Last January 24 and 26, India defeats New Zealand by taking a total of six and seven wickets during their 1st and 2nd T20I at Eden Park, Auckland.
Landing two days before the game, Virat Kohli stated that the team did not consider jet lag as an excuse to lose the game. Instead, they focused on wanting to win the game. It was also that time he felt that almost 80% of the crowd supported their team.
It was also when KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer was once again in the spotlight for their great partnership during the match, adding a total of 99 runs for the team. With Rahul being able to set the base after Rohit’s departure, India was able to escape a run-out. The Men in Blue were able to chase down 204 runs with an over to spare which showed how comfortable they were during the chase.
Rahul is a top-order batsman who plays for India internationally and is the captain of Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL), while Iyer is a right-handed top-order batsman who plays for Mumbai and is the captain of Delhi Capitals.
During the 2nd T20I, New Zealand seems to have a setback when Colin Munro struggles and puts Martin Guptill under pressure. The Black Caps were only able to score 39 runs with five overs as Munro thrives but struggles as he awkwardly dealt with the ball and flitted around the crease.
‘I suppose the performance in Wellington was going to be difficult to replicate. We missed a trick or two with the bat. It was slightly more tricky to bat, but 20 more runs at the death would have been better. It wasn’t a 180-200 wicket for sure, but the opening partnership from India just took it away’, Kane Williamson stated, New Zealand’s captain.
On the other hand, Rohit Sharma stated that they are pleased with how they bowled and batted. They were also able to execute their plans better after analyzing the mistakes they did during their previous match.
The 3rd T20I ended with umpires declaring it as a match tied with the Men in Blue winning the Super Over.
Sharma was able to score consecutive sixes in the final two balls of the thrilling Super Over, turning the tables upside down. New Zealand had it all under control with only four balls and six wickets to win, but Mohammad Shami was able to execute an amazing bowling stunt stretching the match into a Super Over.
‘I thought we were gone at one stage. I told our coach that they probably deserved to finish the game off with the way Kane batted and the way he led from the front. We got a wicket at a crucial stage. Shami again showed his experience and put a couple of balls outside the off-stump. On the last ball, we had a discussion and we came to the conclusion that we had to hit the stumps because otherwise there is a single anyway and we are gonna lose the game. Shami went for it, got the wicket and the game turned on its head’, Kohli stated.
Shami is an Indian International cricketer known as a reverse swing specialist who consistently bowls up to 145 km/h mark. In 2019, he was also regarded as the fastest Indian bowler who was able to take 100 ODI wickets.
Kane Williamson admitted that there are shortcomings when it comes to the total performance of New Zealand. ‘Super overs haven’t been too successful for us so we needed to be a little bit better to win it in regular time. A great game of cricket, India again showed their experience in crunch situations. It is a really important experience for us to take from and move on. We bowled well after they got off to a superb start’, Williamson stated.
During the 4th T20I, the match once again tied with India winning the Super Over. Chasing 166 runs, New Zealand was under pressure and lost two wickets as India stretched the match in the Super Over for the second time.
‘There’s something new that I’ve learnt, that you’ve just got to stay calm in the game, observe what’s happening and if the opportunity comes then you capitalize on it. The fans couldn’t have asked for a better finish in two consecutive games. We hadn’t played super-over before, and now we have played two back to back’, Kohli stated.
The Men in Blue was able to defeat the Black Caps once again during the 5th T20I by winning a total of seven runs at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. The Indian Cricket Team scored a rare 5-0 whitewash against New Zealand. Tom Seifert and Ross Taylor added 99 runs for the fourth wickets and was able to recover a total of 116. However, Seifert was dismissed during the 13th overs losing five wickets.
While Ross Taylor and Tim Seifert were chasing the remaining runs, the captains of India and New Zealand, Kohli and Williamson shared a candid discussion with Rishabh Pant listening to them attentively. Both Williamson and Kohli were not able to join the 5th T20I to give Sanju Samson another chance while Williamson was ruled out due to a shoulder injury.
Taylor is a former captain of the Black Caps who became the leading century-maker and is the first New Zealand cricketer to acquire a total of 20 centuries in any cricket format. Meanwhile, Seifert is also a New Zealand cricketer who was able to score the fastest century during a T20 domestic match. He is also the leading run-scorer in the 2017-18 Plunket Shield season for Northern Districts.
‘Kane and I have similar mindsets, similar philosophies. It is amazing that despite being from different parts of the world, we have similar thinking and we speak the same language’, Kohli stated.
Kohli also admitted that the Black Caps are in good hands. ‘He is the perfect, perfect man to lead them. I wish him the best of luck and power to lead this side in the future. They are a side everyone loves to watch and play against’, he added.
On the other hand, Rahul is pleased with the team’s performance and hopes to continue their success in the upcoming match series. ’We have been playing exceptional T20 cricket, to come here and execute our skills every game, to have squeezed out wins, is a confidence booster. Not thinking about the T20 World Cup, hopefully, I can continue playing this way. I think it’s a winning habit we have cultivated’, Rahul said.
The Indian Cricket Team became the first-ever team in men’s T20I cricket to clean sweep a 5-match series. The Men in Blue once again proved that they are totally back in the game by having a terrific start during their recent T20I match series against New Zealand.
India’s Squad: Rohit Sharma, K.L Rahul(w), Virat Kohli(c), Shreyas Iyer, Shivam Dube, Manish Pandey, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
New Zealand’s Squad: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson(c), Colin de Grandhomme, Ross Taylor, Tim Seifert(w), Mitchell Santner, Blair Tickner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Hamish Bennett