India vs New Zealand 2017, 1st T20I: Hits and Misses
A close look at those who shone and those who wilted during the series opener in Delhi.
After clinching the ODI series with a narrow 6-run victory in Kanpur, India arrived at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi with the aim of breaking their T20I drought against New Zealand. Upon winning the toss, the visiting skipper Kane Williamson chose to bowl first on an unpredictable surface.
Riding on their luck, the opening duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma put on a record partnership for India in T20Is. Their 158-run stand propelled the hosts to a strong total of 202. Having lost early wickets, New Zealand's chase never really took off. As a result, the 'Men in Blue' cruised to a 53-run victory to take a 1-0 lead in the 3-match series.
Let us now take a look at the players who shone and those who failed to perform adequately in the match.
#6 Hit: Shikhar Dhawan
Dhawan began rather shakily and almost provided an early window of opening for the visitors. However, he survived due to Mitchell Santner's sloppy effort in the field. From then on, the left-hander never looked back. Taking the attack to the opposition, he helped India off to a strong start. He took a liking to Trent Boult's bowling and unsettled him by unfurling a flurry of boundaries.
Even as Rohit was taking his time to get in, Dhawan was aggressive right from the outset. The dynamic southpaw's early onslaught allowed his batting partner to play himself into the contest. In tandem with the right-hander, he did not shy away from taking the aerial route and put the New Zealand bowlers under immense pressure. When he was eventually outsmarted by a googly from Ish Sodhi, Dhawan had reached his career best T20I score of 80.