India dominated against New Zealand throughout the five-match Ind vs NZ T20I series. Virat Kohli’s men whitewashed the hosts and registered their first-ever T20I series victory in New Zealand. We also enjoyed some drama in third and fourth matches as both games required a Super Over to decide the winner.
For India, there were a few positives in the series. KL Rahul was in excellent form before the series and his confidence would have only risen. Shreyas Iyer got runs under his belt and seems to be a solution for India’s middle-order woes. However, the likes of Rishabh Pant and Kuldeep Yadav didn’t get an opportunity to play. And, Shivam Dube & Sanju Samson failed to utilize their chances to the fullest.
The Kiwi pacers especially Tim Southee let the hosts down in this series. The fast-bowlers of New Zealand conceded runs at an economy of 9.25, and were far away from making an impact. The spin-bowling duo of Mitchell Santer and Ish Sodhi did a decent job. Their batsmen scored runs but failed to breach the final barrier in the last three games on a trot.
Tim Southee – This Series
Overs 1-6 : 7.18 rpo, 18% deliveries in the slot
Overs 16-20 : 12.70 rpo, 24% deliveries in the slot#NZvIND
— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) February 2, 2020
Let’s take a look at the Combined XI of the T20I series:
KL Rahul (WK) [Runs: 224, Average: 56, SR: 144.51]
Before the commencement of the series, KL Rahul was in brilliant form and high on confidence. India had Shikhar Dhawan in their preliminary squad and it wasn’t certain that Rahul would open the inning. However, Dhawan’s exclusion ensured Rahul’s opening slot. The elegant batsman provided quick starts to his team by hitting frequent boundaries in the powerplay. In the first match, the 26-year-old smashed a quick fifty whereas in the second game, he played a sensible knock of 57 runs off 50 balls. This displays his ability to play according to the required situation. The wicket-keeper was safe behind the stumps and affected five dismissals with the gloves. Rahul was presented with ‘Man of the Series’ award for consistent performances.
Rohit Sharma (C) [Runs: 140, Average: 46.66, SR: 150.33]
Rohit Sharma failed to perform in the first two games of the series. However, the Hitman arrived at Seddon Park in Hamilton. In the third match, Rohit played a match-winning knock of 65 runs. He also helped India to win that match by his heroics in the Super Over. The 32-year-old was rested in the next game to manage his workload. In the last match, the Mumbaikar batted at three and played a match-defining knock of 60 runs. Since Virat Kohli doesn’t feature in this Combined XI, Rohit Sharma is the skipper of this side.
Kane Williamson [Runs: 160, Average: 533.3, SR: 170.21]
Kane Williamson played just three matches in the series but makes it to the Combined XI quite comfortably. Before this series, Williamson hadn’t been at his best in the shortest format. However, the tables turned around for the Kiwi skipper as he performed brilliantly in this series. In the first match in Eden Park, the right-handed batsman smoked 51 runs off just 26 balls. Williamson played an incredible knock of 95 runs at a strike rate of close 200 again.
Shreyas Iyer [Runs: 153, Average: 51.00, SR: 131.89]
Shreyas Iyer has grabbed his chances in a wonderful manner. In the first game, he displayed his good temperament and finished the chase for his team. When Virat Kohli was back to the hut at a crucial stage of the chase, the 25-year-old took the responsibility to take India home. The Mumbaikar played a blistering knock of 58 runs off just 29 balls at Eden Park. Iyer was presented with a ‘Man of the Match’ award for his clinical performance. In the second game, he stitched a vital 86-run stand with KL Rahul for the third wicket.
Ross Taylor [Runs: 166, Average: 41.50, SR: 131.74]
Unlike ODIs and Tests, Ross Taylor has not returned the best results in the shortest format of the game. However, he had a good time in this series. In the first match, Taylor played a quick-fire knock of 54 runs striking at 200, and cashed-in wonderfully in the slog overs. In the last match, the experienced man scored 53 runs. Although he failed to take his team home in the last three games, he had a fine series overall.
Manish Pandey[Runs: 89, Average: -, SR: 153.44]
No batsman performed better than Manish Pandey at the sixth position in this series. Pandey remained not out throughout the series and had a batting average of infinity. The highlight for him from this series was his knock in the fourth match in Wellington. In case of a top-order collapse, the 30-year-old stood tall for his team and scored a top-class half-century. Even though while batting at an unfavorable position, Manish returned good results.
Ravindra Jadeja [Wickets: 4, Average: 14.75, Economy: 5.90, SR: 15.0]
Ravindra Jadeja had a very good series with the ball and his numbers are quite good too. The left-arm spinner contained the flow of runs and conceded runs at an economy of less than six. Although there was assistance for spinners in the second and the third match, his performance shouldn’t be downplayed. Jadeja finished the series as the best spinner of this series. It looks that spin-bowling all-rounder has cemented his spot in the India’s limited-overs team as of now.
Ish Sodhi [Wickets: 6, Average: 24.33, Economy: 7.30, SR: 20.0]
Ish Sodhi, the best Kiwi bowler of this series is the only Kiwi bowler to feature in this Combined XI. The leg-spinner did not have a single bad game in the five-match series. He troubled Indian batsmen with his variations throughout the series. The 27-year-old was the best bowler for the hosts in the first match at Eden Park. In that match, he conceded runs at economy of exactly nine and picked up the wickets of KL Rahul and Shivam Dube.
Shardul Thakur [Wickets: 8, Average: 19.62, Economy: 9.81, SR: 12.0]
Shardul Thakur kicked off the series with a very bad performance in the series-opener. Thakur was whacked for 44 runs in three overs – at a horrible economy of about 15. He didn’t have a great time in the second match as well. The Mumbaikar had the worst economy rate (9.81) for any bowler who bowled at least ten overs in this series. However, he topped the wickets chart (eight scalps) and had the best strike rate of exactly twelve in this series.
Navdeep Saini [Wickets: 2, Average: 26.00, Economy: 6.50, SR: 24.0]
Navdeep Saini played just two games in the series and still makes it to this combined XI. In two games, he picked up two wickets – both in the last game. The speedster was very impressive in the death overs and controlled the flow of runs. In the fourth match, he bowled brilliantly in the penultimate over spending just four runs. His over kept India in the game. In the upcoming games, India should play him regularly.
Jasprit Bumrah [Wickets: 6, Average: 21.50, Economy: 6.45, SR: 20.0]
India’s ace pacer in all the formats – Jasprit Bumrah was the best fast-bowler of this series despite having a bad game. Other than that bad game, Bumrah’s economy in each game: 7.8, 5.2, 5 and 3. The 26-year-old had the best economy for any pacer who bowled at least four overs – a commendable job for a bowler who bowls tough overs. Bowling a maiden over in the last match of the series, the right-arm pacer snared three scalps. Bumrah was also presented the ‘Man of the Match’ award for his brilliant performance.