India has been touring for almost four months with a long tour of Australia and then a quick stop over in New Zealand. India have done phenomenally well as their results speak for themselves. However, they finished their tour on a losing note giving away the three match T20 series to New Zealand with a 1-2 scoreline.
Not India’s Strongest T20 Team
India did not field their top team in the three match T20 series and used it to experiment and give some of their senior players a rest, so that fringe players had a chance to prove themselves.
The Kiwis batted first and put up a massive total on the board thanks to some poor fielding from the Indians who dropped catches at regular intervals. Leading the Kiwi charge was C Munro who hit 72 at a strike rate of 180 and he was well supported by his opening partner TL Seifert who hit 43 at a 172 strike rate. The Kiwis went on to get a massive score of 212 for the loss of just 4 wickets as some lusty hitting towards the end by C de Grandhomme, R Taylor and DJ Mitchell made sure India had a stiff chase.
K Ahmed and both the Pandya brothers were hit to all parts of the ground. Only K Yadav had respectable figures and to some extent B Kumar.
India Fall Four Runs Short
The form of S Dhawan will be a concern as he has failed in a number of innings in the shorter formats of the game. When India needed him to deliver, he failed yet again. R Sharma did not look like his usual self and made 38 out of 32 balls at a strike rate of 118.
When you are chasing a total of 200, you cannot afford to consume so many balls at the top of the order and have a strike rate of 118. It left too much work for the lower order to do. While India had wickets in hand, they ran out of balls and fell four runs short. R Pant (28) along with D Karthik (33) and K Pandya (26) who were both unbeaten all scored at a strike rate of 200 but it was a little too much for them to get, thanks to some good death bowling by the Kiwis.
In a statement, stand in captain Rohit Sharma said “Would’ve nice to fly back with a series win, but yes, lot of positives through the tour, looking forward to heading home and playing Australia.”