India win by 73 runs, whitewash New Zealand in the T20I series

India registered a dominating 73-run win against New Zealand in the final game of the three-match T20I series, taking home the series 3-0. Rohit Sharma won his third toss in a row and chose to bat first, a decision that raised some eyebrows with people.

However, despite a few hiccups in the middle, the Indian batters had a great start and a solid end to put up 184/7 on their scoreboard. New Zealand’s batting line-up faltered quickly, with the team losing all 10 wickets for 111 runs.

Below are some highlights of the final T20I between India and New Zealand:

India gets to a strong start

The Men in Blue got off to a flying start, courtesy a 69-run opening partnership in the powerplay between captain Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan, who played his first match of the tournament and ensured he made the best of it. Ishan scored 29 (21) at a strike rate of 138.1 with six fours before he departed. However, he had done his job as an opener and had given Rohit, who looked fluent with his shots today, enough cushion to go all out and score big.

A record and a personal milestone for Rohit

Rohit Sharma scored a very valuable knock of 56 (31), which contributed immensely to his opening partnership with Ishan Kishan. His knock came at a strike rate of 180.65, and he reached his half-century in 27 deliveries. As he did so, he became the only player to have 30 50+ scores in T20Is, surpassing Virat Kohli, whose record had equalled only in the previous game.

While he already was the leading six-scorer for India, in today’s match, his maximum off Lockie Ferguson in the penultimate delivery of the powerplay made him the first Indian to have 150 T20I sixes and internationally, he is only behind Martin Guptill, who sits at 165 sixes.

Mitchell Santner slows India down

Mitchell Santner came in to bowl the over immediately after the powerplay and broke the opening partnership by sending Ishan back. In the final ball of the same over, he took the wicket of new batter Suryakumar Yadav and slowed India down from 69/0 at 6 overs to 71/2 at 7 overs. He also took out Rishabh Pant, a player who has the potential to go big, at the end of his second over and finished his innings with impressive figures of 4-0-27-3.

Harshal, Deepak finish well with the bat

Once Santner slowed India down, the team struggled with keeping up the good run-rate. However, Harshal Patel (18 off 11) and Deepak Chahar (21* off 8) added some quick runs in the end to take India to a strong total.

Guptill New Zealand’s sole contender with the bat

Martin Guptill scored his second half century of the series. His 51 (36) was the only threat India faced while defending their total of 184/7. In fact, other than Tim Seifert (17 off 18) and Lockie Ferguson (14 off 8), none of the other New Zealanders touched double digits with their bats.

Axar spins magic

Axar Patel was the Destructor-in-Chief of the New Zealand batting line up. He came in the third over and struck immediately, taking Daryll Mitchell (5 off 6). In the last ball of the third over, he took out Mark Chapman as well, for a duck, with Rishabh beautifully taking out his stumps. When Axar returned, he ensured Glenn Phillips also returned with no runs in his kitty. Axar finished the innings sensationally with numbers 3-0-9-3.

The rest of the bowlers were also clinical. Harshal Patel continued his good form and picked two wickets while Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal and Venkatesh Iyer picked one wicket each to bundle New Zealand out for 111.

Having checked all boxes in the T20I series, a confident Team India will look to replicate the same in the Test series that will start on November 25, 2021.