Team India’s quest to become just the second team after Australia to win the World Cup thrice ended in a heartbreak. The Men in Blue were looking almost invincible when the group stage ended. With 7 wins from 8 games and one being washed out, India finished the group stage at the top of the points table. They were up against New Zealand in the semifinal who were struggling for momentum at that stage.

While India were on a roll on their way to the semifinal, New Zealand entered the contest on the back of three consecutive losses. Unsurprisingly, the Men in Blue were the favourites to beat the Kiwis. Their chances looked only brighter when they restricted the Kane Williamson-led side to a modest 239 for 8.

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However, as soon as New Zealand had the ball in their hands, all the pre-match talks and predictions took the back seat. Even before the fans could settle down on their seats for the second innings, India were 3 down for just 5 runs. They were soon reeling at 92 for 6. The game looked all but over at that moment before Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni hit fighting fifties.

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India
India (Credits: Twitter)

The two added 116 runs but were dismissed towards the end of the chase. India were eventually all out for 221 and lost the game by 18 runs. The defeat ended India’s journey in the World Cup. The defeat also highlighted India’s woes in knockout games of ICC tournaments since the win in the 2013 Champions Trophy.

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India have done well in all the competitions but have faltered in knockout matches. In the 2014 World T20 final, they lost to Sri Lanka. A year later, Australia beat them in the semifinal of the World Cup on their way to a fifth World Cup title. In 2016, they lost to West Indies in the semifinal of the World T20. In the following year, the Men in Blue lost the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy.

Tournament Result
2014 World T20 Finalist
2015 World Cup Semifinalists
2016 World T20 Semifinalists
2017 Champions Trophy Finalist
2019 World Cup Semifinalists

These are the same sorts of results that famously gave South Africa the tag of chokers. India are on the same path at the moment. With some big tournaments lined up in the coming years, they will be desperate to go all the way and get rid of the monkey on the back.