3 Noteworthy Performers Of The T20I Series Between New Zealand And India: It was a series that saw complete domination from the Indian cricket team. New Zealand was no match for the Virat Kohli-led side as they succumbed to a 5-0 series loss. A series which was expected to finish with a close margin, never saw the home team take their chances. Kiwis gave themselves the best chance to claim a win in the third T20I but somehow managed to take the game to the Super Over before losing it out in a battle of nerves.
The Indian team had plenty of positives from the series, especially how their fast bowlers delivered in the crunch moments. The likes of Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, gradually presented their case for that third seamer slot in the playing XI. While KL Rahul was the star among the batters, Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer also made valuable contributions to call for a successful series win over the hosts.
Here, we take a look at 3 best performers in the series:
1. KL Rahul: Inns: 5 || Runs: 224 || Avg: 56 || SR: 144.5
The star Indian wicket-keeper batsman, KL Rahul was the best batsman among both the teams in the entire series. He led the charge for India and was successful in providing blazing starts at the top of the order. He did the bulk of the scoring with 224 runs in five innings. He was consistent and relied on his immaculate timing to even score at an average of 56.
Rahul displayed another facet of his game when he played the waiting game in the second T20I. His shot-making was filled with grace and didn’t waste any opportunity to plunder as many runs as possible. With T20 World Cup scheduled to be played later this year, the Karnataka lad has staked a claim for a permanent spot in the team as an opening batsman.
2. Ravindra Jadeja: Inns: 3 || Wkts: 4 || Avg: 14.8 || ER: 5.9
Ravindra Jadeja was another performer who went about doing his job quietly in the middle-overs for India. He was a part of the first three T20Is in the series and picked four wickets as his contribution with the ball. Jadeja even contributed as an all-rounder with the bat in the last T20I, stitching a small, though a crucial partnership with Manish Pandey.
On grounds that were conducive to stroke-making, Jadeja stuck to his strengths in varying his delivery speeds. He was instrumental in putting brakes to the scoring rate in the middle-overs. His economical spells in all the three games allowed India to put pressure on the Kiwis for an even greater extent.
3. Kane Williamson: Inns: 3 || Runs: 160 || Avg: 53.3 || SR: 170.9
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson was at his original best in the T20I series after a much-ordinary Australian tour in December 2019. Before being ruled out of the last two T20Is, Williamson gave his team every possible chance to crawl their way back into the series. However, he failed against a superior Indian side.
In three T20Is, he scored 170 runs at an average of 53.33 including his highest T20I score of 95 in the third T20I. He looked at ease even against one of the best attacks in the world. He played with supreme authority and looked assured of his game in scoring the high percentage shots. He might have ended on the losing side, but his performances in the first three T20Is deserved recognition.