Team India continued their domination over New Zealand on Friday to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match T20I series. After a heartbreaking 2021 T20 World Cup campaign, a new era began in Indian cricket with Rahul Dravid taking over the charge as the head coach and things have started going back in the Men in Blue’s favour. The hosts produced clinical performances in the first two T20Is under Rohit Sharma’s leadership. The bowling unit has managed to pull-off outstanding performances in the absence of some senior pros like Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Ravindra Jadeja.
With the win on Friday, India have now registered their fifth consecutive T20I series win over New Zealand in the shortest format of the game at home.
Here are the talking points from India’s emphatic win over New Zealand in the 2nd T20I.
Debutant Harshal Patel Shines
The 30-year-old pacer waited for a long time to make his international debut after playing first-class cricket and IPL for the last decade. The Purple Cap winner of IPL 2021 managed to emulate his franchise league’s form on his international debut on Friday. Harshal was named player of the match on his debut for his exemplary bowling figure of 2/25. The right-arm pacer was brilliant with his change of pace in the death overs which deceived the batters on a dew-affected surface. Harshal’s emergence is a great sign for the Indian team which is working to set a template for the next T20 World Cup.
Also Read | India vs New Zealand 2021: ‘I Kept Telling the Boys That It’s All About One Wicket’-Rohit Sharma
Uncertainty over Shreyas Iyer’s batting position
After the 2019 ODI World Cup, India brought Shreyas Iyer in the limited-overs setup and he performed exceedingly well at the number 4 spot on numerous occasions, however, the shoulder injury put him out of the cricket field for several months this year. It also cost him the place in the 2021 T20 World Cup squad. With Suryakumar Yadav’s inclusion in India’s limited-overs set-up, Iyer’s batting position has come under a lot of scanners. The talented Mumbai batter ideally bats at number 3 or 4 in the Indian Premier League for Delhi Capitals, however, in the first two T20Is against New Zealand didn’t get the opportunity to bat there. In the Jaipur T20I, Iyer batted at the number 5 spot below Surya and rookie Ventakesh. While, on Friday, he didn’t even get the chance to bat in India’s 7-wicket win over New Zealand.
No Yuzvendra Chahal
For the second game in a row, India didn’t pick their most successful spinner in T20Is – Yuzvendra Chahal in the playing XI. The leg-spinner was snubbed from India’s T20 World Cup squad and now his absence from the first two matches has put his position under scanners. The team management played finger spin duo of Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin in both matches as they also fared well on those occasions. However, Chahal has been the X-factor for the Indian team in the past couple of years and he is expected to get some game time in the last T20I in Kolkata.
Also Read | Harshal Patel Gets Player of The Match Award on Debut; Says He’s Not ‘Exceptionally Talented’
No involvement of 6th bowler
Team India missed the services of the sixth bowler in the past few months with Hardik Pandya’s unavailability as a bowler. The Men in Blue lacked balance in the XI for the mega classes in New Zealand and Pakistan in T20 World Cup clashes. In the ongoing T20I series, selectors picked Venkatesh Iyer to groom as the fast bowling all-rounder, however, new T20I skipper Rohit Sharma has not used him in the first two matches. However, the five striker bowlers have performed decently well in Jaipur and Ranchi but India still need to test Venkatesh’s ability as the sixth bowler for future.
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