India tried a new opening pair as they took on New Zealand in the second T20I at the Mount Manganui. Although India went onto win the match by 65 runs, the new opening pair in Rishabh Pant and Ishan Kishan left a lot to be desired. While Kishan looked in good touch during his 36 off 31 balls, Pant had a flop show, scoring 6 off 13 balls. During his stay, he looked iffy before hitting it straight in the air where he was caught expertly by Tim Southee off Lockie Ferguson.
Meanwhile, former India cricketer Ashish Nehra spoke his mind out when it came to Pant’s flop show.
“Ya, Rishabh Pant did not look in good touch. He did hit one boundary at the start but did not find his timing later on. Especially in these conditions, you just can’t look to hit the ball hard and you have to look at timing the ball well. And a few times even Ishan Kishan, he was beaten but he stayed there and now is looking good, but we have seen him better than this,” Nehra told Primevideo, the T20I series’ official streaming partner.
“The thing is that IPL and international cricket are different ball games, there is a different pressure, different mindset, I want to see how much does this opening pair get backed by the team management. The kind of conditions today, there was a little bit for the bowlers. I want to see what they do with their opening options, main thing is that they cannot be confused,” Nehra added.
Pant has opened for India on three occasions, and here it must be noted that his T20 stats are not that impressive when it comes to his ODI or Test match numbers. The Delhi Capitals skipper was not even picked once in the recently concluded T20 World Cup and continued to warm the bench as Dinesh Karthik was picked ahead of him.
Suryakumar Yadav displayed his unmatched superiority in the shortest format with a breathtaking hundred as India outplayed New Zealand by 65 runs in the second T20 here on Sunday. Surya struck a sensational 111 not out off 51 balls for his second T20 century and fired India to 191 for six.
Promoted to number three, the 32-year-old toyed with the bowlers to lift India to a challenging total after New Zealand put the visitors in to bat.
He smashed boundaries and sixes at will, his last 64 runs coming off just 18 balls. His entertaining innings had 11 fours and seven sixes and his strike rate was an incredible 217.64.
New Zealand bowlers appeared clueless as Surya kept strung together some extraordinary shots.
The hosts kept losing wickets in the run chase and never looked in hunt. In the end, New Zealand were all out for 126 in 18.5 overs.
With first game being washed out, India now lead the three match series 1-0 with the final game to be played on Tuesday.