India suffered a major blow to their T20 World Cup semifinal hopes against New Zealand on Sunday, losing by 8 wickets at the Dubai International Stadium. Virat Kohli’s team once again endured a major batting collapse with none of the top-order batters playing a knock of more than 20 runs. Opener KL Rahul could only register 18 off 16 balls and his partner Ishan Kishan could only add four runs to the scoreboard. Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma managed 14 off 14 balls from the no. 3 position and Kohli bagged a paltry score of nine off 17 balls. After the game, Sunil Gavaskar criticised the changes in the batting order and stated that Rohit should never have been demoted from his opening role. The cricket legend also called Kishan a “hit-or-miss player” and that he should never have opened for India.
Speaking on Sports Tak, Gavaskar said, “I don’t know if it’s the fear of failure or something else. But the changes in the batting order didn’t help the team. A big player like Rohit Sharma is sent at no.3. And then someone like Kohli, who has scored so many runs at no.3, comes to bat at No.4. Then you have a young player like Ishan Kishan, who has been given the responsibility to open the batting.”
He further explained that the move could have also affected Rohit’s confidence as he has been India’s opener for the past few years.
“See, Ishan Kishan is like a hit-or-miss player. He will make runs in one match and then he won’t in the others. So for this sort of player it would be better if you make him play at no.4 or 5 and then he can swing his bat on the basis of the situation. But here you sent him to open so what happened is that you told Rohit Sharma that we don’t have confidence in you facing the left-arm bowling of Trent Boult. If you do that to a player who has played in that position for so many years, he will also think that he actually doesn’t have the ability.”
“If Ishan Kishan would have scored 70 runs today, we would have applauded the move. But when the move doesn’t work, you get criticised,” he further added.
India could only post 110 for seven in 20 overs with Trent Boult taking three wickets in four overs. Meanwhile, Ish Sodhi also registered two dismissals with Tim Southee and Adam Milne grabbing a wicket each.
New Zealand’s bowlers in top form with Sodhi taking the wicket of Rohit and Kohli. Meanwhile, Southee sent Rahul back to the pavilion and Boult took the crucial wicket of Kishan. Boult also took the wickets of Hardik Pandya and Shardul Thakur.
Chasing a target of 111, New Zealand reached home in 14.3 overs. Daryl Mitchell top-scored for the Black Caps with a knock of 49 off 35 deliveries and Kane Williamson remained unbeaten after smashing 33 off 31 balls.
Topics mentioned in this article