Hardik Pandya-led India National Cricket Team face a 21-run defeat against Mitchell Santner-led New Zealand National Cricket Team in the T20I series opener at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on Friday, January 27.
India won the toss and elected to bowl first in the match. The Kiwis were off to a flying start, but Washington Sundar produced a double-wicket over to shift back the momentum towards India. Also, Kuldeep Yadav bowled a great spell.
Meanwhile, the star opening batsman Devon Conway registered a good half-century, but soon after scoring 52, he was dismissed by Arshdeep Singh. In the end, Daryl Mitchell, who didn’t look comfortable in the initial half of his innings, slammed Arshdeep Singh for 27 runs in the final over of the innings to complete his sensational fifty.
New Zealand National Cricket Team posted a score of 176/6 on the board with the help of Daryl Mitchell and Devon Conway’s incredible half-centuries.
Chasing the target, India lost the top 3 – Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan and Rahul Tripathi – for just 15, but the 68-run partnership between Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya helped India gain some momentum in the match.
In the end, Washington Sundar smashed a brilliant half-century, but no support from the other end meant India were restricted to 155/9. Captain Mitchell Santner was the star performer for his side in the bowling department as he gave away just 11 runs in his 4-over quota and picked up 2 wickets.
They played better cricket – Hardik Pandya on New Zealand
At the post-match presentation ceremony, Hardik Pandya said that the way the pitch was acting caught everyone by surprise. He said:
“No one even thought that the wicket would play like that and both teams were surprised. But they played better cricket on this and that’s why the result end up like that. Actually, the new ball was turning more than the old one and the way spun, the way it bounced it caught us by surprise.”
Hardik Pandya added that India were in the game till he was batting alongside Suryakumar Yadav, but after their dismissal, things changed.
“But somehow we pulled it back and were in the game till Surya and myself were batting.
“On hindsight, I don’t think this wicket was 177, we were poor with the ball and conceded 20-25 runs. It is a young group and we will only learn from this.”
Hardik Pandya further lauded Washington Sundar for his sensational all-round show in the match and said that the actual battle was between Sundar and the entire Team New Zealand. Hardik Pandya said:
“The way he bowled, he batted and fielded, it was Washington against New Zealand today. We needed someone who can bat and bowl, gives us a lot of confidence and it will help us going forward.”