India batsmen came up with a below par performance to lose their first match of the ICC World T20 2016 against New Zealand by 47 runs. India were set a target of 127 runs to win, and Dhoni's team were all out for a paltry score of 79 runs, which was never expected from India's strong batting line up.
Though the pitch might have supported the spinners, India batsmen were rather disappointing. They have themselves to blame. Some of the batsmen played poor shots to get out. Despite a valiant attempt from Dhoni, who top scored with 30 runs, India fell well short of the target as the home team lost wickets at regular intervals. India lost their first six wickets for 42 runs.
However, one should give credit to the New Zealand bowlers, especially Mitchell Santner, who picked up four crucial wickets. All the NZ bowlers played an important role in the massive win. With this win, the Black Caps have continued their T20 dominance over India, who have never defeated New Zealand in the shortest format.
This loss should act as a perfect wake up call for India, who were touted as favourites by everybody including present and former cricketers, alongside experts. If India play such quality of cricket, they will not even reach the last four of the competition, forget about winning the title.
10:44: Adam Milne finishes off India's innings as he uproots Nehra's middle stump. India all out for 79 runs. NZ defeat India by 47 runs.
10:42: Dhoni hits a boundary in the first ball. India needs some more of this. As I say this Dhoni goes for a big shot and is caught in the boundary. With Dhoni's dismissal, India's chances, if any, are gone as well. India 79/9, 18 overs (Nehra 0, Bumrah 0) India need 48 runs from 12 balls.
10:40: Sodhi is turning the ball square. India 75/8, 17 overs (Dhoni 26, Nehra 0) India need 52 from 18 balls.
10:38: Dhoni hits a six. This is what the doctor ordered. Dhoni takes a single. Ish Sodhi dismisses Ashwin, who is stumped for 10 runs. India 73/8, 16.3 overs
10:35: Dhoni goes down the track and attacks Anderson, but misses the ball completely, takes single in the next ball. Ashwin gives the strike back to Dhoni, who again takes a single. Need of the hour - some big hits. This is brilliant bowling from Anderson, who just gives five runs in the over. India 66/7, 16 overs (Dhoni 18, Ashwin 1) India need 61 runs from 24 balls.
10:30: Sodhi is making life tough for India as he is turning the ball square. Dhoni goes for a big hit, but mishits, and takes a couple. NZ nearly run out Ashwin in the process. Dhoni has tried to smash the last two balls, but only three runs to show for his effort. India 61/7, 15overs (Dhoni 16, Ashwin 8) India need 66 runs from 30 balls.
10:25: The India players in the dugout look sad. They have themselves to blame, poor batting from such a great line-up. India require 72 from 38 balls, which looks daunting, even if Dhoni still might be batting. Dhoni and Ashwin are pushing for singles only. But can we blame them? Of course not. India 57/7, 14overs (Dhoni 13, Ashwin 7)
10:22: The crowd is egging the pair, cheering the singles as well. Will such support inspire India? Dhoni, as usual, is taking it cool, and looking to rotate strike. But he knows India are second favourites to win the match from the present situation. India 53/7, 13overs (Dhoni 11, Ashwin 5)
10:18: NZ should win it from here. But, India are not giving up hope as Dhoni and Ashwin are trying to play sensible cricket and see where they can take this game to. If India play 20 overs, Dhoni could help the home team emerge victorious. But that is a big IF. India 49/7, 12overs (Dhoni 9, Ashwin 3)
10:14: India are in dire straits. Now, what can even Dhoni do? He needs support, and the India skipper must be begging Ashwin not to give his wicket easily like other batsmen. India 45/7, 11overs (Dhoni 7, Ashwin 1)
Ashwin walks into bat.
