India sweeps T20I series against Kiwis on home soil


 India defeated New Zealand by 73 runs in the third T20 International game, comfortably winning the series on their home soil. This was India’s first assignment after crashing out of the World Cup earlier this month.

Choosing to bat first, India amassed 184 runs against Kiwis in the third T20 International of three-match T20 series.

While chasing the target, New Zealand could not save the wickets against the Indian spinners as the spinner Axar Patel dismissed three players of top-order within power play.

Player of the Match, Axar, said in the post-match conference, “Earlier when I got hit, I used to bowl quicker and quicker. Now I try to vary my pace. I try to stay a step ahead of the batter about what he’s trying to do. There was help on this wicket. The ball was stopping. So I just tried hitting good areas because the wicket had some help”.

New Zealand could only get to 37 runs in the power play, in contrast to India reaching to 69 in the first six overs. 

The series has been a boom for Harshal Patel, who debuted in the second T20I on Friday, where he took three wickets and clinched two on Sunday evening.

He prepared himself for the difficult times as he says in the post-match conference, “It seems so (easy). But I know it is a pendulum and it is going to turn the other way sometime. You have to be ready for all of that and be switched on. My skill set is not going to change overnight; I have had success by doing the things I do well. I tried to do the same in the IPL and executed well and got the results”.

Yuzuvendra Chahal, joining the team after a long time, clinched the most significant wicket of Martin Guptill, who was the only batsman to make runs beyond 20. 

He said that he was trying to confuse the players and he was happy with the performance.

“I realized my mistake after two overs. It was drifting down the leg-side initially, but I got the line right when the ball started to grip, so I bowled the fourth stump line outside off. I was working on my googlies (in the last 6 months). It has helped me to confuse the batters, so I’m pretty happy with that”

Evidently, Blackcaps had a difficult time batting on Indian soil as no one other than, Guptill (51), Tim Seifert (17), and Lockie Ferguson (14) could even reach a two-digit score. 

Daryll Mitchell returned for 4 runs, whereas Chapman and Phillips could not score even a single.

India’s lower order gave the finish to their innings that the skipper might have expected when he chose to bat first after winning the toss.

Kiwis had to struggle to break the opening partnership when the Rohit-Ishan duo garnered 69 runs in the powerplay before losing their opening wicket.

The jam-packed audience in one of the greatest cricket stadiums, Eden Gardens, got many moments of cheers when Ishan Kishan hit six fours for India. He revealed that he was prepared for Trent Boult who had made him go back in World Cup.

“Boult got me out in the World Cup, so I was ready for that ball on the pads and I hit it away.” He said.

Ishan Kishan was followed by Suryakumar Yadav to the dressing room when he was dismissed playing fourth ball without any run.

Rohit, continuing his spectacular form, surpassed Virat Kohli by hitting the 30th T20 International 50+ score. 

Rohit repeated his performance from the last game as the hitman hit a total of 8 boundaries with 3 maximums. 

Ish Sodhi’s one-hand catch came as a surprise for the Indian skipper as it caused him to return to the pavilion.

New Zealand skipper Mitchell Santner cleaned out India’s top order bringing some sigh of relief for the team. The other bowlers for Kiwis took a wicket each from time to time but could not stop Men in Blue from putting a challenging score on board.

India skipper to work on the middle order as he says in the conference,” Room for improvement in the middle order. The batting front – KL missed out today, but his form is critical. Middle-order didn’t get much opportunity except today. The spinners did the job for us in the entire series. The way Ashwin bowled, Axar. And how Chahal came back. Good to see Venkatesh Iyer bowling those overs with the skills he has. Important for us going forward. I would prefer that going forward .. teams around the world bat deep till No.8, No.9″.


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