The pre-tournament favorites, India has been knocked out of the race to the semi-final of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE. It is all over for the men in blue after New Zealand secured a comfortable win against Afghanistan. The blackcaps defeated Afghanistan by eight wickets in Abu Dhabi to join Pakistan in the knockouts. For the third time, New Zealand has qualified for the semi-finals of an ICC T20 World Cup.
Many cricketing experts named India as the most favorite team to win the World cup. But men in blue have failed to reach the knockouts for the fourth time. Team India had hopes pinned on their neighbors’ to beat the blackcaps to keep their semi-final hopes alive. But Afghanistan failed to do so and they are also out of the race of semi-finals.
The semi-final fate of three teams depended on the exciting game at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Needing a win to seal a spot in the semis, New Zealand played well as a team to clinch the victory. The blackcaps are into the knockouts with four wins in five matches. Though India registered dominating victories against Afghanistan and Scotland, their fate depended completely on the Afghans to pull off a win.
India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun admitted that a short break between IPL and T20 World Cup could have helped the Indian players to perform well. Toss and bubble fatigue played a crucial role in India’s indifferent performance in the World cup event. India will play their final game against Namibia on Monday. But this match will be inconsequential as men in blue are in the third spot.