New Zealand's pathetic run in the ongoing T20 World Cup continued on Tuesday as the team suffered a 5-wicket loss to Pakistan in Sharjah. This saw the side losing their third game on the trot if the practice matches are taken into account. Notably, in the first warm-up game, the Black Caps had lost to Australia by 3 wickets and in the second game, they lost to England by 13 runs.
While there is no denying the fact that the practice matches New Zealand played were against one of the strongest teams in the format and carried no points, their loss to Pakistan has kept them in a vulnerable position in the points table as if the Kiwis lose their upcoming game against India, they are more likely to fail to make a top-2 finish in the Group B points table by the end of the league stage.
Big blow for New Zealand ahead of virtual knockout game against India
It is worth noting that alongside New Zealand, India have also lost to Pakistan and given the rest of the teams in the group are Namibia, Scotland and Afghanistan, the upcoming game between the Black Caps and the Men in Blue is more likely to decide the semi-finalist for the T20 World Cup. This is because if the winning team from the game manages to beat rest 3 teams that are comparatively less competitive, the winning team will definitely book a semi-final berth.
Ahead of such a big game, New Zealand have dealt with a big blow as their start opener Martin Guptill is currently injured and might miss the side's upcoming game against India. The right-handed batter suffered the injury after getting hit on his toe by a Haris Rauf delivery during his 20-ball 17 in New Zealand's loss to Pakistan.
Giving an update on Guptill injury after the match on Tuesday, New Zealand head coach Gary stead said: “We’ll see how he scrubs up overnight. He looked in a little bit of discomfort at the end of the game and it might take 24 to 48 hours to see how he goes.”
Guptill, who is New Zealand's highest run-scorer in T20Is, has been the decent batter in the side's failed batting unit at the ongoing mega event so far. If the practice games are taken into account, the 88 runs scored by Guptill in the three games is the most by any batter for the Kiwi side at 2021 T20 world Cup.