India 274 for 6 wickets (Kohli 95, Rohit 46, Jadeja 39*, Ferguson 2-63) defeated new zealand 273 (Mitchell 130, Ravindra 75, Shami 5-54, Kuldeep 2-73) by four wickets
However, the lack of batting depth was offset by the growing threat of India’s pace attack, which played a key role in bowling out New Zealand for 273 after being at 178 for 2 at one point. Shami, playing his first match of the tournament, took five wickets for the second time in the World Cup, his threats against New Zealand’s lower order being the centerpiece of India’s brilliant effort in the last 10 overs, where he took six wickets. Whereas gave only 54 runs.
It seemed as if Shami’s every wicket had a question attached to it: “You are keeping Me On the bench?” He hit a boundary on the first ball after coming in as the first change, asking Will Young to play his usual straight-seam inker. He then broke the Mitchell-Ravindra stand with an offcutter into the pitch. And he ended New Zealand’s hopes of getting close to or beyond 300 in the 48th over by effectively hitting Mitchell Santner and Henry on the stumps with successive balls.
Chasing a target much smaller than they had imagined at the time, India got off to a typically inauspicious start, with Rohit Sharma hitting four sixes in his 46 off 40 balls, which included a 71-run opening partnership with Shubman Gill . During this partnership, India got a strange revenge of the 2019 Old Trafford semi-final, where their fast bowlers caused as much trouble as New Zealand’s fast bowlers with the new ball, but with far fewer early wickets falling. This time Henry beat the bats of both openers repeatedly – including Gill three times in a row – and Trent Boult saw Rohit’s ball slip short of slip, but went without a wicket in the first powerplay.
After that it was all about Kohli, even though he usually did most of his work in the shadows – literally for a while when a spectral fog covered the field, eventually stopping play for about 15 minutes. Kohli was a less impressive partner in the half-century partnerships for the third and fourth wickets, but while Shreyas Iyer was out to another short ball and KL Rahul was dismissed for the first time in the tournament by playing down the wrong line against Santner, he endured, as That he always does in run-chase.
Often, Kohli imposed himself on the game with a spectacular shot: an on-the-spot square drive off Lockie Ferguson to escape the mark; A charging, rich extra-cover drive from Henry to reach 40; And by hitting an inside-out six off Ravindra in the middle, New Zealand reduced whatever pressure they had put on them by scoring 28 runs in the first 47 balls.
From that point on, Kohli scored 67 runs off 57 balls. A major problem came when he was involved in a mix-up that sent back Suryakumar Yadav, but once Jadeja eased fears about India’s lack of depth in the batting, the result became a formality.
New Zealand would have been disappointed by this as they had put themselves in a strong position at one point after India had dispatched them. Ravindra and Mitchell had fought very hard to get them in the position they were in after Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and… Shami together reduced the score to 19 runs for two wickets in the ninth over.
On the way, the two of them demonstrated to all other parties a method of countering India’s attack. Mitchell exemplified this with his calculated risk taking, especially at the start of the overs. He mixed up his pre-ball movements against fast bowlers, sometimes moving across his stumps and out of his crease, sometimes retreating towards his off stump, and thereby manipulating the line and length. Did. Most telling, however, was his calculated attack on Kuldeep Yadav, using his legs several times to pin him to the ground. Overall, he scored 43 runs off Kuldeep – the most by any batsman against the left-arm wrist spinner in an ODI innings – off just 28 balls.
Kuldeep gave away 48 runs in his first five overs, which will leave India worried as they did not have a sixth bowler. But the measure of Kuldeep’s skill and confidence came to the fore in his next five overs, in which he dropped Mitchell at long-off, taking two crucial wickets – Tom Latham deceived by a flatter skidder and trapped plumb in front, caught by Glenn Phillips. Made a mistake against the wrong’un – and only 25 were conceded.
Kuldeep’s performance was the epitome of India’s day. He was put under immense pressure by a formidable opponent, but he trusted his methods and came out unscathed. This India team could be upset, but it will require a special effort of sustained excellence from any team to beat them over the next four weeks.
Karthik Krishnaswamy is assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo