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To Come Out Here and Compete Against the No.1 T20I Side Is Promising: Ish Sodhi

Cricketnext Staff |November 4, 2018, 1:05 PM IST
To Come Out Here and Compete Against the No.1 T20I Side Is Promising: Ish Sodhi

New Zealand leg-spinner Ish Sodhi has admitted that losing two close games against Pakistan was a bitter pill to swallow and insisted it was essential to work the "small margins" when the two teams lock horns in the third and final Twenty20 International in Dubai on Sunday (November 4).

"We have had two cracking games," said Sodhi. "Obviously it is disappointing to come out on the losing side. I suppose you look for little things you can improve on to be able to win those small margins – two runs and two balls."

New Zealand, who are back playing international cricket for the first time in seven months, gave a good account of themselves in the first two T20Is but fell tantalisingly close to a win on both occasions. They lost the first game by 2 runs and the second with 2 balls to spare with Pakistan holding onto their nerves better when it mattered the most to seal the three-match series 2-0.

Sodhi lauded the way New Zealand have competed against the No.1 T20I team in the world but said that his side should learn from the way Pakistan bowled in the two games and come out with a mindset of winning the final game in Dubai.

"The way the Pakistanis have bowled, they've kept the ball really straight, not given us too much width to work with. From a bowling perspective, it's important to learn from them. It's something definitely to take into the next game.

"Across the board, the boys have played well. To come out here against the No.1 side in the world and compete to the level that we have, it is promising. The small margins are a little bit harder to take when you come out on the losing side, but everyone is very motivated and fizzed to come out and compete. Hopefully, we can leave the series with a win."

From his own point of view, Sodhi has had a lukewarm series so far. He picked up 1/24 in the first T20I in Abu Dhabi and went wicketless in the second in Dubai conceding 39 runs in his four-over spell.

"I've been bowling later in the innings which is bit of a challenge. It's about learning from the Pakistani bowlers and how they go about it. Their lines have been really nice and tight," he said.

Post the T20I series, New Zealand will play three One-Day Internationals and three Tests in the UAE and Sodhi is a part of all three setups. The 26-year-old said that though he loved T20 cricket the prospect of playing all three formats was exciting.

"The prospect of playing all three formats is really exciting. It's not something I've done before so it's nice to have a chance to be part of the squads and keep developing my game further," he said. "I love T20 cricket, but I also have aspirations in the other formats."

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2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
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