India vs New Zealand: India make their own debacle in Nagpur

On a turning track in Nagpur, India crumble in the face of some serious spin inquisition by New Zealand, go down by 47 runs.

Written by Sriram Veera | Nagpur | Updated: March 16, 2016 5:28 pm
icc world t20, wt20, world t20, icc world t20 2016, world t20 2016, t20 world cup, t20 world cup 2016 schedule, India vs New Zealand, Ind vs NZ, New Zealand vs India, NZ vs Ind, New Zealand vs India, Ind vs NZ score, India vs New Zealand score, India cricket team, MS Dhoni, ms dhoni, dhoni, cricket score, Cricket news, Cricket updates, Cricket New Zealand players celebrate the dismissal of Rohit Sharma. (Source: PTI)

Cricket has a way of biting you in the back. Back in November, when India crushed South Africa on a devilish spin track in Nagpur, a thought had floated in the mind, and inked on paper. Whether they would have prepared such a track had South Africa possessed couple of decent spinners? The New Zealanders answered that question in a most exhilarating fashion possible. When have a bunch of foreign spinners, relatively callow at that, come here and tied up the Indians, and teased, taunted and suffocated them?

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Whatever you feel about this loss as fan of India, there couldn’t have been more thrilling way to start the main draw of the World Cup. Now the cat is flung and howling among the pigeons. If there was any plan to prepare turners for India – whether it was done at team’s behest or independently is beside the point here – the least the curators can do is to check the schedule properly and see who the opponents are.

PHOTOS: After colourful start, it’s all black in Nagpur

The Indian batting against quality spin isn’t a state secret of course. The Galle Test in Sri Lanka in August 2015 was a case in point when left-arm Rangana Herath tripped them up. Still, the way they chased here must have raised a few eyebrows. What can you say about Shikhar Dhawan? He had seen 20 overs of New Zealand batting, 20 overs where the ball spun and bounced, 20 overs to realise you can ill afford to play a lazy sweep. The knees bent ever so slowly, and the bat came slower, and he was trapped plumb in front.

DHONI: Batters let us down in Nagpur

At what point in his iffy stumble down the track to the impressive left-arm orthodox spinner Mitchell Santner did Rohit Sharma realise he was in trouble? Considering the previous ball that turned sharply, and the 20 overs of memory bank before that, it should have been at the first step. Short and uncertain steps, and the final panicky push of the bat way ahead of the body in hope that there would be some leather on the wood. To Santner’s delight, there wasn’t any.

Left-arm compliment

A time out here from the India’s drunken stumble to focus on Santner. It’s a pretty cute story: A man who wears big nerdy glasses everywhere except the cricket field as he doesn’t want to remind people of his hero Daniel Vettori. He fell in love with spin as a schoolboy, watching videos on You Tube, and likes Nathan Lyon’s bowling. There was the loop of Lyon and the accuracy of Vettori on view in Nagpur. Unlike Vettori, he spun the ball a lot, and unlike Lyon, the younger version that is, he was far more accurate. And who should he run to on his debut in the pink-ball Test in Australia? Lyon of course. And as he walked in to bat, Lyon served up a sledge: “Are you nervous?” Santner disarmed it in charmingly by admitting, “Yes I am!”

WATCH: What went wrong for India, right for New Zealand

Wonder whether he asked any Indian batsmen when they came out to bat. Suresh Raina too would have probably answered in the affirmative. His batting has become almost one-dimensional these days and he can’t really be trusted, yet, to pull India out of trouble against quality seam or spin. Well, you can say the same about Yuvraj Singh, too. Raina was done in more by the lack of pace on the track of course — he went back and just froze as the ball limped on towards him. And that fat thick edge meant the leading edge got the ball to spoon up to short midwicket.

Yuvraj had started pretty decently this time around, even getting down on his knees quicker than normal to sweep a ball to fine-leg boundary. But he chipped at one a touch hard, the bat scraping the ground, and the ball scooping up back to the bowler Nathan McCullum. It was 26 for 4, then and even though Virat Kohli was joined in by MS Dhoni, it must be said that the situation seemed rather dire for a real turn around.

But this is Kohli and Dhoni we are talking about, and their past did make one wonder whether they can live up to the broadcaster’s slogan, ‘make your own miracle’. And it was the most serene 10-odd runs, 13 to be precise, that India made in the chase. Judiciously, Kohli chose to hang on the back foot and let the wrists work the ball off the pitch, and Dhoni was careful not to push too far away or front of the body. It was slightly surprising, then, to see Kohli go the way he did: lunging out to drive the first ball from the new bowler Ish Sodhi, a ripper of a legbreak, and give the edge to the ‘keeper.

Thirty-nine for five soon became 42 for six when Hardik Pandya was stunned by a quicker one from Santner that rushed in with the angle to trap him lbw. From then on it was a blur of wickets, and the crowd, who had thronged three hours before the start of play, had one Dhoni six to cheer about.

