On Sunday in Dubai, Virat Kohli and his team did not have the best of days against New Zealand. The Kane Williamson-led side continued their dominance against India with an eight-wicket victory. Following two humiliating losses, ex-India opener Virender Sehwag has highlighted the team’s one saving grace. Hardik Pandya’s bowling, according to Sehwag, was a significant advantage for India.
“The only good for India was that Pandya bowled,” Sehwag said on Cricbuzz after India’s loss to New Zealand. But it won’t make a difference whether he bowls or doesn’t play in the next few games.” Earlier in the match, India was in difficulty after Williamson won the crucial toss and urged them to bat. All India could muster was 110 points, but that didn’t appear to bother New Zealand, who strolled to victory and maintained their prospects of reaching the semi-finals alive. “It’s strange. To be very honest, I don’t think we were daring enough with bat or ball,” Kohli remarked at the post-match press conference.
“With the ball, clearly we didn’t have much to play with,” he said, “but we weren’t brave enough with our body language when we approached the field, and New Zealand had greater intensity, better body language, and they built pressure on us from the first over onwards, really,” he added.
India will now face Afghanistan, a team in fine form. Afghanistan would be no pushover for Kohli and his team. To have a chance of making it through, India must win their next three games by large margins. It will be interesting to see whether victory awaits for team India or not!