India lost its second match in T20 World Cup against New Zealand on Sunday, by eight wickets. Trent Boult led an energized bowling attack to leave Virat Kohli's men facing a desperate struggle to reach the semi-finals.
Boult and leg-spinner Ish Sodhi shared five wickets between them to restrict India to 110 for seven after being invited to bat first in the Super-12 clash in Dubai.
Skipper Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell, who made 49, put together 72 runs for the second wicket as the Kiwis chased the target in 14.3 overs to hand India their second straight loss of the tournament.
Kohli was brutal in his assessment of his team after the defeat.
“I don't think we were brave enough with bat or ball,” Kohli said. “We didn't have much to defend but we weren't brave when we walked out to field.
“When you play for the Indian cricket team you have a lot of expectations – not just from fans, but players as well. So there's always going to be more pressure with our games and we've embraced it over the years. Everyone who plays for India has to embrace it. And when you cope together as a team you overcome it and we haven't done it these two games. Just because you're in the Indian team and there are expectations doesn't mean you start playing differently. I think we're fine, there's a lot of cricket left to play.”
India is now fifth in Group 2 of Super 12s and only the top two teams will make it to the semi-finals. The defeat against New Zealand has put India on the brink but mathematically they are still alive in the competition. However, to qualify from here, a lot of things have to go in their favour.
India’s Chance To Still Qualify Semi-Finals:
First of all, India needs to win all three of their remaining matches - against Afghanistan, Namibia and Scotland - and hope that Afghanistan, New Zealand, or any other team from the group doesn't reach three wins.
Even if New Zealand or Afghanistan get to three wins, India can bring Net Run Rate into play by winning their remaining matches. However, India's NRR currently stands at -1.609. India will need to get big wins in the next three matches to improve on that scoring chart.
India’s Upcoming Matches:
India vs Afghanistan, Abu Dhabi – 3 November
India vs Scotland, Dubai – 5 November
India vs Namibia, Dubai – 8 November