Rohit-Dravid Era Marks Its Beginning with a 5-wicket Victory Against New Zealand


Finally, Coach Dravid started his journey with a good win as India gunned down New Zealand by 5-wickets in the first match of the T20I series at home. Despite showcasing a few weak links in the last 3-4 overs, Indian batter Rishabh Pant made sure that the Dravid-era begins on a positive note.

The match at Jaipur was also important for Rohit Sharma as it was his first match in the Indian T20 after taking the position from the former captain, Virat Kohli. The opening duo, Sharma and KL Rahul gave India a comfortable start with their 50-run partnership in the first 5 overs.

Following Rahul’s dismissal in the 6th over, Suryakumar Yadav joined the skipper to give India the lead in the match. Their 59-run partnership emerged as significant towards the end of the match. Sharma marked the beginning of his captaincy stint with an outstanding 36-ball 48 while Yadav scored his 3rd T20I half-century (62 off 40 balls) to earn the title of the Man of the match.

Despite a good start, both Rohit and Yadav’s dismissal by Trent Bould made India’s 165-run chase quite uncomfortable in the last few overs. Both Shreyas Iyer and Venkatesh Iyer failed to stay on the crease and start hitting. However, Pant held his nerve and led India to its victory with his unbeaten 17 off 17 balls. He finished the match hitting a four with 2 balls to spare.

New Zealand managed to deliver a disciplined performance in the match to give India a tough fight. Earlier in the match, Martin Guptill (70 off 42 balls) and Mark Chapman (63 off 50 balls) helped the Black Caps to secure a challenging score of 164. On the other hand, Boult bowled a good spell picking up two important wickets of Sharma and Yadav.

After his MOM-winning performance, Yadav was seen to crack some jokes on Boult dropping his catch. At the same time, talking about his returning form, he remarked, “I have not been doing anything different, just being myself whatever I have done since the last 3-4 years. I bat the same way in the nets and replicate the same in the middle. I try to put a lot of pressure on myself in the nets, for example, if I get out I just try to come out of the nets and try and think what better I could have done and it really helps when I play in the middle.”          

Meanwhile, New Zealand skipper Tim Southee said in the post-match conference, “You always want to come out on the right side of the result. We played our best cricket and took it deep. Mark Chapman hasn’t played a lot of cricket of late, and to play the way he played was very pleasing to the side. It was a game of fine margins.”

In Wednesday’s match, all eyes were on the newly appointed coach Dravid who seems to bring fresh air into the Indian squad. Under his guidance and Rohit’s captaincy, India gained a 1-0 lead in the ongoing 3-match T20I series.  

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