India v New Zealand, World T20 2016, Group 2, Nagpur March 15, 2016

'Martin Crowe would be proud'

With the Super 10 phase starting, there was plenty of excitement around.

There was a shock right at the toss, when New Zealand left out their established pace pair of Tim Southee and Trent Boult and picked plenty of spinners.

The game got off to a cracking start as Martin Guptill slammed a straight six off the first ball before being dismissed off the second.

Things seemed to be going the way of pre-tournament favourites India as even part-timer Suresh Raina got among the wickets.

Raina then produced a sensational bit of fielding to run out Ross Taylor.

Jasprit Bumrah added to India's advantage with an over of five yorkers that also produced the wicket of the explosive Corey Anderson.

New Zealand's batsmen were struggling, and most experts were backing India, though some raised questions about the turning track.

New Zealand finished of 127, and a routine victory seemed on the cards for India. New Zealand's spinners had different plans. In his brother Brendon's absence, offspinner Nathan McCullum provided the perfect start.

Two early wickets meant it wasn't going to be easy for India.

And the wickets kept tumbling as the Indian batting was exposed against spin.

New Zealand's three unheralded spinners took nine wickets between them to leave India facing a massive challenge in the tournament.

India broke some records, but not the sort they would have wanted to.

MS Dhoni had some strong words about the batting after the game, as did the Twitterati.

There were plenty of jokes, as ever.

Some jokingly pointed to sartorial changes for India's defeat.

Others were more philosophical

While some Indian fans looked for reasons to remain optimistic

Experts with a long memory recalled a game when New Zealand similarly upset a fancied home side.

The game had begun with a tribute to the late Martin Crowe. New Zealand's strategy was one that he would have approved of.

Siddarth Ravindran is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. Twitter @SidRavindran

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sriram on March 16, 2016, 8:32 GMT

    Well played NZ, its T20 and while luck do has a say, you got have great instinct and back your decisions, which Kane did very well. That is why his team was on top! on the other hand, no wonder Rohit, Raina and Yuvi have never played many Tests. Temperament is key to cricket than just talent. Brain freeze is the only term i could find for Rohit's dismissal. Much less said about Dhawan the better. if Jaddu can turn the ball square so can my mum, boycott would have said!

  • madhu on March 16, 2016, 7:09 GMT

    Well played NZ. When you play technically suspect batsmen (Virat Kohli an exception), this is bound to happen. The solidity of a classical approach player like Rahane is missed. The total of 126 could have been chased down if we had Rahane. This is where the thinking of the management is questionable.

  • rizwan amir on March 16, 2016, 6:02 GMT

    any way well played by newzealanders appreciated and disappointed from indians who has a strong batting line in the world.

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