India had the worst possible start in the semi-final clash against New Zealand, where they lost three wickets for just five runs on the board. The dreadful start to the innings was further exacerbated when India’s untested middle-order failed to handle the pressure and ultimately fell 18 runs short of the Black Caps’ total.
Pinpointing the reasons behind India’s shock defeat, head coach Ravi Shastri admitted his team lacked a solid middle order option to get the team over the line. Trying different batting combinations all throughout the tournament, India’s brittle middle order was truly exposed in the all-important knockout match.
“In hindsight, yes, we did need a solid batsman out there in the middle order. But now, that’s something for the future. That’s a position that was always giving us problems, but we just couldn’t nail it. (K L) Rahul was there but then Shikhar Dhawan got injured. Then Vijay Shankar was there, and he got injured. We just couldn’t control it,” Shastri said.