New Zealand Media Questions India's Victory in World Cup Semifinals, Calls for Investigation
New Zealand Media Questions India's Victory in World Cup Semifinals, Calls for Investigation

India secured a spot in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 final by defeating New Zealand in the semifinal on Wednesday. In the match, India's Virat Kohli played a stellar innings of 117 runs, and thanks to Mohammed Shami's impressive bowling with 7 wickets, India won by 70 runs. The Indian team set a formidable target of 397 runs, and in response, New Zealand could only manage 327 runs, losing the match. The media in New Zealand extensively covered the match and the team's resounding defeat.

New Zealand media company Stuff reported controversy regarding the pitch just before the match, stating, "The Indian team has entered the final by defeating New Zealand on the changed pitch at the last minute in Mumbai, but the Indian team is embroiled in controversy over the pitch." The report mentioned, "The semifinal was supposed to be played on a new pitch, but on Wednesday, the match took place on a pitch that had been used twice before, sparking a controversy over favoritism towards the home team. The International Cricket Council (ICC) is monitoring the situation, and local ground officials are responsible for pitch preparation and selection."

New Zealand's news website highlighted the ICC's official statement on the pitch controversy, stating, "ICC has issued a statement saying that pitch changes are ongoing throughout the tournament, and the changes during the semifinal were known to them. However, it was mentioned that the pitch was altered just before the start of the match, leading to allegations that everything was being done to ensure victory for the home team." Otago Daily Times, a newspaper in New Zealand, titled their report as "India send Black Caps out of World Cup."

The newspaper wrote, "The host team has somewhat avenged the defeat handed by New Zealand in the semifinals four years ago. Every aspect of the match was going against the Black Caps, and considering the circumstances, the final result was not a big shock. India remained undefeated in the semifinal, securing their 9th significant victory. India played at the Wankhede Stadium, where they had won the 2011 World Cup." The newspaper speculated that the Indian team strategically chose the pitch and won the toss, securing an advantage from the outset.

In the semifinal against New Zealand, Virat Kohli played a remarkable inning, scoring 117 runs, breaking Sachin Tendulkar's record of most centuries in ODIs (50 centuries). Commenting on this record, a New Zealand newspaper wrote, "This was undoubtedly Virat Kohli's dream inning - he broke Sachin Tendulkar's record and became the first player to score 50 centuries in ODIs. Kohli scored 117 runs off 113 balls." Meanwhile, New Zealand Herald praised Mohammed Shami in their report, stating, "In the second innings, Mohammed Shami took seven wickets for 57 runs, dismantling the Kiwi team. Shami's performance in the semifinal was the best of his career as he took a wicket with his first ball, dismissing opener Devon Conway. Williamson, who was crucial for New Zealand, fell between Shami's onslaught. India was very strong."

Another New Zealand newspaper, The Post, titled their news as "Black Caps fought but lost because India's tremendous success continues." The newspaper wrote that Daryl Mitchell and Kane Williamson initially revived New Zealand's hopes in the semifinal, but ultimately fell short by 70 runs, with the team unable to achieve the massive target of 397 runs. The Post also commented on the last-minute pitch change, stating, "In the final preparations for the first semifinal of the World Cup, the choice of pitch in Mumbai remained dominant. It was initially decided that the match would be played on a new 20.12-meter pitch, but the match took place on the same pitch used for two matches earlier. The recent match on the pitch was played on November 2."

The newspaper questioned, "How did the change in the pitch come about, and was it done at the behest of India - an investigation should be conducted into this. Although the ICC has said that pitch changes are ongoing during the tournament and it was known to them."

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