India’s hopes at the Men’s T20 World Cup are hanging by a thread after New Zealand inflicted a second successive miserable defeat on the pre-tournament favourites.
After a 10-wicket thrashing against rivals Pakistan in their opening game, Virat Kohli’s side were again woefully abject with the bat to suffer an eight-wicket defeat, with 33 balls to spare, in Dubai.
Put into bat, they lacked intent and crawled to 110-7, only hitting eight fours and two sixes to all but silence an Indian-dominated crowd.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja top-scored with an unbeaten 26 from 19 balls, while left-armer Trent Boult took 3-20 and spinner Ish Sodhi 2-17 for New Zealand.
Jasprit Bumrah removed Martin Guptill for 20 but Daryl Mitchell, who made 49 off 35 balls, shared 72 with Kane Williamson to drag the Black Caps within touching distance of victory before he holed out to long-on.
Williamson finished 33 not out as New Zealand picked up their first win and severely dented the hopes of star-studded India.
Pakistan lead Group 2 with three wins from three games, while Afghanistan have four points and New Zealand and Namibia both have two points. India and Scotland are pointless.
India will likely need to win all three of their remaining matches, against Afghanistan on Wednesday, Scotland on Friday and Namibia on November 8 – and turn around a huge net run-rate swing – to stand any chance of progressing.
“Old-school” India disappoint with bat
India have an embarrassment of riches and power when it comes to batting and that is why they were labelled as favourites pre-tournament by England captain Eoin Morgan.
Yet they posted a below-par score against Pakistan and this was another shockingly subdued effort, despite a slow and tricky pitch.
Ishan Kishan was caught on the square-leg boundary, KL Rahul was caught pulling and Rohit Sharma, who was demoted from opener for just the third time in 77 Twenty20 internationals, flat-batted to long-on for 14.
It left Kohli and Rishabh Pant to rebuild, but they were cautious too and happy to just rotate the strike. It resulted in Kohli holing out to long-on off Sodhi for just nine.