Strange tactics

It wasn’t just their batting, even India’s bowling wasn’t quite sharp yesterday. Their tactics were a touch strange too, especially against Corey Anderson. It seemed a definite plan to keep bowling to his legs – he only scored 8 of his 34 on the off side. It’s one thing for Ashwin and Raina, the off-spinners to bowl there, but when even Ravindra Jadeja, who had just bowled a ripper that cut Santner in half and winked over the middle stump, chose to ping Anderson’s legs in the same over, it did seem a case of not adapting to the pitch but be too obsessed with a pre-game plan. And so Anderson prospered, making a 42-ball 34 to push New Zealand to a decent total.

Later, Dhoni talked about 140 being a par-score and how it was a “good wake- up call”. It was more than that of course. This was India’s second lowest T20 total, and the lowest ever T20 total by any international team in India. And their aggregate of 79 was also what South Africa had scored in the first innings in that darned Nagpur Test.

So it wasn’t just a mild wake-up vibratory call from the fit-bit phones of today but it was like being dunked by cold water on a bone-chilling night, and when you shudder and wake up, what do you see? The cute nerdy face of Mitchell Santner.

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  1. A
    Ashwin
    Mar 15, 2016 at 9:10 pm
    Congrats NZ. India is a big hooplah living in the hope of past records in Asis Cup, SL win and Aust win in T20. They will not even come in the semi finals for sure. Next match is with Aust and this will also go with Aust win. Semi fianasits will be Aust and NZ and SA and England Final will be Aust Vs SA
    Reply
    1. D
      Debdut
      Mar 16, 2016 at 11:44 am
      Indians can't match the quality of their human superiors i.e. Jews and Whites even if they try for a millenium years. India's lose against Australia back in 2015 and now against NewZealand proves that.
      Reply
      1. R
        rajesh indian
        Mar 16, 2016 at 5:39 am
        The batting was disgracefull to say the least.Stalwarts like Raina ,Yuvraj , Rohit andDhawan got out to very poor strokes.Pandya does not seem to be fit enough for the all rounder tag.,i feel Harbhajen should have been in the team for this match he could hav swung some meaty blows as well .Spinners Ashwin /Jadeja/Raina did not utilize the conditions ,Indian batsmen who are brought up on slow spin friendly tracks failed against the likes of Santaner, and Sodhi is shocking,
        Reply
        1. K
          KS KUMAR
          Mar 16, 2016 at 1:36 am
          Well done NZ. Congrats.
          Reply
          1. J
            Jiban Sen
            Mar 16, 2016 at 1:47 am
            New Zealand did their homework well. Most visiting teams bring lots of fast bowlers. BCCI ensures that the pitches are made slow to nullify the fast bowling. That is why India always win in India. If stan and Australia use the same tactics, it is curtains for India and depends on the bangladesh tie. India Days of cheating are over
            Reply
            1. H
              HILARY
              Mar 16, 2016 at 5:02 am
              This is the same contrived junk of a pitch on which Indian spinners had beaten South Africa recently. Well, what goes up has necessarily to come down.
              Reply
              1. M
                mandoossee
                Mar 16, 2016 at 5:08 am
                NZ read the pitch so well and rested their ace fast bowlers and brought in 3 spinners. In that pitch why Harbhajan was sitting on the bench! Why Pandya not Bajji... BCCI paying so much to experts of all sorts for what, if they cannot understand home pitch!
                Reply
                1. M
                  mono
                  Mar 16, 2016 at 1:20 pm
                  INDIAN CRICKET TEAM SHOULD BE RENAMED AS NORTH INDIAN CRICKET TEAM NO ONE FROM BENGAL,ORISSA ,SOUTH INDIA... ONLY NORHT INDIANS NO ONE FROM LOW CASTE... ITS NOT INDIAN CRICKET TEAM ITS A SLAVERY CRICKET TEAM WHERE PLAYERS LIKE ROHIT SHARMA AND RAHANE HAS BUILD THEIR POWER BY PUSHING THE POOR LOW CASTE PEOPLE OF INDIA DOWN.. ONLY FOOLISH INDIANS SUPPORT INDIAN CRICKET TEAM.. THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PEOPLE WHO ARE AT AUTHORITY IN INDIA AND THE BRITISH RULE 100 YEARS BACK
                  Reply
                  1. R
                    Rajesh
                    Mar 16, 2016 at 7:09 am
                    well Doni as try but unfortunately , but Raina, yuvraj, , Roith , and Dhawn not try also,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
                    Reply
                    1. N
                      Narayan
                      Mar 16, 2016 at 7:38 am
                      I agree with you 100%. The oldies like Yuvaraj, Suresh raina should be dropped and get some younger batsmen who are in good form. Also Pandya is neither a bowler nor a batsman. Who would call him an allrounder. I wonder how he got in to the team in the first place. They should use Harbajan's experience on turning tracks instead of depending on Ashwin and Jadeja. The batting was aweful and shocking. Like you said the team got out for 3 middle cl spinners from New Zealand. May God save Team India.
                      Reply
                      1. N
                        Narayan
                        Mar 16, 2016 at 7:40 am
