New Zealand claimed a record-breaking defeat against India in the first T20I, at Wellington
Tim Seifert enjoyed an upgrade up the order, scoring a match-winning 84 runs off 43 balls
The hosts put the right amount of pressure on India, who were bowled out comfortably
New Zealand was able to leave behind the ruins of the past, the ODI series, move ahead and play gallantly. The 4-1 defeat, at home, in the 50-overs format had crushed New Zealand’s ambition. The only option left was to move ahead and perform well. Better, to for winning. The worse had anyhow already happened. And they did.
A record-breaking defeat by 80 runs was put into India’s account by the dominant Blackcaps. Northern Districts player, Tim Seifert guided New Zealand to a massive total of 219 for 6 and provided the momentum that the team lacked during the ODI series. India had started decently after the fall of Shikhar Dhawan, India submerged rather quickly. Tim Southee bagged three wickets and re-established his numbers at the particular ground.
Tim Seifert’s clever approach
Instead of slogging his way into scoring a quick 43-ball 84, the New Zealand wicketkeeper opted a more creative approach toward playing the ball. He was patient even in his blitzkrieg. He was breezy, yet reliable. Many people now see him as some form of Brendon McCullum. Why not? He was fearless, played innovative shots and never looked back or killed the pace of the innings. By the time he was dismissed, New Zealand looked strong at 134 for the loss of 2 wickets. Such was the impact. No wonder he received the Man of the Match award.
Even though India stuttered their way through the chase, there were some early and late cameos that are worthy of a mention. While Rohit Sharma had an off day, Dhawan gave India a fairly good start. The momentum fell when he was dismissed for 29 off 18 by Lockie Ferguson. The latter bowled impressively well, bowling four full overs, keeping the economy rate below 6 and picking up two wickets. Vijay Shankar at No. 3 played similar innings like Dhawan. Then came MS Dhoni who couldn’t really accelerate the innings. Finally, Krunal Pandya scored an 18-ball 20 which didn’t help much either. Anyhow, the New Zealand cameos were far more productive. Everyone contributed a little besides Seifert’s incredible contribution. Like Vijay Shankar and Dhawan, captain Kane Williamson and opener Colin Munro scored similar innings of 34 runs each. While moving towards the end, the run rate was falling for New Zealand but a 7-ball 20 from Scott Kuggeleijn helped New Zealand post a target of 220.
Selections and Changes
The Indian team selection for the 1st T20I has raised quite a few eyebrows. Even though India seemed to have an edge over the hosts, they fell from a big height. Despite being prolific, Kuldeep Yadav was dropped. Khaleel Ahmed has been given many chances but was proven to be expensive yet again. India would want to make some major changes for the second T20I that’s scheduled on Friday, at the Eden Park in Auckland. Meanwhile, New Zealand could consider playing Jimmy Neesham instead of Colin de Grandhomme.
Also Read: Players to watch out in the series