Solid support cast, responding to pressure & KL Rahul: 3 big takeaways for India
Ind vs NZ: India found players who were able to put their hand up and rise to the occasion, New Zealand did not. They surrendered their dominant position, stuttered, slipped and eventually were shrugged off.Updated: Feb 03, 2020, 10:11 IST
The series scoreline reads 5-0 but all the matches were keenly contested and the biggest differentiating factor between the sides was the ability to handle and respond to pressure. India found players who were able to put their hand up and rise to the occasion, New Zealand did not. They surrendered their dominant position, stuttered, slipped and eventually were shrugged off.
Here in this article, we take a look at the 3 of the biggest takeaways for India after this historic 5-0 series whitewash.
Jasprit Bumrah finds a support cast
For Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah is a bank - he can throw the ball to his pace ace and expect to get the job done. However, in this series, Bumrah found support from the other bowlers, especially in the death overs. Shami stood up when Bumrah was not having a good day in the 3rd T20I, Shardul Thakur got the job done in the 4th ODI and then Navdeep Saini, Shardul and Bumrah all combined to shut the door on New Zealand in the final match.
Death overs have been a big concern for India, but this series have given them great solutions with Bumrah as the central character.
KL Rahul, opening batsman, wicket-keeper, leader
Rohit Sharma, who was leading the side in the absence of Virat Kohli, had to hobble off the field when his calf gave him problem during his innings and this put the spotlight on KL Rahul to lead the side. His bowling changes were on point and the way he reacted after Shivam Dube was plundered for 34 runs was a testament to his leadership. In many ways, this series was the coming of age of KL Rahul - he is now India’s primary opener in this format, he was secure with the gloves on and now, has shown the ability to ring in the changes and martial his troops when the pressure is on.
He walked away with the man of the series award and no one will now debate his credentials any longer now.
Ability to respond to pressure
T20 is all about taking decisions on the go and the Indian team showed they are quite capable of responding when they are cornered. The series could well have ended 3-2 in New Zealand’s favour had the Indian team not kept clinging on till the last moment.
They kept staring New Zealand down and forced them to blink first in the last three matches of the series and with the T20 World Cup coming up later this year, this trait could come in real handy for Virat Kohli and his boys.