India vs New Zealand, 3rd T20I, Top Performances: Shubman Gill's maiden ton 126 off 63, Rahul Tripathi's 44 and Hardik Pandya's 30 & 4-16 are top performances. India beat New Zealand by 168 runs in 3rd T20I and win the series by 2-1 margin.
Brief Scores: India 234/4 (Gill 126*, Tripathi 44) beat New Zealand 66 (Mitchell 35, Pandya 4-16, Umran 2-9, Mavi 2-12) by 168 runs
Player of the Match: Shubman Gill – 126* (63)
Player of the Series – Hardik Pandya – (66 runs & 5 wickets)
Hosts India took on the Kiwis led by Mitchell Santner in the third and deciding T20I game of the series at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. This was also the final match of New Zealand’s limited-overs tour of India. It turned out to be a lop-sided affair as India won the game by a record margin of 168 runs, the biggest victory in terms of runs in matches involving two full member nations of ICC. India eventually pocketed the series by a margin of 2-1.
The major credit for the win goes to a splendid century by Shubman Gill and a stunning all-round show by Hardik Pandya. Of course, Indian bowlers too played a major role in making this win special.
India skipper Hardik Pandya won the toss and opted to bat first on what looked like a belter of a batting surface contrary to the first two T20I games. Umran Malik who missed the previous match replaced leggie Yuzuvendra Chahal. New Zealand too made one change from the last game, as they gave debut to left-arm pacer Benjamin Lister.
Gill’s a run-machine and Kishan, a cause of worry?
Shubman Gill has arguably been the highlight of India’s batting this year. The 23-year-old has already piled up 769 runs in international cricket in 2023 and this year is only 32 days old. He produced yet another masterclass with the bat and brought up his maiden T20I ton completely blowing away New Zealand. In the process, he became only the fifth India batter to score centuries in all three formats, following in the footsteps of Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli. He also became the seventh India batter to score a T20I ton.
Another talking point is the form of Ishan Kishan. Ever since his ODI double ton against Bangladesh, Ishan’s form has been going downhill. Since then, he managed to score only 93 runs across 8 ODI and T20I innings for India. Not only in recent times, but Kishan hasn’t scored a T20I half-century in his last 14 innings, scoring just 200 runs. This is definitely a cause of concern for India despite another series win.
Rahul Tripathi sizzles after Kishan’s early departure
India, after opting to bat first, lost the wicket of Ishan Kishan in the second over of the innings as the young wicketkeeper batter continued his string of poor returns for India. He was trapped leg before by Michael Bracewell for 1. In came Rahul Tripathi and the whole complexion of the game changed. The hosts had a sedate first four overs where they made only 30 runs on a fantastic surface but were able to maximise the powerplays finishing at 58/1 thanks to some blistering boundary-hitting by Rahul Tripathi.
Shubman Gill’s golden touch continues
Then Shubman Gill joined the act and the duo brought up their 50-run stand in only 26 deliveries. Overs 7-10 fetched India 44 more runs and despite losing the wicket of well-settled Tripathi (44 off 22), India maintained a run rate of over 10.
The number 1 T20I batter Suryakumar Yadav departed after making a 14-ball 24, and onus to take India to a winning total was on a well-set Gill. And the opener responded in style reaching 51-100 in only 17 balls and in the company of skipper Hardik, he made the Kiwis pay for that dropped catch earlier in the innings.
The duo shared a 103-run stand for 4th wicket in only 40 balls and India piled up a mammoth score of 234/4 in the process.
India’s pacers rip apart New Zealand
New Zealand got off to a forgettable start losing opener Finn Allen who nicked one from Hardik Pandya to find a leaping Suryakumar Yadav at first slip. Arshdeep Singh joined the act picking two wickets, Devon Conway and Mark Chapman, in his first over, as the visitors reeled at 5/3 in 2 overs. Things went downhill as Glenn Phillips departed the next over against Pandya, and Umran Malik joined the act by sending back in-form Michael Bracewell for 8. The Kiwis lost 5 for 30 in the powerplay overs and it was only a matter of time for the inevitable in what was expected to a thriller of a decider.
Daryl Mitchell, who scored a match-winning knock for the team in the opening T20I, was the lone warrior for New Zealand yet again as wickets fell like nine pins at Ahmedabad. Unfortunately, for the visitors, India’s bowlers continued to pile on the misery by picking rest of the five wickets in a jiffy. New Zealand could manage 66 runs in the final analysis.
India won the game by a whopping 168 runs and in process earnt their biggest ever win in terms of runs.
Let’s scan the top three performances from the 3rd T20I between India and New Zealand in Ahmedabad.
Shubman Gill notches up India’s highest individual score in T20Is
Shubman Gill continued his rich vein of form against New Zealand, converting his maiden T20I half-century to a stunning three-figure score. The talented batter has already scored three centuries, including a double ton, against New Zealand in ODIs this year but after missing out in the first two games of the T20I series, Gill roared back to his best in what was his Indian Premier league (IPL) home ground.
Gill played some delightful shots in the first phase of his innings bringing up his 50 in 35 balls, and then showed his power game by making the next 50 in just 19 balls as he notched up his maiden ton off 54 balls. His incredible knock of 126* included 7 sixes and 12 fours and in the process he became India’s highest individual T20I run-scorer surpassing Kohli’s 122* last year against Afghanistan.
All-round Hardik Pandya leads from the front in a crucial game
Hardik Pandya played a pivotal role in India securing yet another T20I series win at home. His start to the game was spot on as he chose to bat first and it reaped rich dividends as India were off to the start they hoped for.
As a batter, he walked out at 125/3 in the 13th over and immediately brought on his power game. Initially, he was the aggressor in the 103-run stand with Gill, but when the latter took the centrestage, Pandya took a side step. Hardik himself made a handy 17-ball 30 as India made a mammoth 234/4.
Pandya, as usual, took the new ball and got India a breakthrough in the very first over removing the dangerous Finn Allen. He then accounted for Glenn Phillips, Lockie Ferguson and Blair Tickner in his subsequent overs as he finished with figures of 4/16, which was also his best in T20I cricket. Overall, he had a game to remember as the captain of the side.
Rahul Tripathi shows what he is capable of at the international level
Those who watched IPL will know the talent the 32-year-old from Maharashtra, Rahul Tripathi, possesses with the bat. After a great outing in the series decider against Sri Lanka last month, Tripathi had two tough outings in this series. His place was also in question when the big guns make a comeback.
Like Gill, he roared back in style by playing an enterprising 44-run knock in just 22 balls. He played some innovative, fearless and pleasing shots against quicks and spinners alike. Tripathi took the game to the opposition in his 80-run stand with Gill. His knock allowed the India opener to settle and later launch big.
Statistical Highlights from India vs New Zealand, Ahmedabad T20I
India’s 234/4 is the third-highest total against New Zealand, after 245/5 by Australia and 241/3 by England and second-highest while batting first.
This is also India’s fifth-highest total in T20Is.
India’s victory was the eight-biggest in terms of runs in T20Is; this was also the biggest margin in terms of runs in matches involving two full member nations.
Shubman Gill registered the highest individual score (126) for India in T20Is.
NZ succumbed to their second-lowest all out score after the joint lowest of 60 against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, respectively.
India will next face a tough assignment in the form of a 4-match Test series at home against Australia. This Border Gavaskar Trophy 2022-23 starts on February 9 with the first Test to be held at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium in Nagpur. This series is crucial for India to stake a claim for a spot in the World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23 Final later this year.
New Zealand have had a forgettable white-ball tournament against India after their highs of winning in Pakistan. They will next head home for a two-match Test series against England which starts on February 17.