T20 World Cup 2021, India vs New Zealand: “It’s about adapting to the conditions” – Kane Williamson

Ish Sodhi was awarded the Player of the Match in the India-New Zealand T20 World Cup match.
Ish Sodhi was awarded the Player of the Match in the India-New Zealand T20 World Cup match.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson lauded his side’s all-round performance after their comprehensive eight-wicket victory over India in the 28th match of the 2021 T20 World Cup in Dubai on Sunday.

The 31-year-old said he believes that adapting to spin-bowling conditions remains critical in such high-pressure tournaments. Their spinner, Mitchell Santner, returned figures of 4-0-15-0, while the other slow bowler, Ish Sodhi, was awarded the Player of the Match for claiming the wickets of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, while also going for a measly 17 from his four overs.

Even in the 2016 edition of the tournament, New Zealand had beaten India with the help of a spin strategy in Nagpur. Ish Sodhi and Santner had picked up seven wickets among them as the Kane Williamson-led side had bowled out India for 79.

“There’s always planning going into games, but this was a fantastic all-round performance against a formidable Indian outfit that puts up an incredible fight. Today most things went our way, and we were very clinical on all facets. We were able to build pressure on a surface where it wasn’t easy to find a rhythm, and then the openers came out and set us the platform for the chase.
“It’s just about adapting [spin attack] to the conditions as well we can. For us, both the spinners lend balance to the attack, and they both were outstanding today. I think the collective unit was impressive, the way they kept passing the baton. We saw some very good signs in our first match as well, which was a tight one, and we built on that,” said Kane Williamson in the post-match presentation ceremony.

New Zealand won the toss and applied pressure on the Indian batters, who were struggling for rhythm since the loss against Pakistan. They managed only 110, which the New Zealand batters chased down with 33 balls to spare.

Check out the full 2021 T20 World Cup squad here.

Kane Williamson lauds Ish Sodhi

Calling him an outstanding white-ball bowler, Kane Williamson highlighted the importance of the experience that Ish Sodhi gained from playing in various leagues across the world.

“Ish is an outstanding white-ball bowler. He has been a big part of our side for a long period. He’s very experienced in playing T20 cricket, having played in different leagues all over the world. In these conditions, spin plays a big part,” added Kane Williamson, who scored an unbeaten for a 31-ball 33.

Ish Sodhi, who turned 29 on Sunday, now has 19 wickets against India at an average under 18, at 7.25 an over. He’s also New Zealand’s most successful T20I bowler in 2021. He has picked up 21 wickets from nine matches and averages 12.6 with the ball this year.

The Kane Williamson-led New Zealand side will next play Scotland in Dubai on Wednesday. Later that day, India will face Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi.

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Edited by S Chowdhury
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