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3rd T20I: India beat New Zealand by 73 runs: Sweep series

All-round India hammer New Zealand as Rohit Sharma begins stint as full-time captain with 3-0 sweep

India vs New Zealand, 3rd T20I: Rohit Sharma-led India came up with a clinical performance with both bat and ball as they hammered the Black Caps by 73 runs. Rohit led from the front with the bat while an all-round bowling performance saw India defend 184 successfully on a dewy evening in Kolkata.

India clinched their biggest-ever win over New Zealand in T20Is — by 73 runs

Rohit Sharma’s record-breaking fifty helped India post 184

India have clean swept New Zealand for the 2nd successive time

India could not have asked for a better start to the much-talked-about Rohit Sharma-Rahul Dravid era in T20Is as they completed a convincing clean sweep of New Zealand in a 3-match T20I series at home. The former world champions demolished the T20 World Cup 2021 runners-up by 73 runs, showcasing that teams setting a total can also win in T20i cricket.

The margin of victory was India’s biggest over New Zealand in terms of runs in a T20I match. Defending 184, India were spot on with their bowling and fielding as they restricted the visitors to 111 in 17.2 overs despite a quickfire fifty from Martin Guptill. Left-arm spinner Axar Patel shone with the ball, picking up 3 wickets but it was an all-round show from the bowling unit.

It was also the second successive time India have clean-swept New Zealand as the Black Caps were hammered 5-0 at home last year.

Rohit Sharma has had a strong start to his stint as India’s full-time T20I captain as he was spot on with his tactics on most occasions, managing to get the best of his unit across the 3 matches against New Zealand.

Rohit Sharma took the bold call of opting to bat on a dewy evening in Kolkata after winning his third successive toss. He led from the front with the bat, playing a no-holds-barred approach at the top of the order. He was given fine company by Ishan Kishan, who replaced KL Rahul, as the duo added 69 runs in the powerplay.

Rohit broke Virat Kohli’s record for the most number of fifty-plus scores in T20Is as he got to his 30th during his 31-ball 56. The India captain took the New Zealand new-ball bowlers to the cleaners, bringing out his trademark pull shot at will.

However, he cut a frustrated figure when wickets fell in quick succession after New Zealand’s stand-in captain Mitchell Santner got the wicket of Ishan Kishan right after the powerplay. The likes of Suryakumar Yadav and Rishabh Pant threw their wickets way as Santner jolted the top-order with 3 quick wickets.

Harshal and Deepak’s cameos delight India

Ish Sodhi got Rohit Sharma on 56 to put more pressure on India but Shreyas Iyer and Venkatesh Iyer added 36 runs for the 5th wicket while also keeping the scoreboard moving in the middle-overs. However, India were reeling at 140/6 after the Iyers departed in quick succession.

Just when it looked like New Zealand would be able to restrict India to less than 160, India continued their fearless approach as Harshal Patel and Deepak Chahar came up with late cameos. Deepak took 19 runs off Adam Milne’s final over as India posted a competitive total of 184.

Axar Patel leads a terrific bowling display

India’s defense did not get off on the right note as Deepak Chahar put down Martin Guptill in the 2nd over but Axar Patel made sure New Zealand were pegged back with wickets of Daryl Mitchell and Mark Chapman in his first over.

Rohit’s move to bring on his spinners early worked wonders as the Black Caps managed just 37 runs and lost 3 wickets in the powerplay.

Yuzvendra Chahal, who was taken to the cleaners by Martin Guptill, came back to get the big wicket of the New Zealand opener after Rohit gave him the extra over despite being smashed.

Skipper Rohit used his resources wonderfully well as Harshal Patel continued his good showing, picking up 2 wickets. Venkatesh Iyer got to bowl for the first time in the series and picked up a wicket.

In the end, India’s lead pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar bowled only 2 overs each as India romped home to a big win.

Rohit will not be in action when India and New Zealand meet in the first of a 2-match Test series in Kanpur from November 25.



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