"Team balance > everything else" - Fans react as Team India go with just 5 frontline bowlers in 2023 World Cup tie vs NZ

Fans were unhappy with India playing only five frontline bowlers. (Pics: AP/X)
Fans were unhappy with India playing only five frontline bowlers. (Pics: AP/X)

Team India made two changes to their playing XI for their 2023 World Cup match against New Zealand at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium on Sunday.

With Hardik Pandya ruled out of the match due to an ankle injury, the Indian think tank brought in middle-order batter Suryakumar Yadav. Moreover, bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur made way for senior pacer Mohammed Shami.

Rohit Sharma and company went into the crucial fixture with just five frontline bowlers. Several fans took to social media, questioning India's tactics.

Here are some of the top reactions:

It is worth mentioning that both India and New Zealand are currently unbeaten in the 2023 World Cup. The two teams have managed four wins from as many fixtures.

The Blackcaps are placed at the top of the table with a net run rate of 1.923. India, on the other hand, occupy the second spot and have a net run rate of 1.659 at this juncture.


Daryl Mitchell and Rachin Ravindra shine with the bat in IND vs NZ match of 2023 World Cup

India won the toss and elected to field first. They were off to an ideal start, with New Zealand opener Devon Conway walking back for a duck, courtesy of Mohammed Siraj. Mohammed Shami also provided the team with an important breakthrough, sending back Will Young for 17.

However, Rachin Ravindra and Darly Mitchell steadied the ship for their side with their clutch knocks. The two batters formed a stunning 159-run partnership for the third wicket, putting their side into a good position after a shaky start. While Ravindra perished after a 75-run knock, Mitchell notched up his fifth ODI ton.

Notably, Mitchell became only the second New Zealand batter to hit a century against India in World Cups. Glenn Turner was the first New Zealand player to slam a century against India in the showpiece event. He scored 114* against India at Manchester in 1975.

New Zealand eventually managed 273 runs in their allotted 50 overs, with Shami returning with a five-wicket haul.

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Edited by Ankush Das