Indian Player Ratings After New Zealand settled the odds in the T20 series at Rajkot the action moved south to the city of Trivandrum. Trivandrum became the 50th International Venue for Cricket in India and international cricket had returned to Kerala after decades hence the fans were at the pinnacle of their excitement to see their favourite cricketers.
The match was however delayed as heavy rains impounded the city and when the match started it was cut short to only 8 overs a side. India lost the toss and was asked to bat first and the openers departed early and there was a sense of hurry in the approach of Indian batsmen given the fact that they had only 8 overs.
This sense of hurry proved to be fatal as the Indian batters stumbled one after the other. India could only manage 67 in their 8 overs and it seemed like it wouldn’t be enough to curtail the best side in T20s especially with the momentum that Munro and Guptill carried with them to Trivandrum. Munro blasted Indian bowling at Rajkot and hit a staggering century.
But the Indian bowlers had different plans and they gave early jitters to the Kiwis and sent back both Munro and Guptill cheaply. Indian bowlers made sure that the apparently indefensible total was enough to play with and India ended up winning by 6 runs, thanks to some great bowling by the Indian bowlers who won the match as well as the series for their team. Here are the ratings of the India players post-match.
Rohit Sharma 3/10: He failed to give India the start India was looking for and just like Rajkot he fell cheaply at Trivandrum too. He got to play 9 balls which was a decent number given the fact that it was an 8 over game but he could only manage 8 runs and left India in a spot of bother. Had India lost he would have been one of the major culprits.
Shikhar Dhawan 3/10: He too fell cheaply just like the last game and could only manage 6 from 6 deliveries after he was sent back by Southee. India’s hopes were largely dependent on the openers and Dhawan was expected to score given his failure at Rajkot but he could only manage to replicate that failure.
Virat Kohli 6/10: Kohli was carrying some great momentum into the game given his brilliant knock of 65 at Rajkot. He was on the money right from the word go and hit 13 of 6 deliveries before falling to Ish Sodhi. He was just great in the manner he started with. With a spectacular boundary followed by a stunning six, he announced his arrival at the crease but trying to do too much in too little he got out. Talking about captaincy he showed a big heart and made some bold bowling changes and his bowlers reciprocated to the faith shown in them by their skipper.
Manish Pandey 5/10: Manish Pandey played a good little cameo of 17 runs from 11 balls and his little cameo turned out to be a big lead ultimately when the Black Caps fell short of 6 runs. He was removed by some exceptional fielding display by Santner but he had done his job by then in his quest to give some boost to the scoreboard.
Shreyas Iyer 3/10: He once again got a chance and once again the Mumbai youngster could not prove his worth. He is known to be immensely talented and comes into the side with some great Ranji experiences but he failed to prove a point today too just like Rajkot. We are not sure if he would get far too many chances after this.
MS Dhoni 4/10: He walked into this match with heavy criticism for a slow inning at Rajkot. Today his services with the bat were not required, albeit he walked to the crease in the last over but only to see things from the non-striker’s end. He was good with the gloves but as he saved a boundary on a wide bowled by Bumrah and also got a run out to his kitty.
Hardik Pandya 7/10: Hardik Pandaya too was carrying a poor run of batting form into this game. He was unbeaten on 14 from 10 deliveries and during his stay he hit a massive six into the orbit. He was then given the responsibility of bowling the last over in the second half of the match with 19 runs to defend. Hardik Pandya managed to save the total and series for India and before this, he had dismissed Williamson with a quick direct hit while fielding.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar 7/10: He opened the bowling for India and he performed decently with the ball. He once again exhibited his newly invented knuckleball and got rid of Martin Guptill with a spectacular knuckleball that beat him to hit the stumps. He conceded 18 runs in his quota of 2 overs and made sure that Indian bowling line up attacks from the very first over.
Bumrah 9/10: There is a reason why they call him the best in business and he once again proved that. Bumrah was right on his money and sent back the Rajkot hero, Munro back to the pavilion early. He finished with figures of 2 for 9 and this was one exceptional performance which sealed the match for India. His fine penultimate over made sure that New Zealand’s task in the last over was hefty.
Yuzvendra Chahal 8.5/10: He did not just defeat Sodhi in chess on the long flight to Trivandrum but also bowled exceptionally well under immense pressure. While the New Zealand batting line up looked grand and Chahal seemed he easy target for them he turned the ball only to impress. He gave away just 8 runs in his 2 overs and you would call this sheer gold!
Kuldeep Yadav 6.5/10: He made a comeback to the side as he was put in place of Axar Patel. He bowled just one over in which he conceded 10 runs but more importantly he picked the wicket of Phillips to put pressure back on the Kiwis.