Team India may be the favourites to win the 2019 Cricket World Cup, but their unflattering start in today’s warm up match against New Zealand really proves otherwise.
Earlier, it was India captain Virat Kohli who won the toss and chose to bat first against the Kiwis, despite knowing that chasing would be the easier option in English conditions. He had reasoned that himself and his cohorts would “relish the challenge”, but what followed was a total disaster for the “men in blue”.
New Zealand’s carnage began in the second over, with Rohit Sharma (2 off 6) trapped plumb in front by an inswinging delivery off Trent Boult. Boult returned shortly afterwards to dismiss Shikhar Dhawan (2 off 7) and KL Rahul (6 off 10). Virat Kohli (18 off 24) and MS Dhoni (17 off 42) did little to counter the sudden onslaught.
Dinesh Karthik (4 off 3) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1 off 17) also fell shortly afterwards and at one point, the scoreboard read 91/7 with Hardik Pandya’s handy contribution of 30(37 balls) accounting for nearly one-third of India’s total score.
Quite understandably, Twitter soon went into a meltdown with fans criticising Team India for their poor show. Check out some of the reactions below:
— نائب وائس پریزیڈنٹ (@samshakana) May 25, 2019
Turning out to be a horrifying warm up #INDvNZ
— Hrohit (@ReallyShreyansh) May 25, 2019
if Kohli rests or skips Dhoni in every WC matches, I will rate him "WORLD'S BEST CAPTAIN" #INDvNZ
— Æ (@Aayan4910) May 25, 2019
I had predicted India will not reach the Semis (and of course, not win the WC). We're seeing why. IPL was the worst preparation and some of the selections were based on chamchagiri rather than on skill and forn, Too Old and too overrated #CWC2019 #INDvNZ
— kris kasya (@KrisKasya) May 25, 2019
— Saish Kamble (@Saishsinh) May 25, 2019
This match just shows how much team India depends on their top 3 to fire!! Good to have a bad game before the WC… Hoping for no such hiccups during the WC!
Still firm favourites!! #India #INDvNZ #CWC19
— Samay Turakhia (@samay_srt) May 25, 2019
Cricket Ball swings a Little Bit#INDvNZ
Rohit Sharma – pic.twitter.com/n6zWOsf8mE
— Monish (@Mraniac) May 25, 2019
Dhoni and Pandya in the middle after 10 overs. Guess what? This isn't good even if it was IPL. #INDvNZ
— Silly Point (@FarziCricketer) May 25, 2019
— Bleed Green ♥ (@iBleedGreen2000) May 25, 2019
India is going to make a T20 score in a 50 overs match #INDvNZ
— Hiten (@DuaHiten) May 25, 2019
You gotta admit that left arm seamers are too good for Indians. Be it Aamir or Boult. #INDvNZ
— FB (@FB4Troll) May 25, 2019
I know it is only a warm-up game but New Zealand are enjoying it more.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) May 25, 2019
— Manoj Soni (@manoj_insane) May 25, 2019
At the time of writing, India’s score reads 177/8 in 38 overs, a solid improvement considering the situation they were in just over an hour ago. Ravindra Jadeja (54 not out off 49, 6 fours, 2 sixes) has completed a well-made half-century, giving the Indian top-order some serious batting lessons. Kuldeep Yadav (19 off 33) is also present at the middle, providing the southpaw with ample company.