New Zealand yet again faltered in the last hurdle. They had started well, maintained the pace, and did not let India off the hook. Yet, they could not run the victory lap, for they could not rise above Jasprit Bumrah’s phenomenal bowling show.
As the series ended 2-1, let us rate each New Zealander on a scale of 1 to 10.
Martin Guptill 5/10 (50 runs at 16.6)
Guptill provided blistering start at Mumbai. He did the same at Rajkot. To put things into perspective, New Zealand win when Guptill goes great guns. His 45-run knock helped New Zealand cement a foundation for a colossal score. However, he was unlucky in the Delhi T20I: Hardik Pandya dove to his right, to travel at least 10 feet, to take a stunner.
It was in the series finale that New Zealand needed him the most. A few sixes would have eased off some pressure, but Guptill played a rather uncharacteristic shot, adding a mere 1.
Colin Munro 8/10 (123 runs at 61.5)
Munro became the first player to score a hundred against India in India. It was his second hundred in the format — in 4 T20I innings. He remained unbeaten and registered the highest T20I score in India.
Munro also took an important wicket of Shreyas Iyer, dismissing him caught and bowled. However, he loses points for being dropped thrice in the series. Fortune sided him at the right time. India perhaps would have sealed the series had they held onto the catches.
He gave his all in the Delhi T20I, but the disciplined Indian bowlers kept mounting pressure on him. He could have been Ashish Nehra’s wicket in his swansong had Kohli pouched a tough catch.
He gets extra points for deliberately pitting the struggling MS Dhoni against Mitchell Santner. However, had he promoted Colin de Grandhomme up the order in the final, those painful 7 runs, which New Zealand fell short of, would have been attained.
Tom Latham 5/10 (39 runs at 39, 3 catches)
New Zealand’s star performer in ODIs, Latham was dropped in the remaining matches despite being the top run-scorer in the series opener. New Zealand knows why.
Glenn Phillips 1/10 (11 runs, 2 catches)
Phillips was Latham’s replacement. Munro did not let him bat in the second ODI, and when he kept wicket, he missed a stumping chance of Dhoni. New Zealand nonetheless preferred him in the final. He managed only 11 off 9.
Tom Bruce 4/10 (32 runs at 16)
He did well to up the ante in the death overs during the Rajkot T20I, but that was it. He failed when New Zealand needed him to use the long handle, at Delhi and Thiruvananthapuram.
Colin de Grandhomme 3/10 (17 runs in 2 innings, 0 wickets in 2 innings)
De Grandhomme had a torrid tour. He went for a duck in Delhi, and in all he conceded 44 runs in 4 overs, including 2 no-balls in an over. No catch came his way, either.
Had he not scored those 17 runs in the final, the score would have read less.
Tim Southee 4/10 (2 for 57 in 2 innings)
He was dropped after giving away 44 runs in 4 overs and scoring 8 runs at Delhi. To make matter worse, he dropped an absolute sitter at long-off. Rohit Sharma eventually scored 80.
New Zealand retained him for the final, as Adam Milne was down with sickness. He made amends and dismissed the Indian openers off consecutive deliveries.
Henry Nicholls 1/10 (8 runs at 4)
The lower order did not get to bat due to Munro’s innings at Rajkot. Nicholls was one of them. However, he must be ruing himself for taking a chance against Kohli’s throw. He then added only 2 in the final. The run rate had frighteningly climbed when he came to the crease.
Santner gave his best to take New Zealand over the line at Delhi, but the asking rate had gone beyond control. However, he managed to contain Dhoni at Rajkot. That being said, Santner dismissed Kohli, India’s only hope in the contest.
He loses a point for dropping Shikhar Dhawan in the first T20I. He went on to score 80. He now makes up for the drop for taking a blinder in the final.
Trent Boult 9/10 (6 wickets at 16)
He took a four-for at Mumbai, and New Zealand won. He took four-for at Rajkot, and New Zealand won. Need we say more?
He dismissed Rohit (twice), Dhawan, Dhoni, Manish Pandey, and Akshar Patel.
Ish Sodhi 8/10 (5 wickets at 14.6)
Had Phillips stumped Dhoni, Sodhi would have got another wicket. His economy read 14.6. His delivery to Hardik Pandya was an absolute jaffa. In addition he dismissed Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer in the final.
Adam Milne 4/10 (0 for 30)
It was worth replacing Southee with Milne. In a big chase Milne was ought to go for runs, but giving away 30 was a commendable job. He was unfortunate to miss the final due to illness.
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