New Zealand beat India by 18 runs to qualify for the finals of the World Cup on July 10 at Old Trafford, Manchester after a strong fight by Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni failed to get the Men in Blue over the line. The brutal pace attack of the Kiwis along with the unforgiving pitch conditions made it difficult for the top-order of the Indian batting line-up to fire, as the team lost both the openers and the skipper for a run each within the first four overs.
Rishabh Pant, the number four batsman played a crucial knock along with Hardik Pandya that saw India recover from the early collapse. The swashbuckling left-handed batsmen made 32 runs off 56 deliveries before he pulled a loose shot that found the fielder. Following his dismissal, visuals showed skipper Virat Kohli furiously walking to the team coach Ravi Shastri and engaging in what looked like a fiery exchange. The skipper was clearly disappointed with the young lad throwing away his wicket in a crucial game.
Here's the visual of the incident (Reason stated in the tweet is a guesstimate at best) :
Kohli was asked about his irritation at the manner of Pant's dismissal in his post-match press conference, to which he said, "He did well to overcome the situation. In hindsight, he's still young, and even in my youth, I made many errors. In time he'll realise, or maybe even now. The talent is there for everyone to see. But a few shots weren't good."
The skipper didn't restrict his criticism on shot selection to Pant alone, attributing it to a number of key dismissals:
"Rohit and I got very good balls. Yes, some shot selection could have been better. We thought we could get the score. 240 is comfortable. For first 6-7 overs we didn't get the ball to drive. We're not shying away from accepting failure and that we weren't good enough under pressure."
Chasing a target of 240, India had got off to the worst possible start after they were reduced to 5/3 in the fourth over. The Kiwi pacers, Trent Boult and Matt Henry, worked in tandem as they got rid off the big three top-order batsmen early.
After India was reduced to 92/6, Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja added 116 runs for the seventh wicket stand and almost took India on the cusp of victory. Jadeja top-scored for India with a 59-ball 77 at a strike rate of 130.51 while MSD scored a 72-ball 50. Unfortunately, his run out in the penultimate over ended the two-time winners' hopes as they were bundled out for 221 with three balls to spare.