India secured a spot in the World Cup 2023 final after defeating New Zealand by 70 runs in a dominating performance at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday. The Men in Blue, having faced heartbreaking defeats in the 2015 and 2019 World Cup semifinals, both at the hands of New Zealand, finally broke their final four jinx in style.
The match featured remarkable performances from Virat Kohli, who smashed a century, and Shreyas Iyer, who not only scored a century but also received the Man of the Match award for his 7-wicket haul. In addition to Kohli and Iyer’s centuries, Shubman Gill contributed a half-century, while Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul both played valuable knocks to guide India to an impressive total of 397/4.
Despite New Zealand’s valiant effort, with Daryl Mitchell leading their charge with a 134-run knock and Kane Williamson scoring a half-century, Glenn Phillips missed out on his fifty. Shami’s brilliance ensured that the Black Caps were bowled out for 327 runs, sending India into the World Cup final.
One player who has been shining brightly in recent matches is Shreyas Iyer, who had faced criticism for his performance in earlier matches. Despite scoring a duck in the first match and narrowly missing out on a couple of centuries, Iyer has silenced his short-ball critics with back-to-back hundreds. Speaking to Star Sports, Iyer revealed his frustration with people questioning his form but also acknowledged the unwavering support he received from the Indian management.
“I didn’t perform well in the first couple of matches at the start of the World Cup. I was getting the starts but wasn’t able to convert them into big ones. But if you look at it (stats), I was not out against Afghanistan and Pakistan, and then I had two bad innings,” Shreyas Iyer explained.
Shreyas Iyer said – “I was not out against Pakistan & Afghanistan and my just 2 games was bad and people questioning for me and I was very angry but I’m not showing this and only I was waiting my opportunity to score big runs”. pic.twitter.com/33XIHQvCWf
— CricketMAN2 (@ImTanujSingh) November 15, 2023
“Then, people started saying that he has a problem. Inside, I was very angry, I was not showing it but I knew my time would come and then I’d prove myself. And it has come now, at the right time,” he added.
“It’s pivotal, coming from the captain and coach. I didn’t have a great start to the World Cup. They told me not to worry about the outside noise, we are backing you, so you just got to go out there and express yourself,” stated Shreyas Iyer while discussing the support he received from skipper Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid.
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The 28-year-old became the third Indian player after Rohit and Virat to cross the 500-run mark in the World Cup 2023, and he will be hoping for continued success in the final on November 19 as India awaits their opponents. As India gears up for the final, they will be hoping to maintain their winning momentum and bring home the coveted trophy.