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3rd T20I, IND vs NZ Talking Points: Harshal Patel Makes His Case Stronger

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Team India registered an emphatic 73-run win in the third T20I on Saturday to complete a 3-0 whitewash New Zealand. With the win, Rahul Dravid’s era started on a dominating note as Kane Williamson-less New Zealand failed to emulate their performance from the recently concluded T20 World Cup.

The bowling unit has managed to pull-off outstanding performances in the absence of some senior pros like Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Ravindra Jadeja. While in the batting department, India failed to fix the middle-order in Kohli’s absence.

Here are the talking points from India’s emphatic win over New Zealand in the 3rd T20I.

Rohit Sharma’s Captaincy Supremacy

The swashbuckling opener impressed many once again with his captaincy abilities as a new era in India’s shortest format started with the series. Rohit made some smart tactical changes in the bowling department which paid off well for India. The 34-year-old made a brave call of opting to bat first after winning the toss. In the 2021 T20 World Cup, the Indian batters struggled miserably while batting first. Rohit led the team from the front in the final T20I with a blistering 56-run knock which set-up the foundation of a big win.

Also Read | White-Ball Captaincy: Rohit Sharma Has Thrown Plenty to Ponder For Selectors With 3-0 Win Against New Zealand

Harshal Patel Makes His Case Stronger

The 30-year-old waited for a long time to get a senior-team call-up in the 2nd T20I and he took full advantage of it when he got a chance in playing XI in place of Mohammed Siraj who sustained the injury in Ranchi. Harshal was awarded Man of the Match for his exemplary bowling figure of 2/25. The RCB pacer continued his decent form in the final T20I by claiming two wickets for 26. The RCB pacer has now made his case very strong in front of team management for the upcoming series. Several cricket critics have also hailed his ability to bowl in death overs.

Is Shreyas Iyer Mr. Fix It?

Shreyas has been part of India’s limited-overs set up for the past couple of years and he has also performed exceedingly well at the number 4 spot on numerous occasions, however, the shoulder injury put him out of the cricket field for several months this year. It also cost him the place in the 2021 T20 World Cup squad. With Suryakumar Yadav’s inclusion in India’s limited-overs set-up, Iyer’s batting position has come under a lot of scanners. In the T20I series against Iyer didn’t bat at his ideal no 3-4 position and was dropped to 5 and 6. It will be interesting to see whether Shreyas manage to retain his place in the XI when Virat Kohli returns.

Also Read | Akash Chopra Highlights Major Takeaways From IND vs NZ T20Is

Venkatesh Iyer’s Role in XI

The absence of senior pros helped the young players to showcase their talent in the T20I series against New Zealand. Venkatesh was one of the youngsters who was tested by the team management who is in search of a backup option for Hardik Pandya. The southpaw, who plays as an opener in franchise cricket, was given the role of a finisher in the national team. Iyer didn’t get much opportunity to display his talent with the bat in the series as India need to give him a longer rope to adapt as a finisher. While as a bowler, Iyer got a chance to roll his arms only in the third T20I where he claimed one wicket for 12 in three overs.

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