Ind vs NZ: Rohit Sharma says they have learnt a lesson

Updated: Feb 09, 2019, 12:06 IST | PTI | Auckland

Stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma says team did not repeat errors that led to defeat in first match as India register maiden T20I victory on Kiwiland to level series 1-1

Rohit Sharma en route his 50 against NZ
Rohit Sharma en route his 50 against NZ

Mahendra Singh Dhoni watched from the 22 yards distance as his heir apparent Rishabh Pant showed spunk in a tricky situation, guiding India to their maiden T20 International victory on New Zealand soil here yesterday.

The seven-wicket triumph was set up by skipper Rohit Sharma (50 off 29 balls) in company of Shikhar Dhawan (30 off 31 balls) with a 79-run stand after Krunal Pandya got three wickets to restrict the hosts to 158-8. India suffered their biggest ever defeat in T20s in terms of runs at Wellington on Wednesday but the visitors went to the second game with the same team.

Krunal Pandya celebrates the wicket of NZ skipper Kane Williamson. Pics/Getty Images
Krunal Pandya celebrates the wicket of NZ skipper Kane Williamson. Pics/Getty Images

Rohit said it was a result of quickly learning from their mistakes, "Very pleased to see how we bowled, and we were quite clinical with the bat as well. We have quality in our side, but we executed our plans better today, after learning from our mistakes."

"It's important to understand the mistakes that we made - it's been a long tour for everyone. So we didn't want to put a lot of pressure on the boys, just go in there with a clear mind."

Dhoni, the original master finisher, couldn't have been happier as he saw Pant control what could have been a tricky 159-run chase with an unbeaten 40 off 28 balls. With the former India captain (20 not out off 17 balls) playing the role of a mentor at the other end, the 44-run stand was very significant as Indian cricket slowly moves towards a change of guard in coming days.

Pant's one-handed six off Tim Southee or the bowler's back drive off Scott Kuggeleijn to finish off the match were reminiscent of Dhoni's best days. Earlier, the parsimonious Krunal (3-28) dismissed Colin Munro (12) and skipper Kane Williamson (20) to peg the Black Caps back early in the innings.

In between, Krunal also got the controversial wicket of Daryl Mitchell (1), who fell prey to an umpiring howler, when Hotspot showed a clear inside edge onto the pads. However, Colin de Grandhomme, then counter-attacked, scoring a blistering 50 off 28 balls, adding 77 runs with Ross Taylor (42 off 36 balls) for the fifth wicket. Once De Grandhomme was sent back to the dug-out by Hardik Pandya (1-36) and Taylor was run-out, New Zealand's chances of a big total went up in smoke.

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