New Zealand and India attempt to put World Cup misery behind them in three-match series

By Sports Desk November 17, 2022

New Zealand and India will attempt to put the disappointment of failing to win the T20 World Cup behind them when they start a three-match T20i series on Friday.

England hammered India by 10 wickets at the semi-final stage before beating Pakistan at the MCG on Sunday to lift the trophy for a second time.

The Black Caps missed out once again when they lost to Pakistan in the semi-final, having been runners-up to Australia in Dubai last year.

India will be without captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul for three matches against New Zealand in the shortest format, as the experienced trio have been given a post-World Cup rest.

Hardik Pandya will skipper the tourists, with VVS Laxman filling in as head coach as Rahul Dravid is also absent.

Laxman wants to see the India players express themselves in a series that gets under way at Westpac Stadium

He said: "It is important to be flexible. I think in T20 cricket, you are required to express yourself and that is when you will be successful. I think T20 cricket has shown us over the years that the more amount of multi-dimensional players you have, the better for the team.

"You have bowlers who can bat, and batters who can bowl, and that is the way forward. That has already been proven in T20 cricket, the more number of bowlers who can bat will add depth to the team and it allows a lot of freedom for the batters to express themselves.

"That is the need for the format and I am sure more and more teams will try to get that into their selection process and identify players who are multi-dimensional players."

New Zealand have won their past four multi-game bilateral T20I series and will attempt to extend that to five for the first time, with India being the last team to beat them in a series with a 3-0 success a year ago.

 

No Boult to strike for Black Caps

Trent Boult was not included in the New Zealand squad after a request to be released from his central contract was accepted in August.

They still possess a strong attack in his absence, with Tim Southee and Lockie Ferguson set to be unleashed and Adam Milne back in the fold along with Blair Tickner

Experienced opener Martin Guptill was overlooked once again, with Finn Allen keeping his spot at the top of the order.

 

India need Pant back to his explosive best

Rishabh Pant only played twice in the World Cup, making three against Zimbabwe before falling for only nine in the crushing semi-final loss at the hands of England.

Dinesh Karthik had been preferred to Pant, but the experienced wicketkeeper-batter is not in the squad to face New Zealand.

Pant is only 30 runs short of becoming 11th player to score 1,000 runs for India in men’s T20Is and India will need him to explode into life.

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    It was the first time the Black Caps had failed to reach 100 runs in a T20I against India, though it was not as bad as it first seemed on a difficult pitch.

    Finn Allen's (11) reverse sweep attempt from Yuzvendra Chahal's (1-4) delivery saw him knock the ball on to himself and then the stumps for India's breakthrough, and Devon Conway (11) soon followed when caught behind by Ishan Kishan off Washington Sundar (1-17).

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    Michael Bracewell (14) and Mitchell Santner (19 not out) formed one of only two stands to yield 20 runs, before New Zealand's innings petered out with only five in the final over.

    India's response was not emphatic – they also failed to register a single six.

    Shubman Gill (11) gave Allen an easy catch with a top edge off Bracewell (1-13) for an early boost, before Kishan (19) was run out and Rahul Tripathi (13) was caught at deep midwicket.

    Suryakumar Yadav (26 not out) – aided ably by captain Hardik Pandya (15 not out) – ultimately dragged India over the line, getting just enough power on the penultimate ball to reach the boundary and take India to 101-4.

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    Having managed at least 47 runs in each of his previous three T20Is, Suryakumar is not used to struggling to amass significant totals.

    Much like everyone else on Sunday, he could not quite find momentum with his 26 coming off 31 balls, but the fact he had the nous to be the only batter to break the 20-runs barrier should not be overlooked.

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    The wickets did not tumble with quite the same regularity as when they were in bat, but with the ball they ensured the match remained tight – the fact they took it to the final over is commendable in itself.

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    Jos Buttler top scored with an unbeaten 94 from 82 balls, while Harry Brook (84) and Moeen Ali (51) struck quickfire half-centuries to get the tourists up to an imposing 342-7 at Mangaung Oval on Sunday.

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    David Miller finished off the job with 58 not out from 37 balls as South Africa boosted their chances of securing direct qualification for the World Cup in India this year, consigning England to a fifth consecutive loss in this format.

    Jason Roy fell for only nine after scoring a century in the first ODI on Friday and Dawid Malan (12) also failed, but Brook and Buttler put on 73 for the fourth wicket.

    Brook raced to a half-century before falling to Aiden Markram and Moeen kept England ticking along nicely with his skipper until he played on to a delivery from Anrich Nortje (2-64).

    Buttler and Sam Curran (28 off 17) cut loose as the world champions took 60 off the last four overs to seemingly take the upper hand.

    Bavuma led by example to get his side off to a blistering start, combining with Quinton de Kock – who took a blow on the wrist while keeping but did not appear to be hampered – for 77.

    Olly Stone (2-48) got rid of De Kock but Bavuma was in great touch with support from Rassie van der Dussen (38) as England – who left Jofra Archer out the paceman's long-awaited return in the opening match – were unable to halt the flow of runs.

    Bavuma fell scooping Curran into his stumps soon after bringing up a sublime third ODI hundred to end a stand of 97 with Van der Dussen, who then became Adil Rashid's (2-72) second victim.

    Heinrich Klaasen (27) failed to build on a start, but Miller and Marco Jansen (32no off 29) got South Africa home with five balls to spare – the left-hander fittingly winning it by clattering Chris Woakes for six.

     

    Brook and Buttler pummel Proteas attack

    Brook has made a great start to his international career and showed his class in only his second ODI after being dismissed for a duck on debut two days earlier.

    He struck four sixes and seven fours before Buttler provided a late onslaught, getting his side up to a big total with support from Moeen and Curran.

    The skipper cleared the rope on three occasions and struck eight boundaries, shifting through the gears in explosive fashion.

    Brilliant Bavuma sets up record chase, Miller delivers again

    Bavuma had not reached three figures for his country since his hundred against India last January, but he ended that wait in style.

    With South Africa battling to seal their World Cup spot for the tournament in India, Bavuma batted beautifully to lay the platform at the top of the order.

    Miller thrives on the responsibility of being the finisher and he delivered once again, hitting three sixes as South Africa bettered their previous best ODI run chase on this ground of 274-4 against Australia in 2020.

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