New Zealand vs India 2020: Top 3 performers as India complete whitewash against the Kiwis
The five match T20I series between New Zealand and India culminated at the Bay Oval with the Men in Blue completing their first ever whitewash T20I series win in New Zealand. Prior to this series, the Indian team had a dismal record versus the Kiwis in the shortest format of the game.
The Indian team dominated their rivals right from the word 'go' as they chased down a 200+ score in the series opener. The second T20I was dominated by the Indian bowlers while the visitors won the third and the fourth match via Super Over. New Zealand could not finish off games properly despite gaining the upper hand and the same script got repeated in the final T20I.
Here's a look at the top three performers of the T20I series between New Zealand and India.
Also see – IPL 2020 Teams
Special Mention - Shardul Thakur
Mumbai-based fast bowler, Shardul Thakur gave away 44 runs in the first T20I match but he ended the series as the highest wicket-taker from both the teams. The right-arm pacer took 8 wickets in 5 matches with his best figures being 2/21 at a strike rate of 12.0 which showcases his wicket taking prowess.
Thakur's performance was one of the key reasons why India whitewashed the home side in this series.
#3 Kane Williamson
After being outplayed in the first two T20Is by the visitors, Kane Williamson's men were under immense pressure heading into the third T20I. The bowlers did a fine job in the first innings and kept India down to 179/5 despite Rohit Sharma's swashbuckling innings.
Chasing a target of 180 runs in 20 overs, Williamson led his side from the front with his knock of 95 runs. He took the match to the final over but unfortunately, he lost his wicket to Mohammed Shami. The game ended in a tie as the other batsmen could not finish off the run chase. Despite missing the last two matches, Williamson ended the series as the fourth highest run-scorer.
The right-handed batsman amassed 160 runs in 3 matches at an average of 53.33. His two half-centuries ensured that the Kiwis give India a run for their money.
#2 Jasprit Bumrah
Just like Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah did not enjoy much success in the first T20I of the series. The Ahmedabad-based pacer could take only two wickets in the first three matches. He disappointed the fans with his performance in the third match where he bowled 4 wicketless overs, giving away 45 runs at an economy rate of 11.25. He was even taken to the cleaners in the Super Over.
But, given the skills he possesses, Bumrah bounced back like a champion in the next two games. He bowled a tidy spell in Wellington followed by a better Super Over. And, he laid the foundation for India's win in the final match with figures of 3/12. He was the only bowler to bowl a maiden over in this series. Besides, only Ravindra Jadeja had a better economy rate than him.
#1 KL Rahul
KL Rahul has cemented his spot in the Indian limited overs team with his fantastic performances in the last few weeks. The right-handed batsman has solved the wicket-keeping dilemma prevailing in the team ever since MS Dhoni's exit. Rahul opened the innings for India in the absence of Shikhar Dhawan but it never looked like he was stepping in as a replacement.
He aggregated 224 runs in 5 innings at an average of 56. The Kings XI Punjab captain struck 16 fours and 10 sixes in the series which helped him record two half-centuries. He even starred for India in the two Super Overs and, he also led the team in the final match after skipper Rohit Sharma picked up an injury.
Undoubtedly, KL Rahul owned the New Zealanders in this 5-match series.Published 02 Feb 2020, 17:41 IST