Learnings from New Zealand's win in first T20I against India
New Zealand thrashed India in the first T20I match held at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Wednesday. With this victory, the hosts took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Batting first, New Zealand posted 219/6 with wicket-keeper batsman, Tim Seifert being the top run-scorer (84). India crumbled under pressure and lost the match by 80 runs. Here are the key learnings.
New Zealand's Tim Seifert was asked to open the innings and the move worked in their favor. The 24-year-old smashed 84 from 43 balls, as he hit seven fours and six sixes to light up Westpac Stadium. He didn't allow the Indian bowlers to settle down. Seifert's range of shots found India wanting. The 86-run stand with Colin Munro gave New Zealand the base.
Indian bowlers were dismal on the day and their choices hurt the side. The pacers bowled plenty of short deliveries and that allowed the Kiwi batsmen to free up their arms. Yorkers were missing and pacers didn't bowl in the tight channels. Even spinners, Yuzvendra Chahal and Krunal Pandya, chose the wrong length and bowled short. This changed the complexion of the match.
Rishabh Pant wasted a glorious opportunity to show his T20 prowess. He was sent ahead of MS Dhoni, but the southpaw struggled against Kiwis. His 10-ball four slowed things down after India had lost both the openers. Earlier against Australia, Pant managed to score 20 and zero. His white-ball cricket form is worrying and it might keep him out of the World Cup squad.
New Zealand were lively on the field. Lockie Ferguson bowled peach of a delivery to dismiss Shikhar Dhawan. Tim Southee (3/17) showed why he is the best in this format for the Kiwis. Left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner slowed things down and bowled according to the plan. New Zealand's fielding was top notch as well. The all-round show handed the side a deserving victory.