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New Zealand let it slip, again and again against India

Renowned for their brilliant fielding and catching, New Zealand paid the price for poor catching in the first T20 at the Ferozeshah Kotla.

india vs new zealand 2017 Updated: Nov 02, 2017 13:25 IST
Siddhartha Sharma
Siddhartha Sharma
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India vs New Zealand,Indian cricket team,New Zealand cricket team
New Delhi: India's Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli having a words with New Zealand players ,waits for reply of dismissal of Rohit Sharma during the first T20 match at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi, on Wednesday. PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist (PTI11_1_2017_000208a)(PTI)

Since Mumbai, New Zealand have paid the price for poor fielding. At Ferozeshah Kotla against India in the first T20 on Wednesday, the Kiwis dropped three important catches – that of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. (India vs New Zealand, 1st T20, Feroz Shah Kotla highlights)

All three Indian batsmen, after their reprieve, took the game away from the Kiwis. The hosts went on the rampage, posting a mammoth 202 after being asked to bat first by Kane Williamson. (India vs New Zealand, 1st T20, Feroz Shah Kotla scorecard)

Dhawan was the first to be dropped by Mitchell Santner at point off Trent Boult in the second over. He was on eight. He added 72 more.

Santner was the culprit in the Mumbai ODI too as he dropped India skipper Virat Kohli, who too went on to score his 31st century, though in a losing cause.

Costly drops

But on Wednesday, Santner’s drop proved costly as Dhawan never allowed any bowler to settle down. With dew adding to the fielders’ difficulties, India comfortably tread the path.

READ | Feroz Shah Kotla turns up in numbers for Ashish Nehra’s farewell

Rohit was the next to be dropped, in the seventh over off Colin de Grandhomme. Tim Southee was the fielder at long off. Probably, that drop cost New Zealand the most because, even though Santner and Ish Sodhi were bowling well to him, he improvised later to cash in.

Rohit was on 16 when he was dropped, and he too scored 80. Even though he wasn’t in a devastating mood initially, he kept the game moving and complemented Dhawan.

“We were outplayed, fielding included -- something we pride ourselves on, something we need to be much better at in T20 cricket,” said Williamson.

“That can be the difference. We saw (on Wednesday) it proved to be vital as guys (Dhawan and Rohit) went on to score big. 202 on that surface was a very big total.”

READ | India vs New Zealand: Shikhar Dhawan hits third fifty in first T20 at Kotla

Later, Virat Kohli got lucky at eight, in the 18th over. It was Martin Guptill who couldn’t time his run from midwicket and just failed to reach the catch. It was the second time de Grandhomme was denied a wicket. Kohli had stepped down to an off-cutter but didn’t middle it. The consequence was that Kohli found two more sixes to take India past 200.

For India, the saying ‘catches win matches’ proved right. Hardik Pandya pouched a stunner at long on off Yuzvendra Chahal in the second over. Guptill’s wicket pushed the Kiwis on the back foot straightaway, and rather than push for runs, they were playing it safe.

READ | India vs New Zealand: Rohit Sharma continues fine form with fifty in 1st T20I

In a T20 game, the first six overs play a vital role in a chase, especially when going after a huge target. The Kiwis could score just 33 in six, meaning India had clinched the advantage. Though, Pandya and Kohli dropped sitters afterwards, the damage was done.

The result: India’s first win over New Zealand in a Twenty20.

First Published: Nov 01, 2017 23:01 IST