The Indian team couldn’t have asked for a more solid start to their T20 preparations heading into the next year’s T20 World Cup. India were playing under the leadership of Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid for the first time. The fact that they were playing against World Cup runners-up, New Zealand made their task sterner. But the Indian team came out of the test in flying colours. There were plenty of positives for India to take from this series. Here are 5 Positives For India From The New Zealand T20I Series
We look at the 5 Positives For India From The New Zealand T20I Series:
#5 India’s opening batsmen set the stage on fire
Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul effectively finished off both the games with their opening partnership. They paced their innings perfectly to help the inexperienced middle-order settle down. Ishan Kishan who opened in the 3rd game too played his part to perfection. India’s template of playing aggressive cricket right at the top paid off handsomely.
#4 The addition of fast bowling options
India were wonderfully served with the addition of 2-3 more pacers in the series. Bhuvneshwar Kumar who looked out of depth in the World Cup game against Pakistan returned to form brilliantly. He was clinical with the ball in all 3 games. Deepak Chahar and Mohammad Siraj also impressed in parts right through the series.
But the main gain from the pace stocks was the addition of Harshal Patel. He carried on with his great form in the IPL to this series. His deception and pace variations proved too much for the Kiwi batters. India have unearthed another gem.
#3 India’s ability to defend a target
India under the Virat Kohli-Ravi Shastri era were almost unbeatable while chasing. But the same didn’t hold true when they batted first. India often struggled to set a formidable score while batting first. This cost them the World Cup too. But the team put all this to rest in the 3rd T20I, opting to bat first in challenging tacky conditions. They posted a par-score and later went on to defend it in some style. This aspect will please many Indian fans.
#2 The spin twins who weaved their magic
This was arguably the area where India won the series. The spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar were relentless. They kept asking difficult questions to the Kiwi batsmen, who didn’t have any answers. Ashwin in particular spun a web around the batters in the first 2 T20Is. Patel joined the party in the 3rd T20I to leave the batters in tatters.
#1 The captain who showed the way
Rohit Sharma, rightly won the player of the series award. He wasn’t just good with the bat, he was outstanding as a leader. Sharma backed his players to the hilt. He persisted with Venkatesh Iyer for all the 3 games despite him not utilising his complete potential.
Sharma also showcased why he is so revered for his tactics. He introduced spin in the powerplay where Axar Patel all but handed over the game to India with his double-wicket over. Sharma outsmarted his kiwi counterparts and put on a complete show. India under Sharma and Dravid have taken the first step in the right direction! The 3-0 series win is indicative of this fact.