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NZ vs IND, T20Is, 2022-23: Key Takeaways: India’s defensive mindset big concern despite series win

New Zealand vs India, T20Is: Top three Takeaways from T20I series: India’s defensive mindset big concern despite series win.

New Zealand vs India, T20I Series 2022: Top Takeaways from India tour of New Zealand T20Is as India beat New Zealand by 1-0 | Walking Wicket (Source_ ©Getty Images)
India clinch three match series by 1-0 against NZ (Source: ©Getty Images)

Another day, another bilateral series, another win for India. Just like it is certain for the sun to set in the west every evening, it is almost certain for India to win a bilateral series, as India beat New Zealand 1-0 due to two rain-affected games in a three-match T20I series that concluded on November 22.

Out of a total of 40 T20I matches played by India in 2022 so far, the men in blue have won 28 of those with a 70 per cent win rate; they have lost 10 matches while one match was a rain-affected no result game and one game ended in a tie. Out of the 10 matches lost, two were do-or-die matches (vs Sri Lanka in Asia Cup 2022 and against England in T20 World Cup 2022 semi-final), one was a virtual knockout (vs Pakistan in Asia Cup), and in all three deciding games, India lost defending a target. Well, in a matter of 14 or so months, India have been defeated brutally twice by a margin of 10 wickets, and on both occasions, it was on the biggest stage in T20I cricket, the World Cup.

Read More: NZ v IND, 3rd T20I, 2022-23: Siraj-Arshdeep shine in rain-affected rare tie; India take series 1-0

What were India’s key takeaways from the New Zealand T20I series?

India tour of New Zealand, First T20I_ Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh pose for picture during practices; match abandoned due to rain _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
India need wicket taking bowler in middle-overs and striker at top (Source: ©BCCI/Twitter)

The elephant in the room: India’s defensive approach in T20Is?

The bilateral series were considered an audition stage for players for the mega event. Until recently, we have been distributing opportunities to all but the deserving ones, playing players on their past exploits and not their recent form. India have not won the T20 World Cup in more than 15 years. Problems have more to do with mentality and approach than anything else. In the first T20 World Cup in 2007, which India won, the management put their egos and ageing players on the back burner and went with a fresh and young side with no real expectations of even making the semi-final stage. These days, India are considered one of the favourites in every tournament in which they participate, only to choke in the crucial matches. Reasons include - relying on past exploits rather than recent form, not supporting performers, and giving underperformers longer ropes.

On the much-debated topic of blazing away in batting powerplays, for two years India have been struggling to do that, even after knowing the problem. India have been hesitant to try a new opener in the eleven, preferring to stick with Rishabh and Kishan. Instead of trying a fresh face with the likes of Prithvi, Sanju Samson or even Devdutt Padikkal, for that matter.

The same four bowling options were seen almost on loop. While Deepak Hooda's bowling was one positive, it was nullified by the batting order of his as a genuine middle o