Five talking points from India vs New Zealand T20I series

India registered another bilateral series win on Tuesday after clinching the T20I series against New Zealand 1-0. While the first T20I was washed out due to rain, the third T20I ended in a tie on the DLS score as rain halted play in the 9th over of the second innings.

India had won the 2nd T20I by 65 runs.

Chasing 161, India lost four early wickets as the Indian top order collapsed after getting small starts and fans once again bashed the team management for Sanju Samson’s absence. Hardik Pandya, however, reinstated calmness in the batting order as he scored an 18-ball 30 and held one end before rain played spoilsport.

In the first innings, Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh starred for India bagging four wickets each and restricting New Zealand batters to 160. Glenn Phillips and Devon Conway hit half-centuries to ensure that their side was not bundled out cheaply.

While the series would obviously hold facile importance after the T20 World Cup debacle, it definitely has some important talking points.

Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh’s bowling

Even as India march ahead in the absence of their ace bowler Jasprit Bumrah, the newcomers have proved themselves with some good performances.

Siraj won man of the match for his match-winning spell of 4/17. Arshdeep as well continued his interesting run with the national side and registered figures of 4/37.

On the contrary, lead bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar returned with no wickets.

Siraj ended as the highest wicket-taker in the series with six scalps in two games. The pacer’s improvement as a bowler has undoubtedly impressed the fans and experts alike, and he might be given a long haul in the T20Is as well, going forward.

India’s opener collapse

The Indian top order collapsed in the run chase as they lost three wickets in the powerplay for 21 runs. Ishan Kishan (10) and Rishabh Pant (11) were dismissed after hitting a couple of shots to the fence, and Shreyas Iyer was dismissed for a golden duck on the very next ball of Pant’s wicket.

Suryakumar Yadav had a rare off day and was caught off Ish Sodhi’s bowling in the seventh over for 13. However, he went on to win the player of the series award on the back of his stupendous century in the second T20I.

The Kiwi bowlers hunted in pack and had India reduced to 60/4. Hardik Pandya from the other end provided stability in the batting lineup.

Sanju Samson’s absence

While the openers collapsed, Sanju Samson’s absence was highlighted even more as the fans had already questioned his absence from the playing XI at the start of the match.

As Rishabh Pant has failed constantly and has been able to produce a good knock rarely in recent times, handing a stint to Samson would prove beneficial for the squad.

It will be worthwhile to see if Samson is given opportunities going ahead, especially since the team shall look for an overhaul of the squad.

Glenn Phillips’ blitz/ Devon Conway’s persistence

A major positive for Kiwis in recent times has been Glenn Phillips’ form and he once again showed his worth in the middle overs scoring 54 off 33 deliveries with five 4s and three 6s.

Devon Conway also played a useful hand, protecting one end and scoring 59 from 49 deliveries. Conway also ended as the highest run scorer for New Zealand in the series with 84 runs.

While other batters including skipper Kane Williamson failed to be effective in recent times, Conway and Phillips have ensured to keep the New Zealand batting sailing.

The Kiwis batting, much like the Indian batting order, might ignite a discussion for an overhaul in the shortest format of the game.

Rain plays a spoilsport

Rain has dampened the spirit of cricket for more than a month since the T20 World Cup in Australia. Having tournaments in Oceania at this time of the year is probably not the best idea and the organisers might pay some heed to the fact.

While the first match was washed out, the third match was tied on the basis of the DLS method as rain stopped the play in the ninth over of the second innings. The second T20I between the two sides in Mount Manganui also experienced rain, but not significant enough to halt action for the day.

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