India vs New Zealand, 2nd T20I - Talking Points and Who Said What?

India won the 2nd T20I against New Zealand to level the series 1-1.

Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav
Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav. (Photo Source: Disney+Hotstar)
Damini Basu
Damini Basu

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Team India won the 2nd T20I against New Zealand, in what turned out to be a close encounter, by 6 wickets to level the ongoing three-match T20I series (1-1) to set up a cracking decider on February 1, 2023 in Ahmedabad.

The match was played at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow, and it was a low-scoring affair as compared to popular belief that the Lucknow is at times quite the "batter's paradise".

After winning the toss and opting to bat first this time, the Kiwis might have made the decision keeping in mind the popular belief about the Lucknow pitch. But the pitch played like a rank turner and proved to be a rather slow wicket to bat on. However, some stellar bowling display from the Indian bowlers saw the Kiwi batters once again at their mercy. They were desperately searching for answers asked by the spin bowlers in particular.

The New Zealand batters failed to even cross the triple-digit mark, thus scoring a paltry 99/8 in their 20 overs. the Indian bowlers were phenomenal yet again. Arshdeep Singh picked up 2 wickets while all the other bowlers viz- skipper Hardik Pandya , Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar and Deepak Hooda chipped in with one wicket each. Only Shivam Mavi went wicketless in the only over that he bowled.

For India, the chase turned turned out to be quite tricky. The prime example of it was opener, Shubman Gill, who succumbed to the Kiwi bowlers by fourth over itself. However, it was Suryakumar Yadav who was India's top-scorer with the bat (26* runs off 31 balls) and bailed the team home.

For the Kiwi bowlers however, there wasn't much to defend, except that they managed to scalp 4 Indian wickets, with the likes of Michael Bracewell, Ish Sodhi and Mark Chapman.

Talking Points from India vs New Zealand, 2nd T20I:

Team India eager to bounce back

In the second T20I, the Men in Blue looked a completely revamped side, perhaps because of the loss in the first T20I at the hands of the same opponents. The bowling department was absolutely on the money and the solitary change made by team India in their playing XI, by having Yuzvendra Chahal in place of Umran Malik did reap the rewards.

Lucknow pitch not batter-friendly

The pitch, contrary to the popular notion, didn't seem to be a typical T20 batting belter to bat on, especially with the dew factor setting later into the game, opting to bat first after winning the toss might just have backfired at the Kiwis, who were hoping to replicate their performance in the same manner from their last game.

Losing Captain, Mitchell Santner said:

It was a great game of cricket. To get it so close was a great effort from the bowlers. If we'd got an extra 10 or 15, could have been the difference. The calmness of Surya and Hardik to get them over the line was pretty good. We bowled 16 or 17 overs of spin, definitely something different. With the bounce out there, it looked challenging. You are not sure what a good total is. 120 might have been a good score. Rotation might have been the difference.

Winning Captain, Hardik Pandya said:

I always believed that we'll be able to finish the game, but it went quite late. All these games are important with the moments. You don't need to panic because it was about rotating the strike rather than taking the pressure. That's exactly what we did. We followed our basics. To be honest, this was a shocker. Two games, the kind of wickets we've played on ... I don't mind difficult wickets, I am all up for that.

But these two wickets are not made for T20. Somewhere down the line, curators should make sure that they prepare the game previously rather than having a couple of games there. Other than that, happy. Even 120 would have been a winning total. Bowlers - they stuck to their plans and ensured they did not rotate the strike. We kept rotating the spinners. Dew didn't play much part in this. They were able to spin the ball more than us. It was carrying through well. It was a shocker of a wicket.

Player of the Match, Suryakumar Yadav said:

A different version of SKY today. Adapting to the situation was very important when I went into bat. After losing Washy (Washington Sundar), it was important for someone to take the game till the end. It was my mistake, it was definitely not a run, I didn't see where the ball was going. It was a challenging wicket. We didn't think it's turn this way in the second innings but it's important to adapt. 

We just needed one hit in that over and it was very important to calm our nerves. Before we got the winning runs, he (Hardik) came and told me 'you are going to finish on this ball' and that gave me a lot of confidence.

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