Former Indian pace bowler Zaheer Khan applauded the Indian team management for promoting all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer in the batting order.
India sealed the three-match series 2-0 against New Zealand after another thumping win of seven wickets at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi.
India won the T20I series against New Zealand
Despite New Zealand posted 64 for 1 in the mandatory powerplay overs, Indian bowlers kept their lines tight to bring back things under control as the visitors could add 89 in the last 14 overs.
Senior bowler Ravichandran Ashwin was once again handy in the middle overs as he conceded 19 runs and got the wicket of New Zealand keeper Tim Seifert to end his spell for 1/19.
Harshal Patel, who made his international debut, returned with two wickets and showed a great amount of temperament in the death overs.
Indian openers Rohit Sharma (55) and KL Rahul (65) were once again on the song as they scripted another dazzling 117-run partnership between them.
New Zealand stand-in skipper did try to put brakes on India’s rapid approach towards their chase with his three wickets for 16 runs.
It was definitely a proactive move by the management: Zaheer Khan on promoting Venkatesh Iyer in the batting order
Venkatesh Iyer was brought to bat ahead of Suryakumar Yadav at No.3, and the lanky batter remained unbeaten on 12 as India accomplished the target of 155 with 16 balls to spare.
India’s middle-order batting issues has not been a concern in recent times, it is something that has always haunted them in major tournaments, just like it did in the recently concluded T20 World Cup.
Zaheer said that by promoting Venkatesh Iyer to bat at No.3, India are already planning for the 2022 T20 World Cup.
“The move to promote Venkatesh Iyer to No.3 when the opportunity arose proves that India are already thinking about the next T20 World Cup. Had they not done something like that, then you could have said that they missed an opportunity. It was definitely a proactive move by the management keeping the future in mind,” Zaheer told Cricbuzz.
“We need to sort out our middle order. That is what is hurting us in ICC tournaments. If we get that in place, rest all seems fine. Our top-order batting and bowling are excellent. But this is one box we still need to tick.”India’s middle order failed to deliver after Rohit and Rahul perished cheaply in the first two games of the T20 World Cup 2021 against Pakistan and New Zealand respectively. The below-par efforts ended up costing India a place in the semis,” he added.
India will play the final T20I against the Black Caps on November 21 (Sunday) at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.