And the series is leveled. Well. We saw the ODI series level. The third and final match was more than a blast. Despite having a ton of runs on the scoreboard, the match and the series could have gone either way. That was the best part of it. Course it was a world of entertainment for all cricket fans. Honestly even a third party not emotionally vested in the two teams could watch and appreciate the demonstration of fine cricket.
Now the T20 series is looking the same way. India won the first match and NZ came back strong and hard in the second match. The match deciding the fate of the tournament is on 7th November. Boy are we interested or what.
Let’s see what happened in the second match now.
New Zealand won the toss and decided to bat. A supreme not out 58 ball 109 runs by Colin Munro took New Zealand to the path of destruction. I mean look at the strike rate - 187.93. That is a mind blowing number. The other batsmen didn’t do that bad either. Martin Guptil’s 45 runs from 41 deliveries is worth talking about too. Together, these two batsmen had 10 4’s and 10 6’s between them. I am not even going to go into the economy rate of the Indian Bowlers. That’s right. They are losing enough sleep over it.
In reply, India marched in to face a target of 192 runs. Required runrate - 9.85. That is enough to rattle the opening batsmen. First wicket fell at 6 runs. Second at 11. With Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan gone like that, and I mean like that; the middle order did not feel too good. Apart from Kohli’s 65 and Dhoni’s 49, there was really not much helping India’s chase to the finishing line. Not very often do we get to see the innings that Lakshman, Dravid & Ganguly played in Kolkatta. They not only avoided an innings defeat, they went on to win the match. Oh well.
A lot of things to work on. But most importantly, the level of confidence. When the top batsmen fail, it is really not the end of the world. It is not fair to let just one or two batsmen handle all the burden. This is cricket. A partner is always required. Secondly, we should take chances. If not, make them. With a high target, all the batsmen need to chip in. a T20 match is a fast match with not enough deliveries. You need to hit from the word go. Defensive play to save the wicket or whatever will not work. You need to make sure you have a run a ball. First three balls - dot ball, then aim for a four or even a six in the fourth delivery to even the score. It is a 20 over innings. Constant mental calculation is necessary.
Let’s hope for the best in the third T20. Oh. How are you doing in the lineup on the fantasy app?