New Zealand vs India 2020: 5 talking points for India from the T20 series
India became the first team to clinch a bilateral T20 series 5-0 after their win against New Zealand in the final T20 at Mount Maunganui. New Zealand have only themselves to blame for this whitewash as they let a few games slip from their hands despite being in commanding positions. India have now gone on to win their last 8 games in this format and extended their dominance over a strong Kiwi side. Here are 5 observations from the series
#1 Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul is the ideal duo at the top
With another successful series for KL Rahul at the top, he looks set to continue to be the first choice opening partner for Rohit Sharma in the T20 format as Shikhar Dhawan is out due to a shoulder injury he suffered in the series against Australia last month.
Rahul has scored 224 runs this series at a staggering average of 56.00. He now has the backing of Virat Kohli and the team management with the skipper mentioning that he will be the first-choice wicket-keeper for a while ahead of Rishabh Pant since it adds great dynamics to this T20 side. He has been consistent after his comeback into the Indian side and is probably in the best batting form of his life.
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Unless Shikhar Dhawan has an exceptional IPL, it will be tough for Kohli to look beyond this opening pair of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul.
#2 Quality of pace bowling options
Over the past few years, India has seen a massive upsurge in the quality of fast bowling options and this series has only gone on to establish more alternatives. Shardul Thakur has been India's biggest gain from this series, despite him going for a few runs in the powerplay overs, he has shown his ability to execute the knuckle-ball in tense situations which takes a lot of effort and bravery.
Navdeep Saini is another man who has developed into an exciting prospect ever since his debut. He has the extra zip, good accuracy in bowling the yorkers and can be very handy on the pacy wickets of Australia.
With Bumrah and Shami at their very best and Deepak Chahar waiting to make his way back from an injury, the Indian thinktank will have a good headache in selecting their 3 seamers.
#3 The quality and calmness of Shreyas Iyer
Despite a bit of inconsistency around his scores, Shreyas Iyer has displayed a sense of calmness around him in crunch situations.
He came into this series with doubts regarding his ability against the short balls after he was peppered with some good bouncers from Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins in the Australian series. He decided to counter-attack against that ploy in the last game of that series and despite looking very streaky, he got away.
In this series though, he has played with a lot of conviction and looked decisive in his shot selection and has nailed the highly debated number 4 spot to his name. He is second-highest run-scorer for India this series with 153 runs from 5 games at an impressive average of 51.00 .
#4 The value of Ravindra Jadeja
Ever since Virat Kohli wanted to look at options for breaking the Kul-Cha duo in the limited over formats to add more depth into the batting department, Ravindra Jadeja has been back in the scheme of plans for the Indian skipper.
Jadeja has found a lot more consistency around his batting since his return and the value he is adding to this squad is becoming indispensable. The accuracy in his bowling makes it hard for the batsman to get him away and his brilliance in the field is second to none.
Graeme Swann recently went on to say ''Teams don't want Jadeja playing in the WT20" he added that he will be someone teams will vary off in this format. Ravindra Jadeja has been phenomenal this series with 4 wickets in just 3 games at a fantastic economy of 5.90.
#5 The crucial contributions of Manish Pandey
Manish Pandey scored 89 runs in his 4 outings in the T20 series and did it without being dismissed even once. By doing so, he has extended his unbeaten run in T20 cricket to 13 matches, following his quick 11* in Mount Maunganui when he finished off the Indian innings with a boost coming in, in the final over. His unbeaten 50 in the fourth game in Wellington was crucial in perking the side's total to a competitive score. His contributions at number six as a finisher both while chasing and setting a score have been crucial and one that the team management will be every pleased with.
Published 02 Feb 2020, 21:05 IST