Indian pacer Mohammed Shami said after his team’s four-wicket victory over New Zealand in their ICC Cricket World Cup match on Sunday that it’s important to build confidence quickly after being left out of the starting eleven for a spell. He also said that his team’s victory gave him a lot of confidence. But he went on to say that since the team had performed so admirably in the previous four games with this lineup, it was not too difficult for him to wait on the sidelines for a chance to enter the starting lineup.
The two most prominent players in India were Shami and “Chase Master” Virat Kohli. Riding high on their spectacular displays with the ball and the willow, the hosts won the World Cup for the fifth time in a row, taking a significant step towards securing a place in the top four.
India moved up to the top spot with 10 points after defeating the Kiwis, who were leading the points table heading into this match, by four wickets.
“When you come back after a long time to the XI, it is important to get confidence early. My first game in the (ongoing) World Cup helped me regain that confidence. It’s not too hard (waiting on the sidelines) if your team is doing well. They are your teammates and if they are doing well then you should be supporting them. If it’s in the team’s interest, I am okay with it. The wickets were important as it came against an opponent, which was sitting top of the points table going into this clash,” Shami said at the post-match presentation.
With the victory, the ‘Men in Blue’ also snapped an agonizing 20-year losing record against New Zealand at ICC competitions.
The Men in Blue had a great start, limiting the Kiwis to 19/2 inside the powerplay after winning the toss and sent New Zealand in to bat.
But then centurion Daryl Mitchell and Rachin Ravindra shared a 159-run partnership that enabled New Zealand to mount a formidable resistance.
After taking wickets in the second part of New Zealand’s innings, the hosts struck back, bowling the visitors out for 273 runs in 50 overs.
Kuldeep Yadav (2/73) finished strongly after being pushed to task in the first overs, but Shami (5/54) was India’s best bowler.
Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah, the Indian new-ball duo, both claimed a wicket.
India, trailing 274 runs, got off to a spectacular start as openers Rohit Sharma (46 in 40 balls, four fours and four sixes) and Shubhman Gill (26 in 31 balls, five fours) put up a 71-run partnership for the first wicket.
With two overs remaining, India managed to win by four wickets with the help of Virat Kohli (95* in 104 balls, eight fours and two sixes) and Ravindra Jadeja (39* in 44 balls, three fours and a six). However, during the innings, India did lose Shreyas Iyer (33), KL Rahul (27), and Suryakumar Yadav.
The best bowler for New Zealand was Lockie Ferguson (2/63) with a wicket apiece for Trent Boult, Matt Henry, and Mitchell Santner.
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Shami’s outstanding five-wicket performance earned him the title of “Player of the Match.”