What do Zaheer, Bhaji and Harsha say about New Zealand Jinx? Watch here

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Imagine Harsha Bhogle cheering for Team India as a fan. Impossible, did we hear? Well, dear cricket lovers, it happened and how. Harsha, who has been a member of commentary teams all over the world, admitted that his “heart still cheers for India”. And he “isn’t supposed to say this. But he bleeds too.” Is it just us or do you also think the fan Harsha has added an extra edge to New Zealand’s famous tour of India?

From the semi-final defeat of the 2019 World Cup to the shattering World Test Championship loss last year, New Zealand has definitely emerged as an enemy for India. Hersha brought back so many memories, speaking on behalf of countless fans and followers, when he said: “It is as if they are quietly [New Zealand cricket team] They went up and said: You know what? We are New Zealand. We’re on your way. You wanted to change, right? I do that too.”

The scene will be a little different this time. India’s team, backed by a host of young and talented cricketers, aims to redeem themselves when they take on New Zealand in the White Ball Tour scheduled to kick off on November 18. You feel pumped and change the outcome this time around.

New Zealand’s legendary rivalry against India dates back to 2000. India faced the New Zealanders in the final of the Champions Trophy. They pulled off a last-gasp master class to destroy the Indian side.

The team led by Sourav Ganguly had reached the summit confrontation after beating world champions Australia and defending champions South Africa. However, past records and history don’t matter much when you can’t handle the pressure of an exciting final battle. India failed to defend a total of 264 as the New Zealanders scored the winning runs in sensational fashion in the final of the competition in Nairobi. New Zealand’s all-rounder Chris Cairns scored an impressive unbeaten century in the final match to lead his team to an impressive victory.

Zaheer Khan, who was playing his first innings at that point, had conceded 54 runs in that nerve-wracking clash. Reflecting on that match, Zaheer recalled, “All we had to do was beat New Zealand and the cup was ours. At 132 for five, we thought we had them. But the Kiwis, they never stayed. New Zealand snatched it from us in the last overs. It crashed.”

But it was only the beginning. As Zaheer wittily sums it up, “The last few years it hasn’t been easy for us against New Zealand.”

In 2007, India put on a great match and lifted the T20 World Cup. But there was one dark spot. New Zealand stopped the Indian juggernaut in the 2007 T20 World Cup. Harbhajan Singh, an integral member of the World Cup winning team, lamented the defeat. “We have beaten big names like Australia and South Africa. We have beaten Pakistan twice. But New Zealand will eventually become the dark horse. We won the World Cup, but this defeat will always be an afterthought.”

Batting first, the Kiwis had scored a total of 190 mammoths. India, during the run-chase, only had 10 runs to spare.

Team India got another chance after 14 years to avenge that defeat. But there was no change in the score. India suffered a crushing eight-wicket defeat by New Zealand in the T20 World Cup 2021.

The story was similar on the tests, too. In the inaugural World Test Championship, the two teams met again in the final. The team captained by Kane Williamson had triumphed in that competition by a convincing margin of eight wickets.

And how can one forget that MS Dhoni was run out in the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup? The former India captain fought back and scored a half-century in that match but it wasn’t enough to avoid exit from the World Cup.

Though, there is now a glimmer of hope for Team India ahead of the first T20I against New Zealand. India wants to take a cue from its recent series against the Kiwis in order to galvanize the young brigade. In the recent T20I series, India eliminated New Zealand 3-0 in 2021.

Hardik Pandya will captain India in T20Is and veteran batsman Shekhar Dhawan will take over the captaincy duties in the formula fifty. In the absence of big names like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, the burden will surely fall on India’s ‘Mr. 360’ – Suryakumar Yadav.

On the other hand, young Indian cricketers will be keen to cement their place in the team. But there is a lot at stake. For these young talents, it will be a golden opportunity to break the New Zealand jinx and get their name into the record books.

Pick up T20Is on November 18, 20 and 22 starting at 11am, ODIs on November 25, 27 and 30 starting at 6am, just in Prime Video.

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