India wins the decider against the Kiwis, again

By Kersi Meher-Homji 

“India wins” has recently become a clichéd headline; be it in Tests, in One Day Internationals (ODIs) or Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is); be it against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia or New Zealand.

Following beating New Zealand 2-1 in ODIs, India triumphed against the same opponents in T20Is by 2-1 last night.

India won the first T20I at Delhi thanks to a brilliant 158 run opening partnership by Rohit Sharma (80) and Man of the Match Shikhar Dhawan (80) and India totalled a massive 3 for 202 in 20 overs. Their 158 run stand is the biggest for India in T20Is.

Indian spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel bowled economically to take two wickets each and the visitors could compile only 8 for 149 and lost by 53 runs.

New Zealand bounced back to win the second T20I at Rajkot by 40 runs to level the series 1-1. The hero and Man of the Match was the Kiwi opener Colin Munro who smashed a spell-binding 109 not out enriched with 7 fours and 7 sixes. He became the first batsman to hit two T20I centuries in one year.

India could muster only 7 for 156 (skipper Virat Kohli 65, MS Dhoni 49) due to penetrating bowling by Trent Boult who snatched 4 for 34.

The series decider was played last night at Thiruvananthapuram (formerly Trivandrum), the capital of Kerala. Due to heavy rains and thunderstorm, the match was delayed and reduced to an 8-over “shoot out”.

NZ sent India in to bat and they made 5 for 67 in eight overs, Manish Pande top-scoring with 17. I can’t understand the logic of Kohli sending Dhoni to bat at no.7 when hitting out was of utmost importance in this shortened game. Dhoni should have come in at no. 3 or 4 to go bang-bang.

In a thrilling reply, NZ made 6 for 61 and lost by only six runs. Jasprit Bumrah captured 2 for 9 and was adjudged both Man of the Match and Man of the Series. Some call him Boom-Boom. I prefer to nickname him “Gumrah” as he makes batsmen lose their way!

It was also good to see googly specialist Kuldeep Yadav back in the Indian side. He and Bumrah are promising to be match-winners for India.

 

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