On Wednesday, February 1, at the Narendra Modi Complex in Ahmedabad, Team India defeated New Zealand by 168 runs in the 3rd Twenty20 International. In the final, the Men in Blue had won the toss and elected to bat first, scoring a massive 234/4. Shubman Gill, the opener, led the way with 126 off 63 balls. Rahul Tripathi added 44 runs quickly off only 22 strokes.
The Kiwis struggled to 66 all-out in 12.1 overs after failing to get started in the hunt. Hardik Pandya, the skipper of Team India, took the initiative and finished with stats of 4/16. Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik, and Shivam Mavi each claimed two wickets.
India secured yet another home win in a bilateral series with a dominant performance. The T20I series between the Men in Blue and New Zealand got off to a poor start in Ranchi as they lost by 21 runs. They grabbed it in the final after a shaky victory on a difficult batting ground in Lucknow.
Here are three lessons that Team India should have learned from their victory against New Zealand in the T20I series.
1. Shubman Gill is an all-format player:
In ODIs prior to the T20I series against New Zealand, Gill showed incredible form. The opening batsman for Team India scored 70, 21, and 116 against Sri Lanka before scoring 208, 40*, and 112 against the Kiwis. Gill furthered his ODI prospects last year by collecting Player of the Series honors in Zimbabwe and the West Indies.
The 23-year-old has demonstrated adequate skill in red-ball cricket as well. Meanwhile, there were some concerns about his skill in the smallest version of world cricket going into the Ahmedabad T20I. At the Wankhede Stadium against Sri Lanka, Gill played in his first T20I match. In the three-match series, he recorded totals of 7, 5, and 46.
He was once again quickly removed in each of the first two matches against New Zealand, for seven and eleven, correspondingly. Some resentment was also leveled towards the kind manner of rejections. However, in the pivotal T20I, Gill unequivocally demonstrated his argument. The right-handed batter blasted 12 fours and seven sixes while concluding with an identical 200 strike rate, dispelling any doubts about his big-hitting potential and scoring rate in the format.
2. Ishan Kishan’s got a lot of work to do
Ishan Kishan can’t be said to be improving, whereas Gill appears to be doing so. When Gill replaced Kishan in the playing XI for the ODIs against Sri Lanka despite the keeper-batsman scoring a double hundred in his immediately preceding ODI innings against Bangladesh in Chattogram, there was some critical analysis of the Indian coaching team.
Despite receiving a sufficient amount of playing time in T20Is, Kishan has been unimpressed. So he has no cause for complaint. Since reaching his previous half-century in the format. He has only amassed 200 runs at an average of 14.28 in 14 innings, with a high of 37. Only once in his previous five T20I innings has he reached double digits.
Also Read: 3 International-Level T20I Players Who Have Struggled in ODI Cricket
3. Expect the unexpected from Team India captain Hardik Pandya
It has not yet been officially confirmed whether Pandya will serve as India’s permanent T20I captain. But one thing is certain: anytime he is in charge of the squad, he almost always comes up with an innovative solution. In the series against Sri Lanka, where he decided to give left-arm spin bowler Axar Patel and redshirt freshman Shivam Mavi the 20th over in different games, we caught some hints.
The New Zealand series provided more evidence that skipper Pandya would handle situations in his own manner, which would typically be counterintuitive. Experts in Ahmedabad recommended that the team that won the tossing bowl first.
Even Mitchell Santner, the captain of New Zealand, acknowledged that he would have started bowling first. Pandya chose to take the opening strike, and his squad supported him with an amazing all-around effort.