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3 areas of concern for Team India despite 2nd T20I win over New Zealand

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The Indian team beat New Zealand by 65 points at Mount Maunganui on Sunday, November 20, in the second T20I of the three-game series. Sent to bat first after losing the toss, the Men in Blue earned an impressive 191/6 on the board thanks to Suryakumar Yadav’s sensational 111* on 51 balls.

Bowlers India then took over and came up with a clinical effort to knock out hosts New Zealand for 126 in 18.5 overs. Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson scored 61 from 52 but never threatened to take the game away from Team India.

With the ball in motion, Bhuvneshwar Kumar secured an early breakthrough for the visitors, sending Finn Allen home for a duck. Mohammed Siraj and Yuzvendra Chahal went on to claim two wickets each, while part-timer Deepak Hooda used four scalps, three to one over.

The Men in Blue will now look to seal the T20I series when they take on New Zealand in Game 3 at Napier on Tuesday, November 22. Ahead of the match, we analyze three areas of concern for Team India.


#1 Rishabh pants riddle

Rishabh Pant leaves after being fired by Lockie Ferguson.  Image: Getty ImagesRishabh Pant leaves after being fired by Lockie Ferguson.  Image: Getty Images
Rishabh Pant leaves after being fired by Lockie Ferguson. Image: Getty Images

Rishabh Pant chess mystery in T20I format refuses to end. The think tank keeps giving him chances and he keeps disappointing. It has become something of a trend in Indian cricket over the past few months. Much of the debate over Team India’s T20 World Cup 2022 campaign has centered on whether Pant should make the playing XI ahead of Dinesh Karthik.

Karthik has played most of the T20 Down Under World Cup matches. However, as the veteran keeper-beater was dropped from the New Zealand tour squad and the senior hitters rested, Pant was given the opportunity to open the innings at Mount Maunganui. The southpaw looked completely out of sorts, handling just six out of 13 balls.

It’s safe to say that it would be unfair to remove Pant from the playing XI after just one low score. However, the southpaw has struggled in the format for a while now.

📹📹📹📹 Scenic roads, mountains and meadows and fun along the way #TeamIndia touched Napier ahead of the third and final T20I against New Zealand.

#NZvIND

📹📹 Scenic roads, mountains and meadows and fun along the way like #TeamIndia touched Napier ahead of the third and final T20I against New Zealand.#NZvIND

Will the team management continue to support the underperforming but exceptionally talented cricketer? It’s an enigma of Indian cricket that refuses to go away.


#2 Over-reliance on Suryakumar Yadav

Suryakumar Yadav bats during the 2nd T20I.  Image: Getty ImagesSuryakumar Yadav bats during the 2nd T20I.  Image: Getty Images
Suryakumar Yadav bats during the 2nd T20I. Image: Getty Images

Suryakumar has been in exceptional form in T20I in 2022. Some of the shots he played, including Mount Maunganui, put him in a league of his own. Fittingly, the 32-year-old is the No. 1 hitter in the ICC T20I rankings. There is, however, a flip side to the story.

Suryakumar’s success overshadowed Team India’s batting woes to a large extent. Whether playing with a full-strength team or a second-string team, the Men in Blue have become too reliant on the right-handed hitter to deliver good. On Sunday, Suryakumar contributed 111 points out of the team’s 191 total, almost 58% of India’s points scored in the innings.

Okay, Kohli was the best run-getter in the T20 World Cup 2022. However, everyone knew that Suryakumar was going to be the impact player in the semi-final against England. He perished on the cheap and, despite Kohli and Hardik Pandya’s half-centuries, Team India ended up with a lower total than normal.

While Suryakumar was incredibly consistent with his efforts to win the match, the Men in Blue can’t fall into the trap of expecting him to save them from crisis situations every time.


#3 The final touch

The Men in Blue struggled to accelerate to the death in some games.  Image: Getty ImagesThe Men in Blue struggled to accelerate to the death in some games.  Image: Getty Images
The Men in Blue struggled to accelerate to the death in some games. Image: Getty Images

While Team India recorded a comprehensive win over New Zealand in the second T20I, they should have posted over 200 on the board. The visitors were 186/3 after 19 overs but only managed five runs in the final overs. Surprisingly, Centurion Suryakumar didn’t face a single ball in the final round of India’s innings.

Kiwi pacer Tim Southee assisted himself with a hat trick as Hardik Pandya (13), Deepak Hooda (0) and Washington Sundar (0) perished on consecutive deliveries in the final over. There was extremely poor planning and execution by India’s mid and lower order hitters, as a result of which Suryakumar found himself stuck on the non-striking side when ideally he should have taken most of the hitting.

The Indian team were lucky to get away with it on Sunday as bowlers ensured New Zealand did not come close to their total. However, on other days, against stronger opponents, they could end up paying a heavy price, especially in the T20 format. Therefore, the Men in Blue hitters would do well to hone their finishing skills.


Read also : 3 big names in Indian team cricket who have opposed captain’s split in the past

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By Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org