After a gap of 20 years, India finally broke the jinx and defeated New Zealand in an ICC event. Avenging the 2019 semi-final loss, the Men In Blue came out on top in a close fight with the Kiwis. Virat Kohli led the fightback, holding the fort as the rest of India’s batting order fell to the Black Cap bowling attack. Indian cricketing legend Venkatesh Prasad joins HT’s ‘World Cup Ka Prasad’ with his expert analysis. Watch the full broadcast.
Indian cricketing legend Venkatesh Prasad recalls his first tour to New Zealand in 1994 when he flew in economy class from Bengaluru to Delhi to Seoul and finally to Auckland. Prasad’s cricket kit was misplaced by the airlines, and he also had no food because the officials didn’t book a vegetarian meal for him.
The stage was the 2019 World Cup semi-final, with India and New Zealand aiming to reach the summit clash. India looked like a juggernaut in the tournament and on their way to the final, but their hopes were dashed as the Blackcaps proved to be their kryptonite yet again.
India does have a 58-50 head-to-head record against New Zealand, but when it comes to the ICC events, the Blackcaps seem to have their number. It has been 20 years since India defeated New Zealand in an ICC event, a run that started after their win in the 2003 World Cup.
India have defeated New Zealand by 4 wickets! This is the first time India have beaten the Kiwis in an ICC tournament in 20 years. Virat Kohli’s 95 runs carried India on its back till the very end. Ravindra Jadeja hit the finishing four. Prime Minster Narendra Modi congratulated the team on the victory and said it was a team effort. India’s star for today was Mohammed Shami, who took home the ‘Player of the Match’ award.
India, widely acclaimed as one of the most balanced teams in the competition, has displayed a flawless performance, securing victories in all four matches against Australia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. On the other side, New Zealand commenced their campaign in spectacular fashion by defeating defending champions England with an emphatic nine-wicket victory. Subsequently, they continued their dominance with convincing wins over the Netherlands (by 99 runs), Bangladesh (by eight wickets), and Afghanistan (by 149 runs).
This was largely due to the exceptional partnership forged byDaryl Mitchell and Rachin Ravindra, who put on a phenomenal 159-run stand for the third wicket. Mitchell’s remarkable century, 130, and Ravindra’s contribution of 75 put New Zealand in a strong position.
However, it was India’s resurgence in the death overs, led by the exceptional Mohammed Shami, that altered the course of the game. Shami displayed his prowess with the ball, claiming five wickets for 54 runs, which was his record second five-wicket haul in ODI World Cup. This stellar bowling performance, combined with collective efforts from the Indian team, led to New Zealand being bowled out for a total of 273.
This victory carries immense significance for Indian cricket as it marks their first win over New Zealand in the ODI World Cup since 2003. In fact, it is the first win in all ICC tournaments that have taken place over the past two decades, encompassing two T20 World Cups, one ODI World Cup, and the World Test Championship, since India’s victory against the Kiwis in the 2003 ODI World Cup in South Africa.