Today in New Delhi, India
Jul 18, 2019-Thursday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

India vs New Zealand, semi-finals, ICC World Cup 2019: Field marshals and lords of the ring these Kiwis

The pressure of watching Dhoni and Jadeja didn’t blind Williamson when it was his time to swing into action. Jadeja had speared the ball high but Williamson showed ice-cool nerves to hold on to the skier.

cricket Updated: Jul 11, 2019 11:08 IST
Somshuvra Laha
Somshuvra Laha
Hindustan Times, Manchester
India vs New Zealand,semi-finals,ICC World Cup 2019
India vs New Zealand: Kane Williamson and team celebrate their win over India (Action Images via Reuters)

No one can now say Martin Guptill has had a bad World Cup. Check that replay, once from the square-leg camera and then from the pavilion end. Rarely in his life has MS Dhoni got a second-run call wrong. If he has taken off for it, there must be a run. Only this time, Dhoni couldn’t have anticipated Guptill’s throw would clatter into the stumps on the full.

Guptill can do this, informed Kane Williamson. “He’s probably the only man on the pitch that could perhaps create that run-out,” said Williamson.

Good bowling alone can’t take a team past India, not while defending 239. So New Zealand welcomed KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma with five fielders in catching positions. They were also backing themselves to catch everything, something India have mastered in this World Cup.

ALSO READ: Kane Williamson offers superb reply when asked if he would pick MS Dhoni if he was his captain

“We knew they were going to attack more and not let the game go to the end,” said Kohli. “They won’t take it deep; they will go all out and play the game that way because I have seen them play that way. Today also third man was up in the ring. In the one-day game you had five catching fielders. So they know how to put pressure because they play very consistent cricket and today was an example of that,” said Kohli.

Had James Neesham held on to the stinger from Rishabh Pant at square-leg, India would probably have taken a different approach to the target. That, however, will not come in the way of remembering Neesham for the blinder he pulled off at backward point to dismiss Dinesh Karthik. With Karthik’s uppish drive dying on him, he had to dive left and catch the ball one-handed. Replays later showed him to cover 2.62m in less than half a second.

Fielding brilliance comes naturally to the Kiwis. But this catch was worth celebrating like schoolchildren. The scorecard tells Kohli was the only recognised batsman to not get caught or run out. Rahul and Sharma were caught at slip, RIshabh Pant in the cow corner, Hardik Pandya and Karthik in the infield and Ravindra Jadeja at long-off. “I wasn’t surprised with how New Zealand played, to be honest. If there is a low total, we knew there’s probably only one or two sides in world cricket that will put seven fielders in the ring and that was always going to be New Zealand,” said Kohli.

ALSO READ: MS Dhoni’s run-out was match turning point - Kane Williamson

The pressure of watching Dhoni and Jadeja didn’t blind Williamson when it was his time to swing into action. Jadeja had speared the ball high but Williamson showed ice-cool nerves to hold on to the skier. Thoughts while eyeing the catch? “Just to watch the ball and catch it, which was nice that it stuck,” said Williamson.

But it really boiled down to that run out. “We all know the game is a fine line in a number of ways. But that run-out was significant. We’ve seen Dhoni finish games from those similar positions on a number of occasions. It was a tough surface. To dismiss Dhoni in whatever fashion is extremely important, but for a direct hit run-out very, very similar to Jadeja’s (who dismissed Ross Taylor) I think was a big moment in the game,” said Williamson.

“Contributions can come in so many different ways and I think we’ve seen on the fielding charts he’s been right up there. For him (Guptill) to do that and pull off what was a significant turning point in the match was special and then obviously a great thing for our team.”

First Published: Jul 11, 2019 10:57 IST