Tasting own medicine: India stunned by spin on opening night of WT20

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 16, 2016 08:40 IST
MS Dhoni blamed India’s famed batting line-up for the shocking loss to New Zealand in their opening match of the ICC World T20, saying they erred in “shot selection”. (AFP Photo)

Displaying their renowned fighting spirit, New Zealand tore down the pre-tournament form book by inflicting a humiliating 47-run defeat on title favourites and hosts India at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium on Tuesday.

Routed for 79 in chase of New Zealand’s modest 126, it was only India’s second defeat in Twenty20 internationals this year. The first was at Pune against Sri Lanka where the wicket came under the scanner for being too pacer-friendly. Here, the playing surface was again under the lens. This time the curator seems to have overdone in his attempt to provide the home team the advantage by preparing a turning track.

However, the designs lay exposed when the hunters became the hunted. Here’s a look at how it panned out.

Tweaking at the start

(AFP Photo)

Dhoni’s decision to begin with spin may have made hard-hitting batsman Martin Guptill a bit too excited. After getting a six off the first ball of the match, he went for a pre-meditated shot on the next ball from Ashwin but failing to read the length, he tried to improvise and fell leg before. NZ were already one down and shaky.

Super break halts Kiwis

(AFP Photo)

While the spinners weaved a web around NZ, forcing them to lose early wickets, Ross Taylor and Corey Anderson built a partnership. However, bowler Raina’s agility found non-striker Taylor short of crease. NZ could never recover after that, although Anderson saw them to respectability.

Right on the money

New Zealand players celebrates the wicket of Rohit Sharma. (PTI Photo)

Williamson’s decision to drop key pacers, Trent Boult and Tim Southee for spinners looked outrageous. But he seemed convinced and began with Nathan McCullum’s off-spin which got Dhawan early. Soon left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner (left) removed Rohit and Raina in one over.

Big gun goes bust

New Zealand wicket-keeper Luke Ronchi celebrates the wicket of Virat Kohli. (PTI Photo)

In a tricky run chase and against athletic Kiwis, Virat Kohli was going to be the key. With Dhoni at the other end, India had the two best finishers. However, Kohli fell, edging a delivery from Ish Sodhi. India were five down and out.

Read: We lacked adaptability, batsmen let us down: Dhoni on WT20 loss to NZ

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