Afghanistan's loss to New Zealand on Sunday poured cold water on India's slim chances of qualifying for the semi-final of T20 World Cup 2021. As a result, the Men in Blue have to pack their bags soon after their game against Namibia on Monday is over. On the other hand, the Black Caps will advance to the knockout stage, thanks to their 8-wicket win.
While the game between Afghanistan and New Zealand carried a lot of importance from India's perspective, only one result didn't decide their ouster. It was rather a compilation of all the moments that didn't go in India's favour and eventually saw them failing to make it to the semi-final. Here the top 5 such moments-
1. The toss tragedy
Had there been a prize for losing most tosses, Virat Kohli would have been the undisputed winner, courtesy his poor luck. The games against Pakistan and New Zealand were the most crucial ones for India to qualify for the semi-final of T20 World Cup 2021. Given that the team batting second gets a lot of advantage against the opponent in UAE, toss plays a crucial role in the games when two quality teams meet each other. To Kohli's bad luck, he lost both the tosses against Pakistan and New Zealand, and that played a key role in India's defeats to the teams and India's eventual ouster from the mega event.
2. Shaheen Afridi's opening spell against India
While everyone knows how dangerous a batter Rohit Sharma is, his vulnerability to the left-arm pacers is also unhidden. Pakistan exploited his weakness in the best possible way by giving Shaheen Shah Afridi to bowl the first over in the match against India. Shaheen dismissed Rohit with a cracker of a delivery to take India one down in the first over itself. The Men in Blue could never come back in the match post that as Afridi in his very next over dismissed KL Rahul and India eventually lost the game by a margin of 10 wickets.
3. Trent Boult dismissing Ishan Kishan
Though India promoted Ishan Kishan up the order in place of Rohit Sharma against New Zealand, the ploy didn't work as Trent Boult trapped the batter beautifully to put a dent on India's approach in the game. Boult served a length ball on Kishan's pads and the Indian batter whipped it directly into the hands of backward square leg.
4. Devon Conway escaping a caught behind dismissal
The drama happened in the 11th over of New Zealand's innings when the Kiwis were languishing at 61/2. After playing two back-to-back dot balls in the 11th over, Conway tried to poke a Hamid Hassan delivery that came into him before getting straight and beating the outside edge of his willow. The bowler and wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad failed to notice that the batter had actually nicked the ball and hence they didn't appeal for it. Replays showed that there was a noticeable spike when the ball went past the bat. Had it been appealed or reviewed, the outcome of the match could have been something else as Conway went on to play a valuable 36-run knock off 32 balls.
5. Scotland dropping Guptill's catch
Chasing a 173-run target against the Kiwis, the Scottish Saltires remained just 16-run short of New Zealand's total. However, more than opponent's dominant game, it was Scotland's own poor performance on the field that should be given the credit for the loss. Martin Guptill's catch was dropped in the 15th over of the game when he was batting on 61 off 42. He then capitalised on it and scored 93 off 56 to help New Zealand post a good total despite some hiccups at the beginning.