10:13: Jadeja goes without troubling the scorers. He is caught and bowled by Sodhi. Jadeja has used hard hands, which cost him the wicket. However, that was brilliant catch by Sodhi, who showed quick feet to get to the ball. India 43/7
10:12: Jadeja comes into bat, and with the ball turning, it is not going to be any easy for India from here. Their batting against the spinners have been disappointing. India 42/6, 10 overs (Dhoni 5, Jadeja 0)
10:10: India in tatters, lose Pandya leg before to Santner. India 42/6, 9.4overs (Dhoni 5)
10:08: With Kohli's dismissal, NZ are in the driver's seat. However, India cricket fans will be hoping for something special from Dhoni, who has played some match-winning knocks for India. The nation needs him to deliver. Along with Dhoni, Pandya needs to score as well. India 41/5, 9 overs, (Dhoni 4, Pandya 1)
10:04: Ish Sodhi dismisses key-man Kohli, who edges the ball to Ronchi. India 39/5, 8.1 overs, (Dhoni 3)
10:03: Slow-medium from Elliott. Are NZ missing the plot? They should go for the kill as Dhoni and Kohli are India's last hope for a win. Breaking this partnership will increase NZ chances. Dhoni and Kohli are looking for ones and twos, and are doing it quite easily. India 39/4, 8 overs, (Kohli 23, Dhoni 3)
9:58: Milne comes into the attack, bowls a no-ball straight away. A free hit to Kohli, who misses the golden opportunity to score when runs are like gold dust. He pulls the ball straight to Guptill for a catch, no run, rather India nearly loses Dhoni, who wanted a single. Four runs from the over. India 33/4, 7 overs, (Kohli 19, Dhoni 2)
9:53: Williamson with his gentle medium pacers to Kohli, who will hold the key for India. The Dhoni-Kohli pair needs to play safe cricket and not take any risks. Dhoni opens his account with a single. Though rest of the India batsmen have been disappointing, Kohli has looked good. India 29/4, 6 overs (Kohli 17, Dhoni 1)
9:49: The ball is not coming onto the bat, India needs to be careful. Needs to be patient and get their eye in. McCullum is bowling well, but Yuvraj fine sweeps the bowler for a boundary. McCullum appeals as the ball is hit to him directly, as he thinks. On-field umpires ask for third umpire's help. Replays suggest that the ball has not bounced, and the third umpire gives him out. Yuvraj gone for 4 runs. Dhoni walks into bat. India 26/4, 5 overs (Kohli, Dhoni 0)
9:43: Kohli hits his first boundary in the offside, square cuts the ball into the gap, used his wrist brilliantly to play that shot. Another boundary by Kohli, who plays an elegant flick in the leg side. No wonder, Kohli is one of the best batsmen at present in world cricket. Nine runs from the over, thanks to Kohli. India 21/3, 4 overs (Kohli 14, Yuvraj 0)
9:38: India in all sorts of trouble as Raina is dismissed by Santner, who has taken two important wickets to put NZ in the driver's seat. Leading edge from Raina cost Raina his wicket, closing his bat face too early. India 12/3, 3 overs (Kohli 5)
Suresh Raina walks into bat
9:36: Santner to bowl. He straight away produces some turn. Second wicket gone for India as Rohit is stumped by Ronchi, despite the juggle, for five runs. India 10/2, 2.2 overs (Kohli 4)
9:31: Corey Anderson from the other end to Kohli. The right hander takes a couple from the first ball, and again plays in the same region to rotate the strike. Rohit tries to run the ball in the third man for boundary, but hits it directly to the fielder. Quick single by the pair, and we can expect such singles when they are at the batting crease. India 10/1, 2 overs (Rohit 5, Kohli 4)
9:26: NZ open the bowling with Nathan McCullum. Rohit Sharma is facing the off-spinner. Here we go. Rohit chips the ball for a single, the ball was dangerously played in the air, close to the fielder. The ball might not have come onto the bat. Shikhar gets of the mark with a single, lovely cover drive. Rohit lofts the ball on the leg side for three runs, splits the fielders in the deep perfectly. India lose Shikhar for one run, trapped leg before by Mc Cullum. NZ will be encouraged by it. Kohli gets of the mark. India 6/1, 1 over (Rohit 4, Kohli 1)
9:20: Skipper Kane Williamson is giving pep talk to his players. It remains to be seen what strategy NZ will come up with. India openers -- Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan -- are out in the middle.
See you when India batsmen start their chase.
9:07: Though the pitch looks a bit dry and scoring runs may not be easy, India should not have much problems in chasing New Zealand's score of 126 runs. For New Zealand, their spin trio will hold the key while India will depend on Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to play an important role during the chase.
