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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

New Zealand have it in them to keep series alive in Rajkot, says Ish Sodhi

New Zealand haven’t played badly in the series and they have the ability to pull out a victory at Rajkot and keep the series alive, according to spinner Ish Sodhi

india-vs-new-zealand-2017 Updated: Nov 03, 2017 18:40 IST
Rajesh Pansare
Rajesh Pansare
Hindustan Times, Rajkot
Ish Sodhi speaks to the press ahead of the second T20 against India in Rajkot on Friday.
Ish Sodhi speaks to the press ahead of the second T20 against India in Rajkot on Friday. (PTI)

New Zealand have had their moments in the series against India but they have faltered when push came to shove. Nothing has gone right for them after a commanding performance in the first ODI of the series in Mumbai.

In the Pune ODI and New Delhi T20, their batting capsized while the Kanpur ODI saw them lose the way after being in the driver’s seat throughout the chase.

While the Indiam cricket team decided to skip Friday’s training, the Black Caps were hard at work, ironing out flaws to be battle ready for Saturday’s second T20 at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, which they have to win to keep the series alive.

The New Zealand cricket team trained for close to three hours in sweltering conditions during which their focus was on catching and facing as many deliveries from the spinners as possible. The net bowlers were leg spinners and left-arm spinners.

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What has hurt New Zealand the most is the failures of their experienced batsmen like Martin Guptill and skipper Kane Williamson, who has just one decent knock in the series so far. The only constant for them has been the performance of Tom Latham, who has emerged their best player on the tour.

Ish Sodhi, who was New Zealand’s best bowler in the first T20, feels the team hasn’t played that bad in the series. “We played well to win in Mumbai. The second game is the only one we struggled in. Third ODI was a fantastic game; we showed that we can play spin a lot better than the sides that have come here in the past.

“In T20, it’s all about momentum. They (Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan) put on a good partnership at the start to seize the momentum for the rest of the game. So, it’s just about recognising those key moments,” said Sodhi.

The leggie said that New Zealand have it in them to keep the series alive. “Every game we go out to play, we try to put our best performance. Hope we combat the conditions well enough and potentially come out on top.

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Being one down in the series is always tough but there are still two games to come back and there is a series on the line so we will have to give our best shot,” said the 25-year-old.

On a personal front, he feels that he is bowling much better than he did the last time he visited India in 2016. “The biggest thing is probably I’ve slowed down a lot and I’ve tried to understand my bowling a lot more from the outside.

“I’ve worked really hard on my bowling and my action, trying to be aware of what I’m doing and what I need to do to get the ball in certain area,” he said.

First Published: Nov 03, 2017 18:36 IST