File photo of New Zealand’s stand-in captain for the T20I series against India, Tim Southee© AFP
New Zealand lost to India by 5 wickets in the first T20 International in Jaipur on Wednesday but were ousted by the Blackcaps as their bowlers wired the encounter. Tim Southee, who has been leading the side in the absence of regular skipper Kane Williamson, decided to get all his main bowlers out till the 19th over, as a result of which he had to hand the ball over to part-time medium pacer Daryl Mitchell. Last over. Spinner Todd Astle had up his sleeve but Southee did not want to bowl to the leg-spinner when left-handers Rishabh Pant and Venkatesh Iyer were at the crease.
India won the match with two balls to spare as Rishabh Pant hit a boundary to take the hosts home. Mitchell, who scored 10 runs to defend in the final over, could not achieve the miraculous victory.
While many might think that this tactic of dismissing the main bowlers and handing the ball over to the part-timers may not have been a clever move by Southee, former India pacer Zaheer Khan lauded it.
Zaheer, who was India’s leading fast bowler in the 2000s and also won the 2011 ICC World Cup. cricbuzz live Said Southee’s strategy left New Zealand with a chance till the last over as the Indian batsmen were looking good to finish the match too early.
“If you look at how Southee captained the side after the 12th over and realized that he had to bowl to his main bowlers to stay in the match, I think it was a big positive for him. New Zealand generally But plays like this because they try to give themselves the best chance of winning the match.
“They got their main bowlers out and then handed the ball to Daryl Mitchell. The Indian top order batted really well, but this strategy kept New Zealand in the match till the end and eventually created a situation from which they Could have won the match. Also. So, I think the New Zealand bowlers and Southee’s captaincy should be praised.”
The second match of the series will be played in Ranchi on Friday.
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