India triumph as visitors New Zealand succumb in their opening game
The T20 action has not far gone following the World Cup as India triumphs under the leadership of Rohit Sharma & newly appointed head coach Rahul Dravid. New Zealand starts their India tour on a losing end in the first T20 match of the three-match series.
Rohit Sharma won the toss and decided to field against the Black Caps, with debutant Venkatesh Iyer embracing the team India jersey.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ravichandra Ashwin grabbed two wickets each, while Deepak Chahar and Axar Patel picked one each. After a hard-hitting knock from Martin Guptil (70), India restricted the Kiwis for 164 runs, losing six wickets.
The Men in Blue got a decent start scoring 50 runs for the first wicket. Rohit Sharma (48) & Suryakumar Yadav (62) powered the innings to keep the required rate under control. With two balls to spare, India chased down the target.
Tim Southee, who captained his side in the absence of Kane Williamson, said, "It was a game of fine margins. It was a good score, we wanted to start well with the ball, but we did well to claw back in the middle and obviously, Mitch Santner was outstanding with the ball and to take it deep and take it to the last over; I guess that was a positive as well. It's always tough with different grounds and stuff like that, but we set high expectations ourselves, a little bit off in the field, and it's an area we pride ourselves on and that we have been very good at in the last few months."
Indian skipper gave credits to the bowling unit who bought the match under control towards the end, saying, "As a team, we are happy that those guys got to bat in that situation and finished the game off. I think the way we pulled it back in the last 3-4 overs was magnificent. In the end, it was a great effort from all our bowlers. They (Ashwin and Axar) bowl in tandem for the Delhi Capitals, and they are always looking to take wickets which is a good sign; it's important to try and put the brakes, and those guys do that. Surya batted brilliantly, and that's how he plays; he played some percentage shots as well and plays spin really well and uses the pace well for the fast bowlers."
"I try and put a lot of pressure on myself in the nets, for example if I get out I just try to come out of the nets and try and think what better I could have done and it really helps when I play in the middle. The ball was coming on nicely with the dew coming in, and later on, it became really slow but at the end happy to be on the winning side. I would have loved to finish the game, but that's how you learn and move forward", said Suryakmar on winning the Man of the Match award for his knock.
The victory has sparked the arrival of a new era in the Indian cricket team. Both sides will be in action in Ranchi on 19th November for the 2nd match of the series.