India Clean Sweep Paytm T20I Series 3-0 As Their Bowlers Help Annihilate New Zealand By 73 Runs In Kolkata!


We mentioned in the last piece about the new T20I cricket captain Rohit Sharma winning the toss in contrast to Virat Kohli! And what a funny irony that in the third and last T20I match in Kolkata today in which India annihilated New Zealand by 73 runs Rohit made a hat-trick of winning the toss in sharp contrast to Kohli’s hat-trick in losing the toss in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup-2021. Now, this phenomenon is set to haunt the hardcore Indian fans with the eternal question: had Virat retired from the captaincy before the World Cup and Rohit taken over, perhaps, the scenario and the excruciatingly painful results would have been different. Perhaps, again, the demotion of an opener of Rohit’s record to the No.3 position in the crucial match against New Zealand could have been prevented, and the Pandya-obsession could have been avoided. Wishful thinking, you may say so! But, these are important observations that you cannot deny!

 

Anyway, after winning the toss this time Rohit decided to bat first—a decision perhaps prompted by the new head coach Rahul Dravid who knows the Eden Gardens pitch very well crafting there the historic partnership of 376 runs with VVS Laxman in 2001 against Australia winning the Test Series 2-1and maybe Rohit wanted to experiment with batting first as he may have thought that he could not expect to go on winning the toss forever—because the Eden pitch could be turning more later in the evening. However, India team management decided to rest Ashwin and brought in the nearly-forgotten leg-spinner Yazvendra Chahal in his place; India also rested KL Rahul in view of the coming Test series and gave another chance to opener Ishan Kishan. New Zealand rested its standing skipper Tim Southee on workload management ground and brought in Lokie Ferguson. For this match Mitchell Santner was assigned the captain’s duty.

 

The opener duo of Rohit-Ishan made an explosive start putting up 69 runs in the powerplay of 6 overs with Rohit scoring most of the runs racing to his second consecutive half-century (56 in 31)) in just 27 balls with three towering sixes. Unfortunately, apart from the skipper no other recognized batsmen could contribute much as three quick wickets fell to spinner Santner (3/27) in the forms of Ishan (29), Suryakumar Yadav (0) and Rishabh Pant (4). Soon, with the fall of Rohit Sharma to spinner Sodhi India were reduced to 103 for 4 in the 12th over. After a brief partnership between the Iyer-duo—Shreyas Iyer (25) and Venkatesh Iyer (20)—India seemed to be in the same pattern of the batting-first side ending up at less than 170-180 runs as their 6th wicket fell at 140 in the 17th over. But thanks to the bowlers Harshal Patel (18 in 11) and a big-hitting Deepak Chahar (21 in just 8 balls) India could finally put up 184/7, the highest team score of the series.

 


As Rahul Dravid would have expected the Indian spinners made mincemeat of the Kiwis. After a briefly breezy start in the first two overs wickets started falling in heaps as left-arm spinner Axar Patel took over and struck in his first ball getting the prize wicket of the danger man Daryl Mitchell (5), then the scalp of Mark Chapman for a duck in the last ball of the same over and then striking again in his second over clean bowling Glen Phillips for a duck again. The backbone of the visitors thus crushed, New Zealand could never recover. Chahal proved to be a little expensive, but he took the valuable wicket of Guptill. Watching the ball turning Rohit tried part-time spinner Venkatesh Iyer who also rewarded him with a wicket. Harshal Patel, continuing from his previous debut-match, captured 2 wickets apart from his batting performance. Finally, New Zealand folded up for a sorry 111 runs all out, meekly giving India a huge victory by 73 runs and whitewashed 3-0 in the series. Apart from Guptill (51), Tim Seifert (17) and Ferguson (14), no other New Zealander could cross the double-digit mark.

 

Now, over to the classic and the original format of cricket, that is Test Cricket. The first of the 2-match Test Series is going to start from the 25th of November 2021 in Kanpur. And naturally, there will be lot of changes in both the teams with the short-format specialists leaving the teams to a much-deserved rest. While the regular Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson is coming back to join his team Virat Kohli is not available for at least the first Test in and Ajinkya Rahane will lead India. With Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel the third spinner is most likely to be bowling all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.

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