Key learnings from New Zealand's T20I series win against India
New Zealand defeated India by four runs in the third T20I, held on Sunday at the Seddon Park in Hamilton. With this victory, the Kane Williamson-led side sealed the three-match T20I series 2-1. Colin Munro (72) was the chief architect of New Zealand's win in the third match. Here are the key learnings from New Zealand's series win over India.
New Zealand's acceleration at the death shows their finishing prowess
New Zealand displayed they have plenty of match-winners at their disposal. The Kiwis have some big hitters in the format and these players ensured that they accelerated during pivotal moments in both first and third T20I. Scott Kuggeleijn's 20* at the death in the first match, helped Kiwis post 219/6. On Sunday, Daryl Mitchell and Ross Taylor got those extra runs.
Tim Seifert is New Zealand's find of the series
Tim Seifert's promotion up the order was a gamble which Williamson took in this series. However, his aggression paid dividends. On Sunday, the wicket-keeper batsman smashed a 25-ball 43 and supported Munro. His exploits in the first match (43-ball 84) made a major difference. Seifert ended up as the top run-scorer of the series. His strike-rate of 173.75 tells us the impact he had.
India's bowling a major disappointment
The Indian bowlers were below-par in the two losses. They bowled short deliveries aplenty and the good length balls were dispatched by Kiwis. All-rounders Hardik and Krunal Pandya conceded the most number of runs. Khaleel Ahmed bowled flat, and it looked as if he has ran out of ideas. Yuzvendra Chahal was ineffective as well and Kiwis didn't find it difficult to navigate him.
Did team selection cost India the series?
The decision to leave out Kuldeep Yadav in the first two matches hurt India. He is their best bowler and the left-arm wrist-spinner showed his calibre in the third T20I (2/26). Someone like Kuldeep should have been India's go to option. India went ahead with three bowlers and as many all-rounders, which was a bit strange, since Vijay Shankar wasn't used much.