India T20I skipper Rohit Sharma has said that his team put up a great effort against New Zealand on Friday in Ranchi as the Men In Blue beat the Blackcaps by seven wickets to take an unassailable lead of 2-0 in a three match series. Sharma added that the team applied themselves very well.
India won the toss and asked the Tim Southee-led to bat first. The Kiwis had a great start as they scored 64 runs in the powerplay having lost the wicket of Martin Guptill. After the powerplay, they struggled to keep the momentum going as they could only amass 38 runs in the next seven overs and lost the wickets of Daryl Mitchell and Mark Chapman. At the end of the innings, they ended up with 153/6. For India, debutant Harshal Patel took two wickets while Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar and Axar Patel took one apiece.
In reply, India openers, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul added 117 runs for the first wicket before Rahul (65) was caught at the boundary by Glenn Phillips off the bowling of Tim Southee. Sharma (55) also got out to Southee while Suryakumar Yadav could only score one run. In the end, they chased down the target in 17.2 overs, thanks to Venkatesh Iyer and Rishabh Pant as they scored 12 not out each. The 34-year-old after the match said that the conditions were not easy.
“Great effort from entire unit, wasn’t the easiest of conditions but the way we applied ourselves was great,” the 34-year-old said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“Under pressure, we know their quality as a batting outfit. I kept telling the bowlers it’s just about one wicket, if we get that we can put the brakes.”
The right-hander added that Ashwin and Axar bowled well and the players on the bench have been performing consistently.
“We know the quality of our spinners and can always pull things back. The bench strength, these guys have been performing consistently, so there’s pressure on the guys on the field.
“Important for me to give them freedom and the external things will take care of themselves. It’s a young team, a lot haven’t played a lot of games,” the right-hander added.
The T20I skipper praised debutant Harshal has bowled well in first-class cricket over the years and he is a skillful bowler.
“He’s (Harshal) has done it many times, playing first-class cricket for many years, he knows what he wants to execute and is a very skillful bowler.”
Both the teams will play next on Sunday, November 21 in Kolkata before the Test series starts on November 25 in Kanpur.