Old Trafford: He came, he put on a show, but Ravindra Jadeja – the ‘bits and pieces’ player, as he was derisively described by Sanjay Manjrekar -- failed to hold the game together as India crashed like a proverbial house of cards.In self-inflicted misery, which must be giving arch rivals Pakistan some salacious pleasure, star batsmen Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli misfired.
After losing three wickets in the space of 11 balls, Team India lunged to 24 for four and then 92 for six, chasing 240 on the reserve day of the semi-final. Jadeja's fleeting fireworks gave India a faint hope but he departed with 32 required off 13 balls before Mahendra Singh Dhoni was run out for 50 from 72 deliveries.
Questions about India's over-weaning dependence on the top order had been pushed under the carpet by the team management, but it did finally haunt them on the big stage -- the semi-final of the World Cup. Needing 52 off the last five overs, Jadeja seemed to be guiding India home under the tutelage of former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, but Trent Boult had the last laugh as he dismissed Jadeja in the 48th over to bring New Zealand right back into the game. Jadeja's 77-run knock was the highest in the history of World Cup for a batsman batting at number eight in the second innings, but it was just not enough to take India home.
The untimely run out of Dhoni (50 off 72 balls) in the 49th over was the final nail in the coffin. It was ironic that the man who is known as one of the best runners was out while going for a double. The Kiwis will now face England or Australia in Sunday's showpiece at Lord's.
UNDONE BY 45-MINUTE STRETCH
India skipper Virat Kohli rued the manner in which India lost the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand. He said the team played well throughout the tournament but caved in in the last-four stage due to a poor stretch of "45 minutes". "Forty-five minutes of bad cricket puts you out of the tournament. Difficult to take it -- but New Zealand deserve it. Our shot selection could have been better, but we played good cricket throughout. New Zealand were braver in crunch situations and they deserve it," Kohli said at the presentation ceremony.
CALL 911 FOR HELP
It’s a tradition guys!!!
2011 - 9(21) vs Pakistan
2015 - 1(13) vs Australia
2019 - 1(6) vs New Zealand
Virat is known as a legend.
3 semi-final scores: 9,1,1.
For sure that calls for an emergency (911)