Disciplined India earn series win in shortened shootout against New Zealand

KODIKARA

KODIKARA

Sharma made 80 from 55 balls.

The Indian team's performance has been one of contrast in the first two games.

New Zealand won the toss and elected to bowl first. New Zealand scored 61-6 and failed to chase the target and lost the series. New Zealand are 8/1 after the first over, 60 runs away from victory.

Newcomer Shreyas Iyer looked good during his knock of 23 but an indiscreet shot selection cost him his wicket.

With Hardik Pandya and Manish Pandey looking risky with the bat, it seemed that India will go past the 70-run mark.

Asked to bat first, India were restricted to 67 for five in rain-curtailed 8-overs-per-side contest thanks to some brilliant bowling by Tim Southee (2/13) and Ish Sodhi (2/23) and Mitchell Santner's sensational catching.

With the series leveled at 1-1, India need the skipper to score runs and lead from the front. Their streak of five consecutive losses against the Black Caps ended in the first T20I at Delhi, which was also Ashish Nehra's last global match.

Lately, Martin Guptill hasn't quite been in the best of forms as he has struggled to get himself going.

"If the length is right, Dhoni can hurt you, and hurt you a lot", says Santner, who has bowled as many as 58 dots off 95 balls to Dhoni in One-Day Internationals, conceding just 54 runs in all.

Dhoni's 49-run knock which came off 37 balls came under scrutiny as India fell to their third-biggest loss by runs in T20s. Fast bowler Trent Boult also bagged a wicket. "The crowd has waited patiently and deserve to see a game", Indian captain Virat Kohli said.

Ganguly went a step ahead and said Team India needs to have Dhoni's alternative ready if he continues to under-perform in T20 cricket.

Kohli introduced two changes in the playing XI - Manish Pandey and Kuldeep Yadav will play in place of Axar Patel and Mohammed Siraj. In the T20I series though, the pair from Northern Districts back home rose to the occasion to show just why they make for a formidable pair that feed off each other. But, there are heavy chances that the third and final Twenty20 global match could be spoiled by rain.

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