‘New chokers of cricket?’: Shoaib Akhtar after Super Over decides India vs New Zealand 4th T20I
India vs New Zealand: Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar questioned whether New Zealand are the ‘new chokers’ of world cricket after they lost two Super Overs in a row against India.
In a matter of 72 hours, India came from behind twice - in identical fashion – managed to stretch the match into the Super Over and ended up on the winning side. A day after their dramatic Super Over win in Hamilton, India once again beat New Zealand in a Super Over after both sides finished on level terms in the 4th T20I at Wellington to lead the five-match series 4-0. This was the fourth tied match for New Zealand in the last 7 months and the Kiwis ended up on the losing side on all of those contests decided by Super Over. Such performance from the Blackcaps prompted former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar to question whether New Zealand are the ‘new chokers’ of world cricket.
New Zealand needed 18 runs in the last 3 overs with 7 wickets in their bank when Bumrah and Saini bowled two tight overs to give Shardul Thakur 7 runs to play with in the last over. Under pressure, Thakur did exactly what Shami had done in Hamilton, dismissed the set batsman and somehow managed to take the match into the Super Over.
“I don’t understand what New Zealand. They have tied 6 matches and have managed to win only 1 Super Over. Looks like they have done specialization in losing. Despite being a good team they could not achieve an easy target like 166,” said Shoaib Akhtar on his Youtube channel.
New Zealand lost 4 wickets – 2 via run outs - in the last over of the match and scored only 6 runs.
“166 should have been an easy chase but the Kiwis made life difficult for themselves. This goes to show they don’t have the nerves to handle pressure scenarios. Are they new chockers of the world? Are they the new South Africa who could never win in a tough situation?,” Akhtar added.
“it’s very sad to see New Zealand struggling like this. I think New Zealand choke under pressure,” Akhtar said.
The Rawalpindi Express also added that India handle the pressure situations much better than the Kiwis. “India have better nerves, they know how to control such pressure situations so once the match went into the Super Over, they had no chance,”
New Zealand have been a part of 4 Super Overs in the last 7 months and have lost all 4 of them. But the last two T20Is against India would perhaps hurt the Kiwis more as they were in cruise control and should have finished the match inside the legitimate 20 overs.
“They somehow don’t know how to cross the line,” said Akhtar while adding that this one was one of the main reasons behind New Zealand not winning a single World Cup to date. The only ICC tournament they won was the Champions Trophy back in 2000.
Akhtar suggested changes in New Zealand Cricket’s structure to bounce back from this defeat. “I want to see a mature approach from New Zealand in the future. They need to get back to the drawing board, restructure their domestic cricket,” Akhtar added.