IND vs NZ, T20I series: Here are the key takeaways
Extending their winning run at home, Team India clinched the T20I series against New Zealand 2-1. While the two teams were neck-to-neck in the first two games, India recorded a thumping 168-run triumph in the decider. It must be noted that both teams missed several prominent names, including their regular captains, in the series. Here are the key takeaways from the series.
Shubman Gill is in a league of his own
After managing just 18 runs combined in the two games, Shubman Gill unleashed his A-game in the decider and scored a 63-ball 126*. This is the highest-individual score by an Indian in T20Is. Gill has truly been in a league of his own. He has four tons in his last seven international outings. He seems to have cemented his position as India's white-ball opener.
A disappointing series for Kishan
While Gill dazzled, his opening partner Ishan Kishan couldn't trouble NZ, managing just 24 runs in three games. 1,19,4, 1, 2, and 37 read his last six T20I scores as his place in the team has been highly questioned. Moreover, Kishan's place in the XI meant Prithvi Shaw didn't get a single game in the series. The latter has been in red-hot form lately.
Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar's all-round show
Skipper Hardik Pandya led the team from the front as he shone in all three departments. Pandya, who operated with the new ball, took five wickets in three games at a paltry economy rate of 6.73. He also contributed with 66 runs. Meanwhile, Washington Sundar scored 60 runs and scalped three wickets (ER: 5.57). The southpaw smashed his maiden T20I fifty in the opener.
Kuldeep preferred over Chahal
Kuldeep Yadav has seemingly piped fellow spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in the pecking order. The former played all three games and returned with as many wickets (ER: 5.47). Chahal made only one appearance in which he bowled just a couple of overs. He returned with 1/4.
Poor show from NZ batters
It was a forgettable series for NZ batters as they couldn't embrace the challenge of spin-friendly Indian tracks. Daryl Mitchell (102) was the only Kiwi batter to score 65 or more runs in the series. Openers Devon Conway (64) and Finn Allen (49) got starts in a few games. Notably, NZ were folded for their third-lowest T20I score in the decider, 66.
Spinners shine for the visitors
Stand-in skipper Mitchell Santner was brilliant with the ball as he made optimum utilization of the slow tracks. Though the left-arm spinner scalped just two wickets, he conceded runs at a paltry rate of 5.67. Off-spinner Michael Bracewell was also spot on as he took four wickets at an economy rate of 5.78. Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi also scalped three wickets (ER: 8.8).