New Delhi: New Zealand produced a stunning all-round show as they beat India by 40 runs in the second T20I at the Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium in Rajkot on Saturday. Colin Munro struck as majestic century for the visitors while pacer Trent Boult picked up four wickets as the Kiwis levelled the three-match series 1-1, with the third match to be played in Thiruvananthapuram on November 7.
Chasing a daunting target of 197, the hosts got off to the worst start possible as Boult removed opener Shikhar Dhawan (1) and Rohit Sharma (5) in the second over of the innings itself. Here is Cricketnext's analysis of each and every Indian player from Saturday’s match.
Shikhar Dhawan: Rating 2: Verdict: Poor
After a brilliant show in the opening T20I at the Ferozeshah Kotla, Dhawan put up a disappointing show in the second game. While a bad game is no cardinal sin, it was the way in which he was dismissed by Trent Boult that leaves a bad taste in the mouth. A huge gap between bat and pad as Dhawan went for an expansive shot, only for the wicket to go for a walk in the park. Being a senior member of the team, Dhawan should have shown more application at the top.
Rohit Sharma: Rating 2: Verdict: Poor
Centurion Colin Munro said dismissing the openers early was the key to the Kiwis winning the second T20I and that was a given after Rohit and Dhawan took the game away from the Kiwis at Kotla. But on Saturday, Rohit failed to continue from where he left in the opening game. Chasing 197, a little more application from the opener would have served the team well. But Rohit flattered to deceive after starting with a boundary. Rohit has been going off the radar a bit too much in recent times and needs to get the consistency going again.
Virat Kohli: Rating 9: Verdict: Very Good
Another brilliant display from the India skipper with the bat after the bowlers went for plenty. But sadly, he would also look at blaming himself for failing to finish the game. Dismissed in the 17th over with the required rate soaring, it was important that Kohli stuck it out with MS Dhoni and saw India home like he has in the past. But then, Saturday was once again testimony to the fact that Kohli is after all human and he too makes mistakes. But till the time he was in the middle, it was a treat to the eyes as he played the punches and the flicks.
Shreyas Iyer: Rating 5: Verdict: Average
Coming in ahead of Kohli, Shreyas had a point to prove. But unfortunately, it wasn’t to be his night as he flattered to deceive. He did play a few quality shots, but the flow was missing and the pressure of the ever-increasing required run-rate did get the better of the Mumbai youngster. But batting in the middle with someone like Kohli will definitely work wonders for his confidence. Another India batsman who lost his wicket in trying to up the ante.
Hardik Pandya: Rating 2: Verdict: Poor
Back to back bad games for the all-rounder. After a poor outing in Kotla, Pandya’s bad form continued in Rajkot. While he gave away 14 runs from his lone over, he managed just 1 with the bat before Ish Sodhi cleaned him up. With the situation tailor-made for a Pandya flourish, one would have expected him to show more maturity than trying to whip Sodhi off his toes right at the start of the innings. Pandya’s dismissal further added to the pressure on Kohli’s shoulder.
MS Dhoni: Rating 7: Verdict: Good
Some criticised MS Dhoni for failing to rotate the strike, but as Kohli put it at the end of the game, the former India skipper had given it his best. The asking rate was just way too high for even Dhoni to finish with a flourish. 60 runs off the last 2 overs is something even a Dhoni from the late 2000s would find difficult to accomplish. But the positive sign was the way in which he hit a few lusty blows, clearly showing that he can still pack a punch when required. The pep-talk for the young bowlers was as usual a constant feature when he stood behind the stumps.
Axar Patel: Rating 2: Verdict: Poor
After a brilliant display in the opening T20I at Kotla, it was a bad outing for the left-arm spinner on Saturday. 39 runs from 3 overs is just not acceptable even in a T20I game and Kohli might just be looking at getting back chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav for the deciding T20I encounter on Tuesday. With the wicket not doing much, it was very much a see ball, hit ball situation with Axar as Colin Munro was in terrific form.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Rating 4: Verdict: Average
Yes, Colin Munro was dropped off his bowling, but that can not be an excuse at this level. Catch are dropped here and there and Bhuvi should have produced a better show with the ball. After all, he is one of Kohli’s strengths in the limited-overs format. Bhuvneshwar looked like he lost the plot somewhat in deciding between trying to go for the wickets or stem the flow of runs. Kohli needs a much-improved show from the pacer in the series decider.
Yuzvendra Chahal: Rating 4: Verdict: Average
A rare bad game for Virat Kohli’s go-to-man in the shortest format of the game. Even though Chahal did once again have Martin Guptill’s number, the rest is nothing worth writing home about. Also he left a lot to be desired with his fielding skills and skipper Kohli will definitely want a better display from his favourite leg-spinner in the final match of the series. An out-an-out wicket taker, Chahal needs to make the batsmen play to his strength and not the other way round.
Jasprit Bumrah: Rating 8: Verdict: Good
Clearly the star of the show on Saturday as he was the most impressive bowler on display. With the Kiwis scoring at almost 10 runs per over, Bumrah had an impressive economy rate of 5.75 even when the likes of Colin Munro sent the Indian bowlers on a leather hunt. While he did not pick any wicket, Bumrah was still a threat right through the innings.
Mohammed Siraj: Rating 2: Verdict: Poor
The Hyderabad pacer’s debut match clearly did not go according to plan and while he did pick the prized wicket of skipper Kane Williamson, he would wish to forget the night as early as possible. 53 runs from his 4 overs, Siraj was literally taken to the cleaners as the Kiwi batsmen looked intent on making him crack under pressure. But just as Jasprit Bumrah said at the end of the game, Siraj will definitely learn from the outing and come back stronger.