India and New Zealand were up against each other in the first T20I of the three-match series in Jaipur with teh hosts registering a comfortable 5-wicket win. Both teams are coming from the UAE where they participated in the T20 World Cup 2021. Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bowl first. India handed debut cap to Venkatesh Iyer while Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Mohammad Siraj returned in the playing XI.
New Zealand brought Mark Chapman, Rachin Ravindra, Todd Astle, and Lockie Ferguson in the playing XI. Martin Guptill and Daryl Mitchell walked out to open the innings for New Zealand while Bhuvneshwar Kumar had the new ball in his hand. Bhuvi bowled a delicious inswinger which castled Mitchell for a golden duck and gave New Zealand an early jolt. Mark Chapman, replacing Kane Williamson, walked out at number 3 for New Zealand.
Chapman batted with intent and counter-attacking approach as he raised his maiden T20I fifty before Ravichandran Ashwin dented New Zealand innings with a double-wicket over. Ashwin dismissed Chapman and Glenn Phillips within four balls. Meanwhile, Martin Guptill got his eyes set and was looking dangerous after scoring his fifty. Guptill smashed Deepak Chahar for a huge no-look six which went 98 meters away into the stands. Chahar dished another ball in the slot which Guptill tried to send over the boundary.
But Shreyas Iyer took a good sliding catch to dismiss Guptill for 70 runs in 42 balls, where he hit three fours and four sixes. The rest of the batters couldn’t really get going as they finished at 164/6 in their 20 overs. India needed a good start to chase down the 165-run target and the Indian openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul started off cautiously then tonked 21 runs in the fifth over of the innings which also included a belligerent pull shot for a huge six.
In Virat Kohli’s absence, Suryakumar Yadav got a chance to bat at three and he made another half-century partnership with ROhit as both were looking comfortable in the middle. At one stage, it felt like the duo would easily get the team over the line, but Boult came back for his final spell to trap the India skipper for 48, he dismissed Suryakumar, who threw it away with 21 runs needing off 20 balls.
Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer were in the middle, but they couldn’t get going from the outset. Southee did well in the penultimate over to concede only six runs and also pick Iyer’s wicket to leave Daryl Mitchell to defend 10 runs in the final over. Venkatesh Iyer came out to bat and smashed a boundary off his first ball but then again weirdly tried a reverse sweep only to get caught.
The pressure was on both Panta and Axar Pate, but the latter managed to bring Pant back on strike. Pant then smashed the ball over mid-off fielder for a four and seal the game for the men in blue with a couple of balls to spare.
Here is how the Twitterati reacted to India’s win:
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) November 17, 2021
The chanting Jaipur crowd reminds me of my birthday century knock there!
The entire crowd was singing and wishing me happy birthday.
Still getting goosebumps! 😄#INDvsNZ
— Vinod Kambli (@vinodkambli349) November 17, 2021
Imagine if this was a triangular series involving India, New Zealand and Afghanistan or Sri Lanka. Bonus points for winning by a certain margin. World should be moving towards multi-nation tournaments for white-ball cricket. Thoughts?
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) November 17, 2021
Rohit Sharma at home in T20Is as a captain:
Matches : 10
Won : 9
Lost : 1#INDvNZ
— Umang Pabari (@UPStatsman) November 17, 2021
20 balls without a boundary for India.
Enters Venkatesh Iyer, in the final over under pressure, on his India debut.
— Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) November 17, 2021