Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Rohit Sharma, Axar Patel star in India's dominant win. Rohit Sharma led India to a clean sweep
Rohit Sharma led India to a clean sweep
Another impressive performance from India helped them complete a clean sweep that put New Zealand out of their misery in the T20I series. Having already clinched the series, India rested KL Rahul and Ravichandran Ashwin in the dead rubber in Kolkata on Sunday (November 21) and brought in Ishan Kishan and Yuzvendra Chahal. Those moves didn't alter the result as India continued to hammer a New Zealand side that just looked out of its depth despite featuring in a T20 WC final exactly a week prior to this game.
How did India begin without KL?
Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul have been in awesome form at the top of the order and even though the team management decided to rest the latter, the impact was pretty much the same. Ishan Kishan was finally given a go and he alongside Rohit, gave India a blistering start. Both batsmen continued to plunder the bowling attack that didn't have Tim Southee in it and India ended up making 69 in the powerplay without losing a wicket to lay a strong platform. This start gave Ishan full license to continue to target the visitors in the middle overs as well.
Did he tee off?
Unfortunately for the home side, he didn't. Mitchell Santner, the skipper on the night, gave New Zealand the much-needed breakthrough and ensured Ishan didn't last longer to cause more damage. The left-hander edged one to the keeper and Santner pulled his side back with further breakthroughs. Suryakumar Yadav fell in the same over and Rishabh Pant didn't make an impact either as he mistimed one while attempting a slog sweep. Santner's three-wicket burst brought New Zealand right back into the contest as only 21 runs were fetched in the four overs that followed the powerplay.
Lower order muscles India to 184
Rohit on the other hand managed to register yet another half-century in the format and was crucial to India's chances of putting up a substantial total. But New Zealand managed to strike once again with Ish Sodhi getting rid of the Indian captain at the right time. However, Shreyas Iyer and Venkatesh Iyer arrested the slide to an extent and even though the duo fell in quick succession before launching at the death, the lower order stepped up. Harshal Patel hit 18 off just 11 whereas Deepak Chahar hurt New Zealand further by smashing 21 off just 8 balls to power India to 184.
Axar stuns New Zealand
Rohit opted to use Axar in the powerplay anticipating dew to make things difficult in the middle overs for the spinner. And the move worked as the left-arm spinner absolutely stunned the New Zealand dressing room. Daryl Mitchell fell for just 5 and Mark Chapman was stumped for a two-ball duck in the same over. Glenn Phillips too failed to get off the mark and was castled by Axar who had figures of 3/2 after his opening two overs. Even though Martin Guptill at the other end was teeing off, the triple strike negated the threat as New Zealand made only 68 in the first half of the chase.
Did they fight back?
Not at all. Guptill's wicket pretty much ended their challenge. The opener attempted another no-look shot to no avail as Yuzvendra Chahal opened his wicket and from thereon, it was a landslide. Harshal Patel got into the act, Venkatesh Iyer picked up a wicket after finally getting to bowl and New Zealand also self-destructed with two run-outs. The visitors barely managed to cross 100 and were bowled out in the 18th over to succumb to a 73-run loss.
Brief scores: India 184/7 in 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 56, Ishan Kishan 29; Mitchell Santner 3-27) beat New Zealand 111 in 17.2 overs (Martin Guptill 51; Axar Patel 3-9, Harshal Patel 2-26) by 73 runs