Updated: Oct 31, 2021
For Indians, cricket is not just a game, it's a feeling like none other. Result of which the ICC events are celebrated like festivals by a billion cricket crazy fans. The T20 world cup is not an exception to this. Every single person from the subcontinent was eager to see India taking the arch-rivals Pakistan, against whom they had a sublime record of 12-0 in world cups. It was a heartbreak for Indians when the Pakistan team broke India's winning streak. But it is not Pakistan that has troubled Men in Blue in ICC events, it is neither Australia. The team which India has had difficulty facing in the ICC events in New Zealand.
Author:- Ashwin Jangam (Cricket Analyst, host, poet, entertainer)
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The Blackcaps have always had an upper hand in their clash against India in ICC events. Their dominance can be seen in the fact that they never let India win an ICC event game after the 2003 world cup. The last time India beat New Zealand, none of the players of the current team was above 15 years of age. The Kiwi upper hand denied the table-toppers India a place in the 2019 world cup final. Their dominating performance made them lift the World Test Championship against India in a rain-affected match which hardly lasted was played for 3 days overall. The 2007 world cup champions India defeated all the teams in the tournament but lost to Kiwis by 10 runs.
Time and again, New Zealand has proved to be better amongst the rivalry between Men in Blue and Black Caps. It is not their brutal bowling or their sensational batting which results in their victory. It is the discipline they follow which wins them matches consistently. Kiwis follow the basics of the game more than any cricket playing nation, making them one of the toughest opponents. You'll hardly see any Kiwi bowler bowl targetting line other than the 4th stump. Also, as a batting unit, Kiwis have improved tremendously under the leadership of Kane Williamson. The Men in Black were never short of power hitters, but the new era under Kane has increased their batters playing by the book.
This is why, it will be exciting to see the encounter between Men in Blue led by the aggressive captain Virat Kohli, and Men in black led by the calm Kane Williamson yet again. The game will be almost like a knockout for both teams. Both the teams that have lost their first match to Pakistan are in a position where they cannot afford to lose another match. The rise of Afghanistan is also a concern for both the teams who will put all their energy into the match happening today evening.
courtesy : Times of India
Although the statistics are in favour of New Zealand, Kohli and his men are raring to go and step up to the expectations of a billion people. Just like Pakistan breaking India's winning streak against them, Men in Blue would love to break New Zealand's winning streak and would like to avenge the 2019 semifinal and WTC final. With Trent Boult leading the attack for Black Caps, India can expect a fiery spell from him like Shaheen Afridi but would expect the top order to fire unlike Pakistan encounter and the 2019 world cup semifinal. The likes of Lockie Ferguson would try to make the life of Indian batters difficult. Furthermore, Mitchell santner will surely make use of Spin friendly pitches.
It would be exciting to see the approach of India. And in almost a do or die encounter for both the world-class teams, it won't be a surprise to see the match going till the last overs. Also, toss would play a very important role in the result of the match. If India bats first, things could get a little difficult for them. One would hope Virat to break his toss losing streak to ensure New Zealand is put to bat first. Whether India will create history to break New Zealand's winning streak, or the winning steak of Black Caps will continue, only time will tell. But one thing every cricket fan can be sure of is to see an amazing contest between the two world-class teams led by the two best batsmen in the world.