India and New Zealand will again face each other in the World Test Championship final starting June 18th in Southampton, England. It is fair to say that India and New Zealand have provided us with exciting and tense cricket over the years. Let’s take a look at the top five matches played between the sides over the years across formats: –
5) 2016 T20 World Cup (Game 1)
India and New Zealand began their T20 World Cup by facing each other. The expectations were pretty high for an enthralling game. New Zealand scored a mediocre 126 runs off their 20 overs. Everyone thought that it’d be an easy chase for the Indians. But New Zealand bowlers stepped up when it mattered and delivered a victory for their side. The spinners for New Zealand, Ish Sodhi, and Mitchell Santner took seven wickets and gave away just twenty-nine runs off their combined eight overs. It was the game to kick off the tournament.
4) 3rd Test, 2016
India already won the series, but they wanted something more significant than a series win. India won the toss chose to bat first, on a good pitch for batting, but was struggling in the batting front when they were reduced to three wickets for 100 runs. India’s captain, Virat Kohli, and Vice-Captain Ajinkya Rahane stepped up and delivered. They stayed at the crease for 103 overs and scored a staggering 365 runs in the partnership. This partnership led the way for India to win the match. After that, it was business as usual for Kohli and his bowling company as they bowled New Zealand out of the game. India eventually won the game by 321 runs, but the match will be remembered for this incredible partnership.
3) Second Test (2009)
India was leading the series in New Zealand after their fantastic victory in the first test match. The pressure was on New Zealand to deliver in front of their home crowd. They started magnificently, scoring a mammoth 619/9 after a Jesse Ryder double hundred. They dominated the Indians with the bowl as well and crumbled them to only 305 runs. New Zealand enforced the follow on, and to win the series, Indians had to so somehow stay at the crease and bat it out. Gautam Gambhir came in and gave not a match-defining but a series-winning knock. With his tremendous skill, he batted the opposition into oblivion. India drew the game and won the series by one-nil
2) 4th T20, 2020
India was touring New Zealand for five T20s, and the 3rd T20 already decided the series. India was playing a rotated squad to check out their bench strength. India’s batting was horrendous. If you might have to say, they somehow managed to reach 165 after a problematic batting performance but an elegant knock by Manish Pandey and a great cameo by Shardul Thakur. Colin Munro and Tim Seifert were determined to win the game for his side, and all the odds were in favour of his side when they required seven runs off six balls. Those six brilliant balls by Shardul Thakur took the match to another super over. India needed fourteen to win from six deliveries, which meant the game was still 50-50. Kohli and Rahul opened the batting and made sure India won the game with ease. This was to be one of the games of the season.
1) 2019 WC semi-final
The day we saw MS Dhoni for the last time in a blue-colored jersey for India. The day we saw our favorite Indian cricketers get emotional—the day where one run-out meant so much to one billion instead of those eleven playing. Indian fans would have been hoping that we wouldn’t have mentioned this game, but this is another India vs. New Zealand classic. This turned out to be a two-day game due to rain. New Zealand batted first and scored a decent 239, and gave a target of 240. India was shocked by the start and the swing from Boult and Southee. They lost their openers and the captain in quick succession, and it was down to the middle order to deliver, which failed as well. MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja provided some hope for the Indians, but in the end, they fell short, and New Zealand won the game and qualified for the finals. This was the match that the world had his eyes on, and it turned into an enthralling game of cricket.
India and New Zealand have played some banging games over the years, and these were just a few examples. We hope the WTC final is another brilliant game of cricket between the sides.