Mitchell Santner: 177 was never a safe score but the Ranchi pitch surprised us; in India vs NZ T20I

New Zealand win Ranchi T-20 vs India

Hosts India suffered 21-run loss to New Zealand in India vs NZ first T20I in Ranchi on Friday January 27th, T20 captain Hardik Pandya said the way the new ball turned in the second innings took the hosts by surprise while chasing the score of 177 runs. Suryakumar Yadav (47) and Hardik Pandya (21) had gathered up hope of a successful chase when they had a little partnership going but all hopes collapsed after both of them departed in quick succession.

New Zealand skipper and captain Mitchell Santner also expressed his utmost surprise at the way the wicket behaved as the duo said at the toss they expected dew to play a role on a surface that seemed batting friendly for them.

In hindsight, Hardik didn’ t think this wicket was 177, he thought they were poor with the ball and conceded 20-25 runs. For him it’s a young group and the team will only learn from this.

He further praised Washington Sundar for being in a class of his own as the player scored a 28 ball 50 runs down the order. Sundar’s bowling came in handy too as he ended with a spell of 2/22, earning backing from the captain.

He even told that the way Sundar bowled, batted, and fielded, it was somewhere Washington against New Zealand today. The team needed someone who can bat and bowl, give us a lot of confidence and it will help the team go forward.

The win was set up by the players Devon Conway (52) and Daryl Mitchell (59), who smashed commanding fifties. New Zealand captain Santner said that 177 was never a safe total but Daryl Mitchell’s 59 runs gave them the momentum. He didn’t think they were ever safe and it was nice to chip away some wickets in the powerplay and they had trouble doing that in the ODIs.

According to Santner at the toss they were going to bowl because they knew chasing is so good over here and especially with the dew. That’s always the challenge that one doesn’t want to be seen doing the easy overs and stuff like that in the match. Knowing it was spinning in the powerplay, it was nice to chip one out.

Daryl, who also won the man of the match award in the India vs NZ T20I first match, took it upon himself to build the New Zealand innings after the top order batters told him about the nature of the pitch. He added the guys who went in early said it was pretty difficult against spin because of the tacky nature of pitch and it was his job to build a partnership. For him it was being really present and really clear, keeping it simple as possible and trusting his skills.

India and New Zealand will now face off each other in the second T20 held on Sunday in Lucknow.

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