During the recently concluded five-match T20I series, New Zealand had come close to beating India twice before losing the match in the super-over. The Kiwis once again were in a similar position at Seddon Park on Wednesday, but this time they did not falter and managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat thanks to a splendid performance by Ross Taylor who scored a fine century to guide the team to victory.
Shardul Thakur, who was prefered over Navdeep Saini in the playing XI, had a night to forget as the Mumbai pacer struggled with his bowling line and length and was smashed all over the park. In his nine-over spell, he conceded 80 runs at an economy of 8.9 which also included a 22-run 40th over.
The team management’s threw in a huge surprise during the 1st ODI by opting for Shardul Thakur over Navdeep Saini. Thakur's last ODI game against Australia in Mumbai where he had a poor outing with the ball. Navdeep Saini, on the other hand, has been impressive with his pace and temperament in the limited opportunities he has got. Here's how Twitter reacted to Shardul Thakur's inclusion
I don't understand what the management actually wants from the players. You've a batting depth till no.7, and you still want a shardul thakur to play just for that rare batting support he will provide in 1/10 games. Keeping saini out for shardul is not even worth a laugh.#NZvIND— Darsh Modi (@_darshmodi) February 5, 2020
Shardul Thakur over Navdeep Saini. Give me one reason this is happening #NZvIND— Prashanth (@ps_it_is) February 5, 2020
At this point I'm convinced Virat does heads and tail on Google assistant early morning and picks players on that basis. Ssly. Saini. Shardul. Saini. Shardul. Musical chair chal raha hai kya 😑— saurabh. (@Boomrah_) February 5, 2020
Unfortunate Navdeep Saini, despite winning the Man of the Series in the last ODI series, doesn't find a spot in this team, he is a wicket taking bowler, who breaks partnerships. A bits & pieces bowler like Shardul will get a wicket when a batsman tries to hit him for the 3rd six.— Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) February 5, 2020
Team India bowlers bowled as many as 24 wides in the entire match and also struggled to bowl proper line and length. Except for Jasprit Bumrah, all the other bowlers conceded more than six runs an over. While bowling was a letdown, the fielding too wasn't that great either. Kuldeep Yadav dropped Ross Taylor’s catch when he was on 12 and the veteran made the visitors pay for the miss.