In the second match of the three-match T20I series against New Zealand, the Indian team will try to register a win and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. However, at the same time he will be expecting better performance from his middle-order batsmen. Coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma made a good start to their pair to beat New Zealand by five wickets in the first T20I in Jaipur on Wednesday.
The top-order batsmen’s performance and the controlled bowling of the bowlers in the death overs played an important role in India’s victory. With this win, India also broke the series of seven consecutive losses against New Zealand in all formats. Before the necessary break of two and a half weeks, Rohit would like to win the series in Ranchi itself so that the young players can be given a chance in the final match in Kolkata.
Virat Kohli has been rested from the current series and in his absence, Suryakumar Yadav took full advantage of the opportunity to bat at number three and scored 62 runs in 42 balls. The Indian team was heading for an easy win but Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant disappointed which made the match a bit close.
The hosts, however, never lost control of the match while batting. Iyer, who was playing for India after a long time, did not seem to be in rhythm and he found it difficult to play the ball through the middle of the bat. He also did not seem inclined to rotate the strike by taking a run or two in case of no big shots.
Shreyas became the victim of Tim Southee in the 19th over after scoring five runs in eight balls. Suryakumar’s batting was the strong side for India, who entertained the spectators present at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium by playing shots all around the field. Another positive was the performance of senior bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kamar and Ravichandran Ashwin. Both of them bowled with precise lines and lengths where some inexperienced bowlers looted runs.
Bhuvneshwar, who was dropped from the playing XI after a poor performance in the T20 World Cup match against Pakistan, has been given a chance by the new management led by Rohit and Rahul. Bhuvneshwar is going through the toughest phase of his career. He could take only three wickets in six IPL matches for Sunrisers Hyderabad at an average of 54 and an economy rate of 7.04.
In Jaipur, however, taking advantage of the swing, he took two wickets for 24 runs and bowled opener Daryl Mitchell on an inswinging ball. Ashwin also took two wickets for 23 runs. India bowled well in the death overs, taking three wickets for 41 runs, leaving New Zealand 15 to 20 runs short. The lower middle order is also a matter of concern for captain Rohit and in such a situation it remains to be seen whether he can change the batting order.
Though committed to giving more chances to the players, Rohit’s chances of tinkering with the batting order after just one match are slim. Indian pacer Mohammad Siraj was hit in the hand by Mitchell Santner in the final over of New Zealand’s innings and his play is doubtful.
The role of dew can be important in the evening, so the toss will once again be important for both the teams. Tim Southee’s team will once again expect good performances from their batsmen, including Martin Guptill and Mark Chapman, who scored half-centuries in the first match. Southee, however, would expect a better performance from the bowlers.
The teams are as follows:
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Lokesh Rahul, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel and Mohammad Siraj .
New Zealand: Tim Southee (Captain), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi.
Time: The match will start at 7 pm.
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