India’s three game T20I tour of New Zealand ended earlier today, with the visitors winning the series 1-0. The first game was rained out, the second saw a Suryakumar Yadav special help India register an easy victory, while the third saw a rare tie on DLS- the first time it’s happened between major test playing nations in this format.
According to ExpressVPN’s report on sports streaming trends, cricket is the fourth most streamed sport in the UK. It’s also hugely popular in India, where there was a lot of interest in this series despite it not being televised on one of the country’s regular channels and was only available to see online.
Here are our talking points from this series.
Amazing Suryakumar Yadav
Forget Kohli, Sharma and Rahul- Suryakumar Yadav is easily India’s most valuable T20 batsman currently. The MI star has really taken his game to another level in the last 18 odd months and his century in the second game was essentially the difference between the two sides in this series. It was also probably telling that despite the required run rate being only around 7.5 in the last game at Napier, India’s win percentage fell from 66 to 45 once Yadav was dismissed- an indicator of how important he is to this side currently.
The mis-field that cost the Black Caps a series leveller?
This format is one of small margins- had Mitchell Santner not mis-fielded on the final ball of the 9th over in Napier, India would’ve been behind on DLS rather than being on par, and it would’ve been a series levelling win for the hosts instead!
Series only on Prime
Somewhat interestingly, and perhaps unprecedently, this series wasn’t carried on any major pay channel in India- a literal first for the game in the last 30 odd years or so. Only folks who had a Prime sub could watch it in India, and this lead to a beeline of folks looking for alternate methods to catch the Men in Blue in action.
Siraj stars for India
Mohammad Siraj was the pick of India’s pacers, finishing with figures of 2/24 in Mount Maunganui and 4/17 at McLean Park. His bowling in Napier was exceptionally good, and was the reason New Zealand lost 8/30 in their final four overs and finished with the 160 instead of the 180-190 they were threatening to get when Glen Phillips and Devon Conway were in the middle.
Did India miss a trick at the World Cup by not playing Siraj? It’s perhaps easy to say yes in hindsight, but he’s improved by leaps and bounds in this format, and might have been a handy player Down Under where India went down in the semis to England.
Iyer struggles with short ball again
Both of Shreyas Iyer’s dismissals in this series indicate a vulnerability against the short ball- he was out hit wicket in one game, and edged one to slip in the other. It is a weakness that teams have become aware of- the fifth test last year being a prime example, and it’s one he needs to rectify quickly if he has to become a permanent fixture in this team, especially away from home.
No chances for Samson and Gill
The first game being washed out and Hardik Pandya having a stiff neck in the second game probably impacted India’s selections- they couldn’t experiment as much as they would’ve originally wanted to, and the likes of Shubman Gill and Sanju Samson weren’t able to get a game.