9:03: Ronchi finishes brilliantly for NZ, scoring 11 runs from three balls, which includes a huge six in the leg side and a lucky boundary in the long leg region. NZ 126/7, 20 overs. (Ronchi 21, McCullum 0)
9pm: Nehra to bowl the last over. Can NZ reach around the 130-mark? Nehra has been spot on with his first two balls, giving two runs only. Ronchi hits a full toss straight down the ground, and the NZ pair goes for a risky couple, but falls short. Elliot is run out. NZ 114/7, 19.3 overs. (Ronchi 9)
8:57: Jadeja set to bowl the second last over. NZ batsmen are not finding it easy against the turning ball. Ronchi hits a much needed boundary in the extra cover region. Despite a boundary, it is a good over from Jadeja, who only gives eight runs. NZ 111/6, 19 overs. (Elliot 8, Ronchi 7)
8:53: Bumrah seems to be a confident bowler now, bowling a mix of yorkers and off cutters. He has kept the batsmen guessing. NZ batsmen goes for a quick single, and is nearly run out by Raina. NZ 103/6, 18 overs. (Elliot 6, Ronchi 1)
8:48: Elliot and Ronchi needs to come up with a respectable score. NZ 98/6, 17 overs. (Elliot 2, Ronchi 0)
8:46: NZ lose Santner as well. Santner goes for the pull shot, but top edges the ball and Dhoni with his huge gloves catches it safely. NZ in dire straits now. NZ 98/6, 16.4 overs.
8:41: Anderson gone. Perfect yorker from Bumrah gets him. NZ 90/5, 16 overs
8:37: Hardik Pandya to bowl. Starts with a slow ball, and beats Santner easily. Pandya follows it up with a wide, very wide ball. Santner flicks Pandya on the leg side for an important boundary. This guy can play, make no mistake. NZ 87/4, 15 overs (Anderson 34, Santner 11)
8:30: Dhoni will bowl out part-timer Raina as well. Dhoni should be happy with Raina's spell, just 16 runs from 4 overs. It will be interesting to see how NZ spinners will fare on this pitch. NZ 78/4, 14 overs (Anderson 33, Santner 3)
8:24: Four byes for NZ. Jadeja turns the ball sharp, and Dhoni misses it. Jadeja is turning the ball like no other. Dhoni receives a knock on his finger while keeping to Jadeja. Game on hold, and it resumes. Jadeja is giving the ball some air. When was the last time we saw that? Also three wides from the over. NZ 75/4, 13 overs (Anderson 32, Santner 1)
NZ will be looking to score at least 140 runs and even more if possible. Anderson will hold the key.
8:23: Great over by Raina. Wicket and four runs. NZ 63/4, 12 overs (Anderson 30, Santner 1)
8:22: Now even Raina is turning the ball. Great fielding by bowler Raina, who dives, fields the ball and hits the stumps in one motion. Third umpire in action. The bat is up in the air, and Taylor is run out. NZ 61/4, 11.3 overs (Anderson 29)
8:18: Huge appeal from Jadeja in his first ball, the ball pitches just outside and looks high as well, not out clearly. Jadeja, who is not a huge turner, is making the ball talk a little. Anderson down the track, but just inside edges the ball for a single. Anderson is lucky. NZ 59/3, 11 overs (Anderson 28, Taylor 9)
8:15: Ashwin to bowl his last over. Dhoni going for the kill as this is the most important pair now for NZ. Delicate dab for four in the third man region by Taylor. Goes for the same shot, ball comes back in sharply. Just a single. NZ 55/3, 10 overs (Anderson 26, Taylor 7)
8:12: Good running by Anderson, who takes a quick couple off Raina, who has already taken a wicket to show for his efforts. Again another couple by Taylor. Ok, now, this is good cricket from NZ, finally. They can play their shots later when required. NZ 49/3, 9overs (Anderson 25, Taylor 2)
8:08: Slower ball from Bumrah, who is hit straight back for a boundary by Anderson. The left-hander holds the key along with Taylor. Taylor is not looking comfortbale against Bumrah, who is bowling well, but gets off the mark with a single straight down the ground. NZ 42/3, 8overs (Anderson 19, Taylor 1)
8:04: Ross Taylor replaces Williamson. The experienced campigner needs to play a solid innings. NZ 35/3, 7 overs (Anderson 13, Taylor 0)
8:03: Suresh Raina into action with the ball. The NZ batsmen may go after him and Anderson goes after him, fails to connect, only one run. Williamson goes as he is stumped by Dhoni. The Black Caps are in huge trouble now. NZ 35/3, 6.5 overs (Anderson 13)
7:59: Bumrah has been impressive for India in the last couple of months. This World T20 will be his biggest test. He has bolwed four dot balls on a trot, which puts pressure on NZ batsmen. They want to rotate strike, which opens a run out chance, but again goes begging. Brilliant start from Bumrah, who only gives one run. Superb bowling. NZ 33/2, 6overs (Anderson 12, Williamson 7)
Bumrah replaces Nehra
7:55: Anderson comes down the track to Ashwin and luckily connects the ball on the leg side for a boundary. A run out chance goes begging as well. The last thing NZ want now is a run out. Anderson plays a powerful sweep shot on the leg side to Ashwin for the second boundary of the over. NZ 32/2, 5overs (Anderson 12, Williamson 6)
7:51: The ball is not coming onto the bat properly. NZ have to change their batting approach. With Nehra looking to get the ball back into the left-hander, Anderson is well advised to play with a straight bat. Williamson waits for the ball, and punches the ball on the off-side for his first boundary. NZ 22/2, 4 overs (Anderson 3, Williamson 5)
7:46: Ashwin bowls a tight over and we are just in the third over and boy, there is some turn on the pitch. NZ batsmen are playing cautiously, just picks up three runs in the over. NZ 17/2 (3 overs)
7:42: New Zealand have sufferred a poor start, losing two key players within the first two overs. Make no mistake, all is not over for NZ, they have some solid batsmen to follow. But for now, WIlliamson and Anderson needs to build on their innings. NZ 14/2 (2 overs)
7:40: Munro has made it clear, he wants to attack, and only attack. NZ lose their second wicket as Nehra dismisses Munro for seven runs. It was on the cards, Munro was playing shots blindly. NZ 13/2 (1.3 overs)
7:36: What a game already. Munro gets off the mark with a six, switch hit. NZ seems to be keen to get off to a flying start, at all cost. NZ 13/1 (1 over)
Munro walks onto bat at number three.
