The masterly spin of Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi smashed India to a humiliating 47-run defeat in the opening match of their home-ground World T20 in Nagpur.
The Indians were looking dominant when they held the Kiwis, for the first time without the iconic Brendon McCullum, to a less-than-impressive 126-7.
But Santner and Sodhi, alongside two valuable contributions from the off-break of Nathan McCullum, had the hosts four down within five overs. They could not put any partnership together as they were bowled out for 79 in 18 overs.
MS Dhoni ended top-scorer with 30, and only Virat Kohli (23) and Ravi Ashwin (10) reached double figures. Santner’s orthodox left-arm spin gave him 4-11 and the Man of the Match award, while Sodhi’s legbreaks picked up 3-18.
The New Zealanders owed their meagre total to some measure of resistance by Corey Anderson, who tried to throw down an anchor, eventually labouring his way to 34 off 42 balls.
When he came in New Zealand were in need of stability at 13-2 in the second over. But the Indian spin wove a web so tight, no one could break out. The powerplay ended with New Zealand on 33-2, but Kane Williamson fell five balls later for eight off 16 balls.
Santer tried his best to put something on the board with 18 off 17, and Luke Rionchi added a late 21 off 11. At that stage, it seemed too little, too late. Until the Kiwis turned the tables