India’s stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma disappointed after losing third T20I by four runs, but is proud to see team fight till the end; says visitors take home lots of positives despite series loss
The New Zealanders with their T20I winner’s trophy. Pics/AFP
India captain Rohit Sharma said his team will return home with lots of positives despite a “disappointing” 1-2 defeat in the three-match T20 series. India savoured a historic Test and ODI bilateral series win in Australia before recording their biggest ODI series win on New Zealand soil.
A first ever T20 series win would have been the icing on the cake but the hosts held their nerve to pull off a thrilling four-run victory yesterday. “Disappointing to not cross the line but we fought well right till the end. 210-odd [213 target] was always going to be tough, but we were in it till the end. They held their nerve and kept hitting their yorkers,” said Rohit at the post-match presentation.
NZ spinner Mitchell Santner (right) celebrates the dismissal of India’s Vijay Shankar in the third T20I in Hamilton yesterday. One-drop batsman Shankar top-scored for the visitors with a 28-ball 43 (5×4, 2×6)
“Still… a lot of positives, we started well with the ODIs, wanted to do well here but the boys throughout the tour were excellent, put in a lot of hard work. They will be disappointed tonight but we have to learn from our mistakes.” India next host Australia for two T20s and five ODIs, beginning in Vizag on Feb 24.
NZ captain Kane Williamson said his team will take a lot of confidence from the T20 triumph against India into the home series against Bangladesh. “Brilliant high-scoring game, a great advertisement for T20 cricket.
The first performance was our best, there were learnings in the second game. Both teams put in strong performances tonight, we did slightly better,” said Williamson. India needed to knock off a stiff 213-run target.
India Skipper Rohit Sharma
India bowlers hammered
Exploiting batting-friendly conditions at the small Seddon Park ground, NZ cut the Indian attack to shreds to post an imposing 212/4. Opener Colin Munro produced a 40-ball 72 and shared an 80-run stand with fellow opener Tim Seifert (43). Krunal Pandya was the most expensive of the Indian bowlers, bleeding 54 runs in his four overs.
Opener Rohit then made an uncharacteristic 32-ball 38 which hurt India’s chances. No. 3 Vijay Shankar (43 off 28) played a useful knock after Shikhar Dhawan (5) fell early. Rishabh Pant (28 off 12) and Hardik Pandya (21 off 11) infused some life into India’s chase with some brutal hitting, but perished while trying to keep up with a steep scoring rate. MS Dhoni (2 off 4) also couldn’t do much. Dinesh Karthik (16-ball 33) and Krunal (13-ball 26) indulged in some late hitting, but it wasn’t enough.
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