Virat Kohli lost the toss again, this time against New Zealand, but he put on a brave front. Kohli said at the toss that his team will try and rectify the mistakes committed against Pakistan. But what followed was an amplification of the same problems. India, just like in the past, have had an issue getting off to flying starts in T20 matches. The batsman can’t break out of the ODI mode and that means the team is under pressure in the second half of the innings while trying to set a big target for the opposition. The dew factor weighed heavy on their head as one top-order batsman after another committed hara-kiri. The bowling was equally inept. One can only hope that this tournament will be a watershed moment in T20Is for India, just like the 2007 ICC World Cup debacle was in ODIs.
Here is our report card of Team India’s performance against New Zealand:
1) Ishan Kishan (4) – 1/10
Ishan Kishan’s T20 World Cup debut wasn’t one to remember. The southpaw played a testing first over from Trent Boult and never looked settled. He though should get more chances to become a permanent fixture at the top of the order for the team.
2) KL Rahul (18) – 2/10
KL Rahul has for too long failed to deliver at crucial moments despite showing a lot of promise. He has scored a bagful of runs in IPL, but against top-quality opposition, his bat has fallen silent. Looks too tentative and unsure about his footwork and strokes
3) Rohit Sharma (14) – 1/10
Rohit was the only Indian batsman who showed some chutzpah at the top of the order. It seemed like a good move to shield him from Boult, but Rohit couldn’t capitalize. His problems against spin resurfaced.
4) Virat Kohli (9) – 1/10
Virat Kohli was torn between whether to drop anchor again or try and accelerate from the beginning. He played 17 deliveries to score 9 runs and eventually was dismissed when he played a false shot, a slog sweep against the turning 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 too. Just couldn’t get going with the bat. Perhaps he could take a leaf out of the book of the big-hitters from the other teams, who are rocking on the backfoot, going deep into the crease, getting underneath the trajectory of the ball, and then launching the big ones. Just a suggestion.
6) Hardik Pandya (23) – 3/10
Pandya is connecting with very few and missing all too many. He is not in the best of form with the bat, wasn’t even during the IPL and the team management needs to be questioned about why he has been persisted with.
7) Ravindra Jadeja (26 & 0/23) – 5/10
Jadeja showed some spunk with the bat but was absolutely inept with the ball. It was difficult to believe Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner bowled on the same track where Jadeja later struggled. Perhaps it was the dew again!
8) Shardul Thakur (0 & 0/17) – 1/10
Shardul Thakur was expected to perform miracles but what happened was just the opposite of it. Didn’t get a big chance to impact the game.
9) Mohammed Shami (0/11) – 0/10
Mohammed Shami has gone through a tough time on and off the field. But the time has come for India to identify specialist bowlers for the T20 format too. Shami isn’t one and he shouldn’t be expected to deliver.
10) Varun Chakaravarthy (0/23) – 4/10
He bowled four economical overs but never threatened to pick up a wicket. It has been a tough initiation to big league cricket for the spinner.
11) Jasprit Bumrah (2/19) – 8/10
Bumrah held his own in the middle of the ruins. He did what he does. Bowled with verve and pace and picked two wickets for his team. His comments about “bubble fatigue” in the post-match press conference, says a lot about the mental state of the Indian players.
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