Minnows Namibia face backlash as India sign off with win in dead rubber - GulfToday

Minnows Namibia face backlash as India sign off with win in dead rubber


India's captain Virat Kohli hugs Namibia's David Wiese as he leads team members out into the field after victory in Dubai on Monday. AP

Mohammad Abdullah, Senior Sports Reporter
Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin bowled mesmerising spells to help India set up a massive nine-wicket victory against Namibia in the dead rubber of the T20 world Cup on Monday.

India were out of the contention for a semi-final role even before the match started as New Zealand had booked their berth in the last four a day before. Indian bowlers restricted Namibia to a modest total of 132/8 and chased down the target for the loss of just one wicket in 15.2 overs.

Rohit Sharma struck another whirlwind 37-ball 56 and KL Rahul got one more World Cup fifty against his name as a ruthless India completed the rout. They proved their mettle why they are the most-feared batsmen of the world barring a few occasions against big teams.

Everybody wanted to give their best to leave an indelible impression before signing off, trying to prove their credentials for the selection in the national team in future.

After an early exit, everybody knew it well that wholesale changes are on the cards and there will be a major reshuffle across the board, marking a new beginning.

Minnows Namibia were left to face the India’s backlash after New Zealand ended the hopes of the hosts a day earlier with Afghanistan romp.

India maintained their knack of venting their anger on the underdogs after being sent packing like they did with Bermuda in 2007 World Cup in West Indies, scoring 413 runs in 50 overs after their campaign was prematurely ended with straight losses.

They followed up the same trend with thumping victories against Afghanistan and Scotland in 2021.  They posted huge total of 214 against Afghanistan and mauled Scotland before New Zealand played spoilsport.

Anyhow, India have a chance to avenge their loss as they play their next home series against New Zealand at home, beginning Nov.17, 2021. Beating India on home turf is like hunting a lion in his own den. Going by the history, New Zealand have never won a series in India.

New Zealand should be prepared to face the wrath as new batting records are likely to made and the Kiwis may fall to new nadirs, which will help erase the painful memories of the World Cup from the minds of a billion cricket fans as it happens always after every heartbreak.

The match also marked the end of an era, dominated by the powerful duo of captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri. Kohli has already announced to step down from captaincy and the BCCI has named batting legend Rahul Dravid as the new coach.

KL-Rahul-SKY-750x450India’s KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav bump their fists after their win against Namibia at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Monday. AFP

With Sourav Ganguly at helm in the BCCI and Dravid as coach, Indian cricket is likely to see new dawn, free of  favouritism and nepotism, which has been the root cause of the downfall of many giants in the history.

But the best thing is there will be no Bharat Arun and likes of batting coach Vikram Rathore, who is a cousin of powerful Indian sports minister Anurag Thakur. Rathore himself never scored a century in his playing career.

Coming back to Monday’s match Indian spinners wreaked a havoc as Ashwin and Jadeja shared six wickets between them. They ripped through the Namibia’s frail batting line-up.

Namibia got off to a decent start as the openers Michael van Lingen and Stephen Baard added 33 runs for the first wicket before Jasprit Bumrah triggered the collapse.

He trapped Baard in front of the wicket to give India first breakthrough and after that Namibia kept on losing the wickets at regular intervals and failed to get the partnerships going.

Jadeja got rid of Craig Williams with a flighted delivery. The batsman stepped out of the crease but failed to get to the pitch of the ball and an agile Pant did not make any mistake behind the stumps.

Jadeja struck in his next over again as he caught Baard plumb in front as Namibia lost their third wicket within a space of six runs.

Now Namibia needed someone to play a big knock and steady the innings. But a resilient Indian players had a point to prove with an eye on future.

So the Indian player were in no mood to let the complacency set in and they kept on mounting the pressure. Ashwin sprang into action as he sent back Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton and Gerhard Erasmus in quick succession to heap more misery on Namibia.

The veteran spinner had Loftie-Eaton and the Namibian captain caught by Sharma and Pant respectively. David Wiese waged the lone battle single-handedly and briefly shared a 21-run stand with JJ Smith to take the score close to three-digit mark.

Jadeja made Smith his third scalp of the day before Wiese holed out Sharma off Bumrah.

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