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India vs New Zealand- The Mesmerising Game

India lost to New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup Semifinals of 2019 by 18 runs. The ups and downs throughout the match made it what the cricket enthusiastic love.

DT
Last updated: 10.07.2019
Cricket World Cup 2019: India vs New Zealand | Sports Social Blog

Cricket is a freak game. 


It takes a freak moment to make things fall into place. But it also takes a freak moment to have things fall off one’s hands.


Guess there were plenty of such freak moments in the just-concluded encounter.


And it was a freakish moment that changed the course of the entire contest, that too in the penultimate over of the first semi-final of the ongoing World Cup. 


MS Dhoni pulled the third ball of the over from Lockie Ferguson in a no man’s toward short square leg.


He may have never suspected that with 9 balls remaining afterward from which to get 24, this would be a curtain for India’s campaign. 


And precisely there the freak force of nature awoke in Martin Guptill, who up until now, had had a forgettable campaign.


As the batsman hurried to complete a double, which no fan anywhere in the cricket-viewing world, regardless of his loyalty would have doubted MS about- Guptill’s direct hit shattered the stumps.


And in that nearly breathless wait for the third umpire’s decision, with the big screen stating what Ian Smith aptly described as the “three magical words,” an outcome was reached.


The final nail had been knocked onto India’s coffin. 


In a tiny fraction of a Nanosecond, the entire complexion of the game changed. New Zealand’s blood count seemingly increased as India huffed and puffed for.


The nearly deafening sound of support for India was now replaced by a gentle stir of positive energy, all of it favoring New Zealand. They had earned it. They had fought for it. They didn’t give up.


Not even when Jadeja wielded his bat more like a sword, for at the end of the day, that is what it seemed like.


The next batsmen in didn’t inspire much confidence. Not when you have a frail looking Chahal up against a Ferguson who’s steaming in with speeds in excess of 140, 142.


Dhoni and Jadeja

And that was that.


But while much of the lion’s share of emotions belong to India as it should for Virat Kohli’s team played exceptional cricket all along, their batsmen scoring hundreds as if plucking mangoes from trees, Rohit proving he’s a hitman for real albeit minus the gun, Bumrah bowling like a dream, Shami making it count when none gave him a chance, here’s a question.


Is it always about India?


In the aftermath of a nail-biter, a contest only a man as erudite as Harsha would’ve described as knife-edge cricket, Kane Williamson was asked how he motivated his men to remain in the hunt.


They had, after all, endured a peril nightmare against Australia.


With barren but pleasing simplicity and that elegant very non-dramatic tone, the Kiwi captain replied, “We knew India are a world class side and that it was never going to be easy. But I guess, we just had to hang in there.”


He would complete his utterly well mannered mini-speech one minus any shenanigans saying that, “India had such tremendous support here. It feels great to play amid such mass numbers.”


And there you have it.


In a moment which could’ve flustered even the great Steven Waugh, or melted the ice of an MS Dhoni, Williamson carved out a special mention to the very factor that had absolutely nothing to do with his side’s win: the crowd.


And maybe that is why above the absurdities, the heartbreaks, the pauses and the deafening noises, it’s the utter sanity of cricket as found in Williamson that makes it a great unifier.


India might have lost, but they won hearts. The Kiwis lost a few, won a few but hung in there.


But nothing flustered Kane Williamson in the end. That is how he plays. That’s the only way he knows how to play and that is how he’ll fight until the end. If that quintessential Kiwi unflappability isn’t freakish then what is?


Game on, New Zealand.



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