Posted by: nestaquin | February 27, 2009

New Zealand v India Second T20

brendan-mccullum-ms-dhoniIn an exciting, nailbiting match at Wellington this evening New Zealand defeated India to clinch the T20 series 2-nil and serve notice to their rivals that the Black Caps won’t be the pushovers that many in India expected.

Even more troubling than the loss will be the fitness of Ishant Sharma who fell heavily on his shoulder in the field and immediately left the ground and never returned. We await knowledge of the extent of his injury but if it is long-term, India’s bowling attack will definitely be weakened as his towering frame and unique talents, so well suited to New Zealand conditions, cannot be replaced.

Brendan McCullum showed again why he is perhaps the best T20 batsman in the game by shepherding his team home with another highly dependable and impressive unbeaten half century. His innings included boundaries from the antepenultimate and penultimate deliveries although his cool demeanour was momentarily tested when he mishit a drive from the final ball with the scores tied only to see Rohit Sharma drop a simple skied catch made difficult inside the ring.

Spare a thought for the unfortunate bowler Irfan Pathan who under intense and severe pressure almost singlehandedly dragged his team over the line with some fine death bowling in his final two overs.

Knowing the Indian media’s propensity to apportion blame to individuals for losses I do hope they see the bigger picture and don’t point the finger at the talented allrounder for he bowled, batted and fielded cleverly, with purpose and without luck, against a very disciplined and underestimated opponent.

With only a few months to go to the T20 World Championships, presumably on bowler friendly wickets early in the English summer, India have plenty of kinks to iron out if they are to defend their title. They do not play as many international T20s as the Southern Hemisphere nations who have sensibly spent the last 18 months experimenting and now have settled line-ups and definite plans for every likely situation.

The IPL will certainly hone the Indian players games but also those of their most feared opponents, however, what is most concerning from an Indian perspective is the fact that it is at the collective level where Team India are lacking in cricket’s shortest of formats.

Image: Getty



  1. Got to respect any author who uses the word “antepenultimate”.
    I don’t often say this about a kiwi but I wish Brendan McCullum was Australian.

  2. McCullum – much to my surprise – appears to have thought very hard about T20 and come up with a role that really works for him and the team.

    Well played NZ.

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