Indian spinners revelled on a turning track before the batters made heavy weather of a small target to register a scrappy series levelling win over New Zealand in the second T20 International here on Sunday.
The trio of Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar and Kuldeep Yadav impressed on a helping surface to limit a self-destructing New Zealand to 99 for eight, their lowest total against India in the shortest format.
It should have been a straight-forward run chase but the top-order comprising Ishan Kishan (19 off 32), Shubman Gill (11 off 9) and Rahul Tripathi (13 off 18) had a tough time again in spin-friendly conditions.
“All of us have been on our toes and I’m sure everyone in the stadium and people watching on TV as well, and you guys (commentators) as well would have been on toes, hoping that India would get through the line quite easily. It’s very very exciting (the conditions),” said spinning all-rounder Washington Sundar after the match had ended.
“Lot of teams are very well equipped as well, they all come with quite a few fast bowlers and spinners as well. 2/3 out of 10-11 games like these would be amazing and it’s again a skill as to how well you play spin and get through the game. It’s exciting and we are all happy that we won the game. It was very important for him (SKY) to stay till the end and certain things like that happen in a game. Especially when things get quite tough in the middle, one misjudgement happens,” he added.
In the end, Hardik Pandya (15 not out off 20) and Suryakumar Yadav (26 not out off 31) took the team over the line with a ball to spare and six wickets in hand.
The series decider will be played in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.
With the likes of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli not playing T20s since the World Cup last year, opportunities have been presented to the younger players who are yet to make them count.
Kishan has gone off the boil since his double hundred in Bangladesh while Gill has not been able to carry on his scintillating ODI form into T20s. The stylish right-hander fell while trying to pull a spinner for the second game in a row but was surprised by the amount of turn.