7:32: Guptill gets off the mark with a straight six over the bowlers head and Ashwin gets his man in the second ball. Trapped leg before. What a start to the World T20. GUPTILL OUT. NZ 6/1 (0.2 overs)
7:30: The wait is over. The first ball is set to be bowled by R Ashwin with Martin Guptill ready to face India's best spinner.
NZ players are wearing black armbands as a sign of respect towards former Black Caps' great Martin Crowe, who took his last breath March 3.
7:27: National anthems for both the teams are played.
7:23: With India set to bowl first, an interesting battle is on the cards as Martin Guptill is in great form for New Zealand in colured clothing. He can tear apart India bowlers on his day. It remains to be seen if today is his day.
7:18: India's starting eleven does not comes as a surprise as they have been playing with the same eleven for the last couple of months. However, New Zealand have taken a big call, playing three spinners - Sodhi, Santner and McCullum. So, Adam Milne is the only frontline pacer for the Black Caps.
Understood, the pitch will assist spinners, but three spinners for New Zealand? Should they have played with two regular pacers and two spinners? Only time will tell.
7:15: Teams: India: RG Sharma, S Dhawan, V Kohli, S Raina, Y Singh, MS Dhoni, H Pandya, R Jadeja, R Ashwin, A Nehra, J Bumrah
New Zealand: M Guptill, K Williamson, C Munro, C Anderson, R Taylor, G Elliott, M Santner, L Ronchi, N McCullum, A Milne, I Sodhi
Social media has been abuzz with best wishes from India cricket fans for Dhoni's team, who are looking for their second T20 title.
7:10: Respective captains MS Dhoni and Kane Williamson walks into the middle for the toss, and there is great cheer for you-know-whom India captain. New Zealand wins toss, will bat first.
Toss coming soon.
6:50: The pitch does not have any grass and looks completely dry, and the captain, who wins the toss, should not hesitate in batting first. In this dry pitch, India spinners could trouble the New Zealand batsmen. The Black Caps are not the best players of quality spin.
6:40 pm: Players from both teams -- India and New Zealand -- are out there in the ground, gearing up for the crucial game. A victory in the first match will help the winning team gather immense confidene as they go further ahead in the World T20.
Enough has been written and said regarding India as favourites for the ICC World T20 2016. It is time for MS Dhoni and his men to show their class as they take on New Zealand in the first match of the World T20 at VCA stadium in Nagpur.
This is a big hello from International Business Times, India as we will provide you all the live blog updates of the India vs New Zealand opening match. This is Ashim Sunam here, and I will bring you all the boundaries, wickets and the highs and lows of the World T20 opening fixture. Stay relaxed as we are just 60 minutes away from the first ball.
Though India are favourites to win their first match, the Men in Blue cannot afford to take the Black Caps lightly. New Zealand have a balanced T20 side with some exceptional batsmen (Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor) and bowlers (Trent Boult, Tim Southee), and can upset India.
India, on the other hand, have played some sensational cricket of late, losing one match only in 2016. With players such as Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ashish Nehra shining for India of late, they have defeated Australia, Sri Lanka, and also won the Asia Cup. No wonder, India are the favourites.
With both teams packed with star players, one cannot wait for the match to begin.
NZ 13/1 (1 over)