India have been pushed to the brink of elimination after Virat Kohli and his men slumped to their second loss of the ongoing T20 World Cup and the cricket fraternity is struggling to make sense of the insipid performance. (More Cricket News)
It was their second straight defeat after being handed a 10-wicket thrashing by arch-rivals Pakistan in their tournament opener to Pakistan at the same venue.
Pegged as favourites going into the tournament, the defeat against the Black Caps has put India in serious danger of losing out on a semi-final berth.
Here's how a stunned cricket fraternity reacted to India's loss, questioning their tactics, intent and techniques of their batters.
"Very disappointing from India. NZ were amazing. India's body language wasn't great, poor shot selection & like few times in the past, New Zealand have virtually ensured we won't make it to the next stage. This one will hurt India & time for some serious introspection #IndvsNZ," Virender Sehwag said.
Very disappointing from India. NZ were amazing. India’s body language wasn’t great, poor shot selection & like few times in the past, New Zealand have virtually ensured we won’t make it to the next stage. This one will hurt India & time for some serious introspection #IndvsNZ— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) October 31, 2021
Irfan Pathan also took to Twitter and said, "In any big tournament you can't change the playing 11 in just one game and get desired results. Players need stability And I'm surprised this is happening with some big names taking decisions. #ind."
In any big tournament you can’t change the playing 11 in just one game and get desired results. Players need stability And I’m surprised this is happening with some big names taking decisions. #ind— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) October 31, 2021
Pathan added, "Well done NZ you were too good today. And for team India, they need to get together and perform miracles. Time is running out. #indvsnz."
Former India cricketer Suni Gavaskar, who is part of the T20 World Cup commentary panel, said, "I don't know if it is a fear of failure but I know that whatever changes they made to the batting order today did not work. Rohit Sharma is such a great batsman and he has been sent in at No.3. Kohli himself, who has made so many runs at No.3 demotes himself to No.4."
Gavaskar opined that a youngster like Ishan Kishan, who replaced Rohit as opener against New Zealand, could have been sent in at No. 4 or 5.
"A young player like Ishan Kishan has been given the responsibility of opening the batting. Ishan Kishan is a hit-or-miss player and it is better if a batsman like him walks in No.4 or No.5."
Gavaskar's then-teammate Madan Lal said that team India looked surprisingly impatient.
"It is unfortunate because India have looked more impatient than they normally do in both these matches. If you don't make runs then you won't come into the match. A target of 111 can be defended only if a miracle happens. India were outclassed in both the matches. In this format if you don't get in front early, it becomes difficult," Madan said.
Meanwhile, former Pakistan cricketers said that they were not expecting such performance from India.
The Indian team looked clueless tonight I really don’t know whyðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ³.. pic.twitter.com/c2nbGQIWkN— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) October 31, 2021
"Disappointing performance by India. Really expected a better & strong performance! The Indian team looked clueless tonight I really don’t know why.
"Why did you send that kid Ishan Kishan to open, Hardik pandya is bowling in the end. He should have bowled before.
"They played really bad cricket. India looked in so much pressure. I have no idea what policy, game plan India was following. It was a lost squad. No planning, everybody pressed their panic button, Kohli not batting at his position, Rohit too," Shoaib Akhtar said.
Shoaib's compatriot Shahid Afridi said, "India still have an outside chance of qualifying for semis but with how they have played their two big games in the event, it will be nothing but a miracle to see them qualify. @T20WorldCup".