Impressive India Complete 3-0 Sweep Against New Zealand
By Jai Rana
Stellar batting performances from India, led them to 184 for 7. They followed up with brilliant bowling, to end New Zealand’s chase at 111. As the men in blue convincingly beat the kiwis by 73 runs at Eden Gardens in the final T20I clash.
India chose to bat first after winning the toss, handing New Zealand the task of chasing for the first time in the three-game series. India’s Captain Rohit Sharma oozed class yet again with a splendid 50, setting up the stage for the latter order. Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer and Venkatesh Iyer also chipped in with vital contributions. India’s innings came to a solid end when fine cameos from Harshal Patel and Deepak Chahar, steered them to a mighty total of 184.
India’s turn with the ball allowed left arm spinner Axar Patel to display his excellence, as he picked up three wickets in the powerplay. New Zealand had no answers to India’s questions, as they struggled to find any rhythm with the bat. Martin Guptill’s valiant half century was the sole highlight of the black caps’ innings. However, with zilch support from his fellow batsmen, New Zealand ultimately fell short and by quite the margin.
India’s fresh beginning under the guidance of new head coach-Rahul Dravid and
skipper-Sharma, got off to an ideal start. The commanding and consistent nature of India’s showings throughout the series, paid dividends as they clean swept the kiwis 3-0.
Sharma produced a dominant display in Kolkata, scoring 56 runs from 31 balls. From the first moments of action Sharma was run hungry, hitting back-to-back boundaries in the first over.
The opening duo of Sharma and Kishan formed a strong partnership, picking up 69 runs from 38 balls. Firing hard in the powerplay was crucial for India, as they replied to poor deliveries from Lockie Ferguson and Adam Milne with multiple fours and sixes. Sharma led by example and established a ruthless tone for the rest of the men in blue to follow.
Santner stops the party
New Zealand captain Mitchell Santner decided to take charge of the ball after the powerplay. The decision worked as Santner instantly took the wicket of Kishan, who left for a 21-ball 29. Suryakumar Yadav stepped on to the field, but he was also swiftly dismissed for a duck by Santner. Santner’s two rapid wickets in the same over, restored some hope amongst the black caps.
India failed to produce any boundaries between the sixth and tenth over. In between that dry spell, Rishab Pant mistimed a shot to mid-on where Jimmy Neesham took a simple catch, taking Santner’s wicket tally to 3. Ish Sodhi claimed a huge wicket in the eleventh over. A stunning return catch from Sodhi, sent
Sharma packing for 56.
Middle-order takes India back on track
After a rather dull and unstable spell, the two Iyer’s; Venkatesh and Shreyas stepped up their efforts to deliver a much needed 36 run partnership from only 27 balls. This helped India revive their chances of a high total. However, after securing crucial runs, both Shreyas and Venkatesh returned back to the pavilion within the space of three balls.
New Zealand now looked to control the last few overs of the first innings. But up stepped Harshal Patel and Deepak Chahar to deny the black caps any comfort. Harshal flaunted his batting skills, as he struck home 18 runs from 11 balls, which included two fours and a maximum, before he got out hit-wicket following a Ferguson delivery. In similar fashion, Chahar channelled all his strength, as he blasted Milne for two boundaries and a six in the final over to take India to 184/7.