Team India continued their dominant streak with a convincing 70-run victory over New Zealand in the 2023 World Cup semi-final in Mumbai. Powered by an outstanding batting display, the Men in Blue set a massive target of 397/4 in 50 overs.
Despite a threatening partnership between Kane Williamson and Daryll Mitchell, the bowlers held their nerve to dismiss the Kiwis for 327 in the 49th over. Despite securing their 10th consecutive win in the tournament, there were noticeable fielding errors and missed opportunities, evoking memories of Indian players dropping crucial catches in previous World Cup knockout games.
Looking forward to the final and expecting a better fielding performance from the Indian team, let’s revisit five instances when an Indian player dropped a catch in a World Cup knockout match:
#1 Mohammed Shami:
In the recent semi-final clash of the 2023 World Cup against New Zealand, defending 398, India faced pressure due to a strong partnership between Mitchell and Williamson. When Williamson was on 53, Shami dropped a straightforward catch off Jasprit Bumrah’s bowling. However, Shami bounced back impressively, taking seven wickets to finish with figures of 7/57.
#2 Suryakumar Yadav:
During the T20 World Cup semi-final against England in Australia, Suryakumar Yadav missed an opportunity to dismiss Jos Buttler. The drop led to India’s eventual defeat by 10 wickets as England comfortably chased down the target of 169.
#3 Rohit Sharma:
In the 2019 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand, Rohit Sharma missed a chance to dismiss Jimmy Neesham, which proved costly as the Kiwis posted a total that India couldn’t chase, resulting in their exit from the tournament.
#4 Ajinkya Rahane:
During the 2014 T20 World Cup final against Sri Lanka, Ajinkya Rahane dropped a crucial catch off Thisara Perera, contributing to India’s loss as Sri Lanka claimed the title.
#5 Virat Kohli:
In the 2015 ODI World Cup semi-final against Australia, Virat Kohli dropped a catch of Brad Haddin in the final over. Though inconsequential to the final score, the drop highlighted India’s struggles in that match as they couldn’t defend their title.
These instances serve as reminders of the importance of fielding excellence in high-stakes matches, urging the Indian team to focus on their fielding prowess for future tournaments.