New Zealand vs India, 2nd T20I, Top Performances: Suryakumar Yadav's 111, Yuzvendra Chahal 2-26 and Bhuvneshwar Kumar's 1-13 are top performances. India beat New Zealand by 65 runs at Mount Maunganui and lead three match series by 1-0.
Brief Scores: India 191-6 (Suryakumar 111*, Kishan 36, Southee 3-34) beat New Zealand 126 (Williamson 61, Conway 25, Hooda 4-10, Siraj 2-24, Chahal 2-26) by 65 runs
Player of the Match: Suryakumar Yadav (111* off 51 deliveries)
India’s new approach in T20Is didn’t look much different from what it was in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 where the openers were Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant took their sweet own time and were only striking at 7 runs per over in the powerplay and the much debated issue during the T20 World Cup ceases to die down.
Suryakumar Yadav was the saving grace for India with the bat and to give an idea to the readers about how Surya fared vis a vis other players across sides who wielded the bat on Sunday night at the Bay Oval, one stat clears the picture quite effectively – SKY scored at a strike rate of 217.64 which was a good 111.83 per cent higher than all other batters combined across sides.
India’s middle over specialist with the ball, Yuzvendra Chahal was back in the squad and did what he does best – picking crucial wickets. New Zealand’s batting looked as confused as India’s approach with their skipper Kane Williamson being the sheet anchor or rather the sheet pressuriser forcing other New Zealand batters to go big without settling.
Weather allows play at Bay Oval unlike at Sky Stadium
After the Wellington T20I ended in a sad wash out, India’s tour of New Zealand finally kicked off with the second T20I of the three-match T20I series at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. Both the teams look to rebuild a new side with a roadmap for the 2024 T20 World Cup.
For India, Hardik Pandya was leading a fresh and young-looking Indian team. New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to take the field on this fresh wicket with clouds hovering over the stadium. For India, post the Dinesh Karthik-Ravichandran Ashwin experiment, it was time for Rishabh Pant and Yuzvendra Chahal to make a comeback into the side. Out of the 11 players featuring for India on Sunday, only five had played for India in the T20 World Cup.
Only SKY bats with a T20 mindset; rattles off 111* off 51 balls
After a dull T20 World Cup for the openers, India’s quest to fire away in the powerplay began with another experiment of two wicketkeeper batters opening the innings - Pant and Kishan. However, nothing much changed in India’s favour as both the openers struggled to get bat on ball, and scored just 42 in six overs. Rishabh Pant was horrendously out of touch and could just manage six runs off 13 deliveries.
Kishan and Shreyas Iyer failed to up the ante, and India were in a similar position of losing momentum till the messiah of Indian batting line-up – Suryakumar Yadav walked in. After 13 overs, India were 110-3 and were aiming towards 180+ on this fresh wicket, with skipper Hardik Pandya and SKY at the crease. What followed was a spectacular innings to say the least from SKY. A 49-ball 100 helped India race toward 185+. If not for a Tim Southee hattrick in the 20th over which not only restricted India from posting 200+, but also kept Surya off strike for all six deliveries, India would have easily surpassed 200; nevertheless, they ended up scoring a healthy 191-6.
New Zealand started their run chase fairly poorly, losing Finn Allen on the second delivery, who could just edge an away swinger from Bhuvneshwar Kumar to third man. New Zealand skipper Williamson and Devon Conway played ODI-like innings while chasing a 190+ total, and inexplicably tried to stabilise the NZ run chase scoring 58 runs in 8 overs.
As soon as India’s spin bowlers were on, India dominated handsomely as Washington Sundar dismissed Conway after which Chahal cleaned up Glenn Phillips with a well-disguised slower leg spinner. Williamson’s slowish sheet anchor innings was clearly putting pressure on the new batters walking in as they had to strike from ball one. In a matter of four overs, India’s spin trio dismissed 4 batters and New Zealand kind of surrendered from 56-1 in the 9th over to 91-5 at the end of the 14th over. Kane Williamson’s half-century brought about a sense of relief and stress at the same time but it was just a matter of few overs for India to complete the formalities, as Deepak Hooda raced away with four wickets wrapping up the New Zealand lower order. New Zealand could not avert the inevitable as their streak of losing games while chasing continued at the Bay Oval.
Let’s scan the top three performances from the 2nd T20I between New Zealand and India at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.
SKY “rockets” towards his second T20I Hundred in 2022
Unlike his batting position in T20 World Cup 2022, Suryakumar Yadav was given a well-deserved promotion to the number 3 slot in the absence of Virat Kohli. Before Surya walked in, India were 36-0 at the end of 5 overs, scoring at just over 7 runs per over. Surya’s innings not only changed the momentum into India’s favour but he gave a nightmare to New Zealand bowlers and the fielders at the same time. Within a blink of an eye, Surya reached his 50 in 32 deliveries, becoming the highest fifty-scorer in 2022 (11) and the second-highest in any calendar year just behind Mohammad Rizwan’s (13) in 2021. Surya had already breached the 1,000-run mark in T20Is in a calendar year during the T20 World Cup 2022.
What stood out in this innings was the mind games that SKY played with the fielders and the New Zealand captain. As soon as the cover fielders were brought in the circle, Surya would play a lofted shot over covers, as soon as Kane would drop extra covers back, Surya would play a scoop shot over fine leg, and if even fine leg was back on the ropes, Surya would hit a lofted six over mid-on.
Such cricketing shots are anyway impossible for a human being and Surya was looking no short of a robot who had exact inches for every fielder on the ground mapped in his computing mind. Toying with the fielders, SKY rocketed towards his second T20I hundred in just 49 balls, the second 50 coming in just 17 deliveries. The only second Indian after Rohit Sharma to score two T20I hundreds in a calendar year. With the help of SKY’s innings, India scored 75 runs in 36 deliveries taking India to a mammoth 191.
India’s man with the golden arm in middle overs – Yuzvendra Chahal was back with 2-26
Yuzvendra Chahal, the man who did not play a single T20 World Cup match for India for 24 months, was again brought into the setup for the bilateral series as always. Yuzi did what he does best, dismissing batters in the middle overs, slowing the pace of the innings. Yuzi first dismissed the dangerous Glenn Phillips who was in no mood to play even a single dot ball. Chahal was hit for a six on the first delivery he bowled to Phillips, and with his second delivery the brave Chahal slowed it up even further right on the money rattling Phillips’ stumps.
Chahal then came back in the 14th over, bowled a lovely flighted googly to dismiss James Neesham who tried to go down town and ended up giving a simple catch to Ishan Kishan at long-on. Yuzi’s inclusion was clearly a sign of what India missed in the T20 World Cup, a genuine wicket-taker in the middle overs, and it just goes to show that India should have backed the leggie in the World Cup too.
Bhuvneshwar ‘Swing’ Kumar swings it in India’s favour in powerplay
Give Bhuvneshwar swinging conditions, and Bhuvi can swing the ball even on one leg. Bhuvi beautifully set up Finn Allen with away swingers and dismissed him on the second delivery when the explosive New Zealand batter flashed hard only to edge it to deep third man.
Bhuvi then ensured no other New Zealand batters were settled on the crease, as he bowled a mix and match of in swingers and out swingers to both Williamson and Conway who could not manage to free their arms even for a second. Bhuvi’s tight and economical bowling spell of 1-12 from 3 overs ensured the batters had to go big post powerplay which pressurised them to lose wickets at the same time.
The decider and the final game of the three-match T20I series between New Zealand and India will be played on November 22 at the McLean Park in Napier.