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T20 World Cup: Why India vs New Zealand could be a do or die clash for both team

  • Oct 27, 2021
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In the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE, Pakistan have emerged as the strongest team in Group 2. Out of the six teams which are in this group, India, Pakistan and New Zealand (ranked 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively in the ICC T20I team rankings) are the three higher ranked teams, while Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia (ranked 8th, 14th and 19th respectively in the IC T20I team rankings) are the three lower ranked teams. Pakistan, in their first two matches have beaten the other two highest ranked teams in their group, India by 10 wickets and New Zealand by 5 wickets. This gave them a solid NRR of +0.738. They sit at the top of the group with 4 points from two games and are top of the group. Their remaining three matches will be against the lower ranked teams - Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia, which they are expected to win. Therefore, Pakistan looks in good shape to set a perfect record of 5 wins in the Super 12 stage and advance to the semi-finals. On the other hand, both India and New Zealand have yet to open their accounts. Both teams have played one match so far and both have lost, both of course to Pakistan. And this makes their clash against each other, which incidentally will be the next match for both these teams, a potential do or die affair.Assuming Pakistan, India and New Zealand defeat Afghanistan, Namibia and Scotland, the team that wins the India-New Zealand match will be the team that joins Pakistan in the semi-finals. After Pakistan beat New Zealand on Tuesday, there are now only two scenarios possible as far as Group 2 is concerned - either India beat NZ or NZ beat India. In scenario 1 - If India beat NZ - then India will finish on 8 points (assuming they beat Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia) and NZ will finish on 6 points (assuming they beat Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia). In this scenario, Pakistan and India will be the two teams going into the semi-finals from this group. This of course is based on the hypothesis that Pakistan, India and NZ will all beat Afghanistan, Namibia and Scotland. In scenario 2 - If New Zealand beat India - then India will end on 6 points (assuming they beat Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia) and NZ will finish with 8 points (assuming they beat Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia). And if this happens, then the Kiwis will be joining Pakistan as the second team from Group 2 to qualify for the knockouts. This of course is based on the hypothesis that Pakistan, India and NZ will all beat Afghanistan, Namibia and Scotland. Of course, T20 is the most fickle format of the sport and an upset is not going to be surprising. The team which loses on Sunday could still make the semis, provided the other team is upset by a lower ranked team or teams and they themselves win their remaining matches. The Men in Blue play the Black Caps on Sunday, October 31. While India vs Pakistan was a keenly followed clash for obvious reasons, India vs New Zealand will be perhaps the most crucial encounter for both these teams. India is ranked higher than NZ in the team rankings in T20I cricket, but history favours New Zealand in their more recent encounters vs India in ICC tournaments. Incredibly, the last time India beat the Kiwis in an ICC tournament was way back in the 203 ICC ODI World Cup. In fact, in the last 5 meetings between these two teams in ICC tournaments, NZ have beaten India four times In T20 clashes overall as well it's the Black Caps who hold the edge. In 16 T20I meetings between the two teams, NZ have won 8, while India won 6 of these matches. Two matches were tied. The Men in Blue team is looking forward to their second t20 worldcup title. They will have to be at their best to keep those hopes real and good.Also Read- India vs Pakistan: Harbhajan Singh and Mohammad Amir engage in war of words on Twitter

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Attacking Someone Over Religion Is Most Pathetic: Kohli backs Shami

  • Oct 31, 2021
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Indian captain Virat Kohli on Saturday hit out at the social media abuse that was aimed at pacer Mohammed Shami after the team loss to Pakistan in the ICC Men’s t20 worldcup. The 31-year-old Shami was abused on social media after the 10-wicket defeat in Dubai, even though Kohli acknowledged that his side had been outplayed as a team. In a virtual press interaction ahead of India’s October 31 clash with New Zealand, Kohli brushed aside the “spineless” trolls, suggesting that those on the inside do not care about the “outside voice”. “There’s a reason we are playing on the field and not those spineless people,” Kohli said. “It’s unfortunate and sad to see people getting entertained. That is why we are doing what we are and those spineless people are doing what they are.” “Many people hide their identity in social media then try to troll the players and it is the lowest point in their life – all dramas outside due to the lack of self-confidence of them, we know how to back the players, there is no value from the outside voice.” Regrettably, Shami, the only Muslim player in the playing XI against Pakistan, was targeted over his religious beliefs, whereas incidents of communal harmony being disrupted in a few parts of the nation were reported the same day. “To me attacking someone over their religion is the most pathetic thing a human being can do. Everyone has the right to voice their opinion but I personally have never even thought of discriminating someone over their religion,” Kohli said. “This is literally the lowest potential as a human being one can operate at.” “That [religious beliefs] is a very sacred and a personal thing to every human being and that should be left there. People take out their frustrations because they obviously have no understanding of what we do as individuals. They have no understanding of how much effort we put on the field. They have no understanding of the fact that someone like Mohammed Shami has won India a lot of matches in last few years and he’s been our primary bowler with Jasprit Bumrah when it comes to making an impact. “We are doing what we are doing on the field and none of these people [trolls] are even in the vicinity to even imagine doing something like that. They do not have the courage or the spine to do that. That is how I see things. “As a group, we understand how we need to stick together and how we need to back individuals and how need to focus on our strengths and whether people on the outside portray the fact that India cannot afford to lose a game of cricket is none of our business because we play sport and we understand how sport goes. So, how people think on the outside adds no value whatsoever. We never focussed on it and we will never focus on it going forward either.” “If people can overlook that and his passion for the country, honestly I don’t even want to waste one minute of my life to give any attention to the people, neither does Shami and neither does anyone else in the team. We stand by him fully. We are backing him 200% and all those who attacked him can come with more force if they want to. “Our brotherhood, our friendship within the team and nothing can be shaken. I can guarantee you as a captain of the team that we have built a culture where these things will not even be infiltered into this environment at all and that is a absolute guarantee from my side. A slew of former indian cricketer stood in solidarity with Shami. “The online attack on Mohammad Shami is shocking and we stand by him. He is a champion and anyone who wears the India cap has India in their hearts far more than any online mob. With you Shami. Agle match mein dikado jalwa,” tweeted former India opener Sehwag. Sachin Tendulkar, too, lauded Shami for his commitment, while he reckoned that like any other player, it was merely an off day for the pacer. “When we support #TeamIndia, we support every person who represents Team India. @MdShami11is a committed, world-class bowler. He had an off day like any other sportsperson can have. I stand behind Shami & Team India.”Also Read- I believe that India can win the T20 World Cup: Virender Sehwag