India again turned the heat up in Auckland, inflicting a 7-wicket loss on New Zealand in the second T20I. Following on from their victory in the first match, India again showcased their supremacy on a low and slow wicket at Eden Park. The hosts were outmatched in all the three departments of the game being mere spectators as the visitors took a 2-0 series lead. The action now moves on to Hamilton where the third match of the series will take place on 29th January.
Bowlers restrict hosts on a sluggish pitch
Predicting that the used surface would get tougher to play on, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson opted to bat first. It certainly was the right decision as early indications pointed towards a tough day in the office for the stroke-makers. The Kiwi batters certainly found it tough to generate any sort of momentum against a disciplined bowling unit. Only Martin Guptill (33) and Tim Seifert (33) could make any sort of a meaningful contribution. The ball was not coming onto the bat and Ravindra Jadeja made full use of it with his unerring line and length. He was the pick of the bowlers, scalping 2 wickets while only conceding 18 runs. Jasprit Bumrah too was economical again with figures of 1-21. The disciplined effort from the India bowling unit put the leash on the Kiwis, restricting them to 132-5.
Rahul, Iyer help India take 2-0 series lead
Chasing low scores down is always a tricky proposition. India found this out early, losing Rohit Sharma in the first over itself. Tim Southee would strike again, sending skipper Virat Kohli back to the pavilion for a measly score of 11. With the score at 39-2 and the required rate steadily climbing, the onus was now on KL Rahul to get the job done. The opener again showed his worth, continuing his golden touch in a knock of great substance. First knocking the ball around, he eventually put his foot down to accelerate the scoring. It was a perfectly timed knock of 57 runs, again displaying that the opener has grown by leaps and bounds in terms of his maturity.
He got brilliant support on the other end from Shreyas Iyer, who again strengthened his case to be India’s permanent No.4. He too started slowly, before opening his arms up. Following on from his man-of-the-match effort, Iyer played a vital knock of 44. The pair put on a partnership of 86 which firmly took the game away from the Kiwis. Iyer would eventually perish, attempting a big shot against Ish Sodhi. But the damage was well and truly done. With the action now moving on to Hamilton, India will greatly enjoy the cushion of having a 2-0 series lead.