5 reasons India have not been able to beat New Zealand in T20Is
Across all three forms of the game, India and New Zealand have played 163 international cricket matches. Of those, the former enjoy a 72-59 win-loss record. While the Indians continue to hold a significant advantage over their opponent in both Tests and ODIs, the Kiwis have completely dwarfed them in the shortest format. In five completed matches against the 'Men in Blue', the Blackcaps have managed to win on each and every occasion. It is pertinent to note that two of those games came in the World T20.
The upcoming 3-match series provides an ideal opportunity for India to register their maiden T20I victory against New Zealand and consequently add a semblance of respect to their win-loss record over the Kiwis in this particular format.
In reverse chronological order, let us now revisit all five T20I encounters between the two teams thus far and examine why India have not been able to defeat New Zealand even once in the shortest format of the game. All statistics and data are accurate as of 30th October 2017.
#5 Underestimating the Kiwi spinners (Nagpur, 2016)
The most recent T20I between India and New Zealand was the inaugural match of the Super 10 phase in the 2016 World T20. With the tournament taking place on Indian soil, there were plenty of expectations on MS Dhoni's team to go all the way and lift the trophy.
Their opening clash against the Kiwis would be the perfect platform to begin their campaign. In front of a sell-out crowd at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur, the 'Men in Blue' dampened the enthusiasm of their adoring supporters by subsiding to a hefty defeat.
The bone of contention in the loss emanated from the fact that they were outplayed by a non-subcontinental team on what was a rank turner. When the visitors limped to 126 for the loss of seven wickets, it appeared as if the total would not be any match for India's power-packed batting lineup. However, what followed was scarcely believable.
The unheralded spin trio of Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi and Nathan McCullum not only bundled India for a paltry total of 76 but also gave a fitting demonstration to their counterparts on how to bowl on a rapidly deteriorating surface.
Having entered the game without any clear game-plan against the New Zealand spinners, the Indian batsmen paid the price for underestimating their opposition. Even though the 'Men in Blue' bounced back from the shellacking to reach the semi-final, their tournament opener highlighted quite a few flaws.