Former India batter Wasim Jaffer has opined that Men in Blue captain Hardik Pandya could have utilized all four overs of part-time spinner Deepak Hooda, given the nature of the turning track in Ranchi.
New Zealand stunned India by 21 runs in the first T20I on Friday, January 27, courtesy of a clinical all-round show. Asked to bat first after losing the toss, they posted a competitive 176/6. The Kiwi spinners then stifled the hosts as Mitchell Santner claimed 2/11 and Michael Bracewell 2/31.
Chasing a target of 177, India were restricted to 155/9. Reviewing the Men in Blue’s performance in Ranchi, Jaffer reckoned that skipper Hardik could have made better use of his spin options. He told ESPNcricinfo:
“India probably could have used two more overs of Deepak Hooda, given the kind of spin the other bowlers were getting. Even Kuldeep Yadav bowled really well, and Washington Sundar.
“All the spinners from both sides did really well. So, India could have used a spinner little bit more. Fast bowlers were far too expensive.”
While off-spinner Sundar registered figures of 2/22 from his four overs, even left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep impressed with 1/20. Part-time off-spinner Hooda bowled two overs for 14, without claiming a wicket.
India’s fast bowlers proved very expensive in Ranchi. Left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh went for 51 in his four overs, 27 of them coming in the last over of the innings. Skipper Pandya bowled three overs for 33, Umran Malik one over for 16, while Shivam Mavi conceded 19 runs in his two overs.
“India would have thought batting conditions might get easier in second half” - Wasim Jaffer
The Men in Blue won the toss and bowled first, thinking there would be dew around in the second half. There wasn’t much of it and, on top of that, the ball spun appreciably for the New Zealand spinners in the second half.
Asked if he felt India had misread the conditions in Ranchi, Jaffer stated that the observation can be made in hindsight. He elaborated:
“Probably, India would have thought batting conditions might get easier in the second half with the dew around, but there wasn’t much dew. The ball spun so much, they (India) wouldn’t have expected that. Overall, New Zealand did outplay India in every department.”
Bracewell cleaned up Ishan Kishan in the second over of India’s chase with a ball than spun sharply. Shubman Gill then miscued the first ball from Santner that stopped and turned. The hosts were 15/3 in 3.1 overs and could not recover from a disastrous start.
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