabh Pant (12) – 2/10
It was a match to forget for Rishabh Pant as well. Just could not get started with the bat. Maybe he can take a leaf out of the book of the big-hitters of the other teams, rocking on the back foot, go deep into the crease, get under the trajectory of the ball, and then launch the big ones. Just a suggestion.
6) Hardik Pandya (23) – 3/10
Pandya makes contact with very little and misses too much. He is not in the best shape with the bat, was not even during the IPL and the team management should be questioned as to why he was maintained.
7) Ravindra Jadeja (26 & 0/23) – 5/10
Jadeja showed a bit of spunk with the bat, but was absolutely incompetent with the ball. It was hard to believe that Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner bowled on the same court where Jadeja later struggled. Maybe it was the dew again!
8) Shardul Thakur (0 & 0/17) – 1/10
Shardul Thakur is expected to perform miracles, but what happened was just the opposite. Did not get a great chance to influence the match.
9) Mohammed Shami (0/11) – 0/10
Mohammed Shami had a difficult time on the field; the muddy surface was clearly affecting his technique. But the time has come for India to also identify specialist bowlers for the T20 format. Shami is not one and should not be expected to deliver.
10) Varun Chakaravarthy (0/23) – 4/10
He bowled four economic overs but never threatened to take a wicket. It was a difficult initiation for big league cricket for the spinner.
11) Jasprit Bumrah (2/19) – 8/10
Bumrah kept himself in the middle of the ruins. He did what he does. Bowled with zeal and speed and bagged two wickets for his team. His remarks about “bubble fatigue” in the post-match press conference say a lot about the mental state of the Indian players.
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