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Men In Blue to End World Cup Jinx

India has never beaten New Zealand in a knockout match in white-ball cricket. If one adds the World Test Championship defeat in the final of the 2019-21 edition at the Rose Bowl, Southampton, the jinx runs deeper…reports Asian Lite News

The cricket world has tagged the South Africa men’s cricket team as chokers while New Zealand have been the eternal underdogs. But when it comes to white-ball cricket events conducted by ICC, New Zealand have quite a formidable record.

The Black Caps have reached the semifinals of nine out of the 13 Men’s ODI World Cups and four times in the T20 World Cup. However, they are yet to win any of the two titles. New Zealand have finished runner-up twice in the 50-over events (2015, 2019) and once in T20 but are yet to be crowned champions.

However, there is one team that they have dominated when it comes to the knockout stages of ICC events. New Zealand has never lost to India in the knockout stages matches of the Men’s ODI World Cup.

India had not beaten New Zealand in any ICC match since 2003 but that jinx was broken when Rohit Sharma’s side overcame New Zealand in a closely-contested match at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCL) Stadium in Dharamsala a couple of weeks back.

In 10 matches in the 50-over World Cup, New Zealand won five while India won four and one match ended in a no result. Overall in while-ball matches in ICC tournaments, India and New Zealand have met on 14 occasions with the Black Caps winning nine of them while India won four, with one no-result.

India has never beaten New Zealand in a knockout match in white-ball cricket. If one adds the World Test Championship defeat in the final of the 2019-21 edition at the Rose Bowl, Southampton, the jinx runs deeper.

The most disappointing defeat from India’s standpoint was the 18-run defeat to New Zealand in the semi-final of the 2019 ODI World Cup in England.

In a rain-interrupted semifinal that was played over two days, New Zealand were restricted to 239/8 in 50 overs thanks to half-centuries by skipper Kane Williams (67) and Ross Taylor (74). For India, Bhuvneshwar Kumar claimed 3-43.

Chasing 240 at Old Trafford in Manchester, India were in deep trouble when they lost three wickets for five runs with Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and K.L Rahul back in the pavilion. It became 24/4 when Dinesh Karthik got out and 71/5 when Rishabh Pant was sent back after a 58-ball 32. Ravindra Jadeja (77) and M.S Dhoni (50) nearly pulled off an improbable-looking win for India before the India captain was tragically run out in the 49th over. India eventually lost the match by 18 runs.

India’s jinx against New Zealand had started in the first World Cup in 1975 when they lost by four wickets at Manchester. In the next edition, the defeat margin was eight wickets when India lost to the Black Caps in Leeds. India won the next two encounters in the 1987 editions — by 16 runs in Bangalore and Nagpur in the league stage in which teams played each other twice.

New Zealand were the co-host of the 1992 edition with Australia and scripted a four-wicket win in Dunedin. In 1999, India lost by five wickets in Nottingham and though India won by 7 wickets in Centurion in the 2003 edition, that was their last win and though India did not play New Zealand in the 2007, 2011 and 2015 editions, the Black Caps got the better of India in the 2007 and 2016 editions of the T20 World Cup.

In 2019, their preliminary league clash produced no result but New Zealand made the most of their chances in the all-crucial semifinal clash to dash India’s hopes of reaching the final.

Now that the two teams are set to meet again in the World Cup semifinal, India will be hoping to end the knockout stages jinx too when they take on Kane Williamson’s Black Caps at the Wankhede Stadium here on Wednesday.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said history, especially the result of the 2019 semifinal, does not have much role to play as things are different.

Yeah, I mean I think the game will be a little bit different. It might be played over one day rather than two, looking at the weather, but at the same time teams work hard to get to this stage, they have to play a lot of good cricket within the format or the structure of the tournament to get here over such a long period of time. It’s a great occasion and it’s on the day. Both teams are looking to play their best cricket and compete in the best way that they can,” said Williamson.

The Indians are unbeaten in nine matches in the 2023 edition and have pulled off some crucial wins. New Zealand just scrapped through to the semis as the fourth and last team. On current form, India are the favourites. But as we have seen in the past, anything can happen on a given day when these two teams clash, whatever the format of the game.

ALSO READ: Semifinal Battle: India vs. New Zealand – A SWOT Insight

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