                        Team India's true form was on display at Nagpur against the Kiwis. Indian batsmen can not play swinging ball on bouncy pitches and now they have proved that they can not play spin either whether it's outside India or in India.What a pity we couldn't even chase a modest total against the spinners of New Zealand who are not that good compared to Indian Spinners like Ashwin, Harbajan Singh and Neggi. Then who can we play and win ? As things stand out any ream with some spinners and fast bowlers can dominate India in India. No one is consistent when chasing even a modest total. Our batting line up starts with a tail consisting of Shikar Dhawan, Rohith Sharma and A. Rahane. The only platers who are consistent mostly are Virat Kholi, MS Dhoni and after these 2 again the tail starts. We have a lot of weak links in the team and the management keeps giving them more and more chances instead of sacking them and inducting new blood in to the team. Management should act immediately on this issue and make amends before we are thrown out of the super 10. May God help India.
                        Reply
                        1. S
                          Sunil Nair
                          Mar 15, 2016 at 7:09 pm
                          Congratulations.Team India(Women)Well done.Seems like we have to watch the winning Indian women's cricket team and support them instead of the loosing men's teamFavourites bite the dustdia is being let down by Dhoni's stooges,Raina and Yuvi.All others are showing the exit door to Dhoni for the new era with Kohli at the helmdia gets their own medicine in spin from Kiwis.Wake up call for India like what the Srilankans did before the Asia cup.Kiwis threw all the hype about India being the favourites in a tailspin.Shock treatment for Team India by the Kiwis.
                          Reply
                          1. S
                            Sunil Nair
                            Mar 15, 2016 at 6:56 pm
                            Favourites bite the dustdia is being let down by Dhoni's stooges,Raina and Yuvi.All others are showing the exit door to Dhoni for the new era with Kohli at the helmdia gets their own medicine in spin from Kiwis.Wake up call for India like what the Srilankans did before the Asia cup.Kiwis threw all the hype about India being the favourites in a tailspin.Shock treatment for Team India by the Kiwis.
                            Reply
                            1. S
                              Sunil Nair
                              Mar 15, 2016 at 11:52 pm
                              Spin used to be India's strength.Now it is their weakness.Kiwis had the horses for coursesdians had the zombies.Congratulations.Team India(Women)Well done.Seems like we have to watch the winning Indian women's cricket team and support them instead of the loosing men's team.Favourites bite the dustdia is being let down by Dhoni's stooges,Raina and Yuvi.All others are showing the exit door to Dhoni for the new era with Kohli at the helmdia gets their own medicine in spin from Kiwis.Wake up call for India like what the Srilankans did before the Asia cup.Kiwis threw all the hype about India being the favourites in a tailspin.Shock treatment for Team India by the Kiwis.
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                Suren Singh
                                Mar 15, 2016 at 10:21 pm
                                5 m kiwis humiliate 1.5 billion
                                Reply
                                1. P
                                  pawan
                                  Mar 17, 2016 at 9:42 am
                                  well let me get your facts right,ashwin is from tamil nadu which is in the south!moreover,people like you are great headache for our country, oh sorry my country because for you north and south are two different countries.you think about north and south differently.i am pretty much sure you are from some southern state of india because this the only place where stuff like this is taught to their children.moreover you belong to low caste.people like you will always cry and will never do any hardwork.
                                  Reply
                                  1. T
                                    t d
                                    Mar 16, 2016 at 1:47 am
                                    I was expecting some thing was in store for our Team India. Right from the morning till late night all our media both print and multimedia and all former player have over pla with their views and unnecessary hype. I congratulate the way the Kiwis for their victory which was carved out very nicely with three spinners and two pacers. All our batsmen except the Captain Cool and Vice Captain tried their bit without any proper application. See how their spinners performed . The unimaginable bowling performance and excellent fielding and catching by the visitors is amazing. Now I hope the Team India has to put their right foot forward to win the remaining three matches to reach last FOUR. I wish the Team India all the best for rest of the World T 20 championship
                                    Reply
                                    1. V
                                      Vilas Apte
                                      Mar 16, 2016 at 5:55 am
                                      Your ignorance of cricket is reflecting in your statements. You call Santaner ,and Sodhi - the likes of. Please be reminded that Santaner has done well against Australia and SA. What is your view on Jadeja,and Raina great spinners I think.
                                      Reply
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