By Lee Dolbear

  • Spin gamble by Kiwis pays off
  • Modest total proves more than worthy
  • India shell-shocked

NAGPUR, INDIA – India were rocked by New Zealand’s spin attack after chasing just 127 in Group 2

New Zealand kicked off the Super 10’s in amazing style after a comprehensive victory over hosts and favourites India.

Winning the toss Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson decided to bat. He went on to announce there were no places in the team for Trent Boult, Mitchell McClenaghan and Tim Southee opting for spin in what was an inspiring gamble.

Martin Guptill struck a sublime maximum with the first ball of the opening over, only to be set on his way lbw from the following Ravichandran Ashwin delivery. Colin Munro joined him back in the pavilion in the second over when he perished to Ashish Nehra and with Suresh Raina claiming Williamson in the seventh over with the score on 35, it wasn’t exactly the greatest start to the Kiwi innings.

Later Corey Anderson and Luke Ronchi steadied the ship, Anderson with 34 from 42 balls before perishing to Jasprit Bumrah. Ronchi finishing not out with 21 and the Kiwis ending on 126 for 7.

New Zealand’s spinners had India crumbling to 26-4 within five overs, Nathan McCullum and Mitchell Santner picking up two scalps apiece. McCullum trapped Shikhar Dhawan lbw (1) and scooped Yuvraj Singh (4) off his own bowling, Santner also claimed the wickets of Rohit Sharma (5) stumped by Ronchi and Raina (1) finished with impressive bowling figures of 4/11 off his 4 overs, Inderbir Sodhi also taking 3 for 15.

With only MS Dhoni,  Virat Kohli and Ashwin getting to double figures India were bamboozled all out for just 79 after 18.1 overs, 126 was well and truly more than enough with New Zealand winning the tie by 47 runs. Their net run rate also looks mammoth after the victory at +2.35

This was New Zealand’s fifth straight victory against India in T20 and will go into their next game against Australia on Friday in Dharamsala with their tails up. India will be wanting to move on quickly after todays events, they play Pakistan on Saturday at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.

New Zealand captain Williamson told Sky Sports “It was a tough surface and whatever score we got, we knew it was going to be tough to chase, but we would probably have liked a few more. But the way the guys bowled was outstanding.

India skipper Dhoni also told Sky Sports “It was a low-scoring wicket, definitely, but I still thought we restricted them to a good total. It was the batting that let us down – there were quite a few soft dismissals. It was not as though it was the deliveries that got a lot of batsmen out, maybe it was the shot selection that kept putting the pressure on the batsman coming in.”

Well what a start to the Super 10’s, congratulations to New Zealand annihilating hosts India after setting a very beatable score.

Spin obviously is king!


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