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India vs New Zealand | India's Knockout Games Since 2011 Reveal a Worrying Trend

Nikhil Narain |July 11, 2019, 7:45 AM IST
India vs New Zealand | India's Knockout Games Since 2011 Reveal a Worrying Trend

India has a great record in world tournaments (World Cup and Champions Trophy) since the 2011 World Cup. They have won 29 of the 36 matches (lost 6 and tied one) for a win-loss ratio of 4.833. It is, by far, the best win-loss ratio amongst all teams with New Zealand at a distant number 2 (won 20 and lost 10 of their 32 matches) with a ratio of 2.

India has a similar record in the World T20 too. They have won 12 and lost just 4 of the 16 matches they have played in three World T20 tournaments (in 2012, 2014 and 2016). Their win-loss ratio of 3 is again the best amongst all teams – at 3 and they are followed by West Indies (won 11 and lost 5).

While India won the 2011 World Cup in the Sub-continent and the 2013 Champions Trophy in England, they have stumbled in the knockouts in three successive world tournaments (ODI format) - in Australia 2015 (WC), England (2017; CT) and England 2019 (WC).

India won all their matches in 2015, most quite emphatically, before bowing out to Australia in the semi-finals in Sydney – and that too by 95 runs!

A similar story in the 2017 Champions Trophy – won three of the four matches with big margins but lost to Pakistan in the final – by 180 runs at The Oval.

India topped the group stages in the 2019 World Cup in England, losing just one match to England but again, the trend continued, and they lost in the semi-finals to the not so fancied New Zealand. The Indian top-order collapsed and although there was a late fightback from Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni, India fell just short.

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This pattern of being clinical and dominant in the group stages and then succumbing to the pressure of the occasion at some stage in the knockouts is not limited only to ODIs for India. They hammered their way into the final of the World T20 in 2014 before losing comprehensively to Sri Lanka in the final at Dhaka.

They won 3 of the 4 group stage matches in the 2016 World T20 in India before suffering a seven-wicket defeat to the West Indies in the semi-final in Mumbai.

Overall, since the 2014 World T20, India has played 8 knockout matches in world tournaments. They have won 3 and lost 5.

Contrast this to the period between 2007 World T20 and the 2013 Champions Trophy – India won all 7 of its knockout matches in this period.

In 25 preliminary matches in world tournaments since World T20, 2014, India has a collective batting average of 43.67 and strike rate of 97.79, including 12 hundreds.

This average drops to just 34.19 in 8 knockout matches in these 5 tournaments with just two hundreds (a much lower frequency).

In particular, India’s top 3 have averaged 56.85 in the preliminary matches striking at 94.68 including 11 hundreds and 23 fifties.

This average has dropped to 47.65 including just two hundreds in the knockout matches in this time-frame.

In preliminary matches, Kohli averages 78.37, MS Dhoni 57.2, Rohit 53.59 and Shikhar Dhawan 44.83. Rohit has hit a total of 5 hundreds while Dhawan has registered 4.

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Kohli’s average drops to 68.8 in the 8 knockout games where he is yet to register a hundred, Rohit’s two hundreds in these games have come against Bangladesh – he has two single-digit scores and 4 other scores of below 45, Dhoni’s average drops to 36 in the knockout games while Dhawan’s to 35.5 with no hundred or fifty.

Kohli has scored 1, 5 and 1 in the three losses in knockouts in the three 50-over world tournaments since World Cup 2015.

Rohit hasn’t fared much better with scores of 34, 0 and 1. There is a stark contrast in the bowling numbers too.

India’s bowlers average 25.42 and strike every 28.8 deliveries in the 25 preliminary matches picking 7 four-wicket and one five-wicket haul in these matches. They are also restrictive conceding at 5.28 runs per over.

But in the knockout matches, the Indian bowlers have performed poorly with a combined average of 41.27 and strike rate if 41.2. They have also tended to be a touch expensive giving away 6 runs per over.

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Mohammed Shami, in 12 preliminary matches, has picked 31 wickets at 15.12 at a strike rate of 17. In two knockout matches, he has bagged just 2 wickets.

Jasprit Bumrah has also picked 22 wickets in 15 preliminary matches at 24.81 at an economy of 4.83. However, in the 4 knockout matches he has just averaged a wicket a game at an average of 47 also proving to be a tad expensive with an economy of 5.69.

Although, India, have been the best side in world tournaments since 2011, they seem to have crumbled under pressure of expectation in the knockout matches in the last 4 years.

Some of the best have failed to deliver when it has mattered the most.

India will have to address this problem – which is as much about mental toughness and temperament as about skill if they want to go all the way on the biggest stage in these flagship tournaments.

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Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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