Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], January 30 (ANI): Indian bowling coach Paras Mhambrey revealed that spinner Yuzvendra Chahal was included in the playing eleven instead of pacer Umran Malik as they felt that an additional spinner would help at Lucknow.
Star batter Suryakumar Yadav and captain Hardik Pandya held their nerves to guide India to a hard-fought 6-wicket victory over New Zealand in the second T20I encounter here at Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Sunday.
"Chahal was included because we felt that an additional spinner would help us. It really did as he bowled well for us," said Paras in a post-match press conference.
The bowling coach revealed that Chahal bowled during the powerplay because skipper Hardik Pandya felt the need to introduce a leg spinner to tackle a right-hander on a turning surface.
"You take decisions on the basis of surface and instincts. Hardik possibly felt that a leg spinner would help in that situation since a right-hander was batting and it was turning. Possibly that is why he bowled in the powerplay," said Paras.
The bowling coach revealed that the wicket looked really dry before the match and had very little grass on it.
"There was some covering of grass in the middle, but there was no grass at both ends of the pitch. When we came here yesterday, we felt that it would turn and be a challenging wicket. We are happy that we controlled the game well. 120-130 runs would have been really challenging," added the bowling coach.
Paras said that the team went with the right combination in the match.
"Even though Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel are not there, it is an opportunity to try others. Hooda bowled four overs today. It does not happen regularly. Credit goes to Pandya for rotating the bowlers well and showing faith in Washington Sundar and Hooda. They bowled really well," concluded the coach.
Opting to bat first, New Zealand could put up only 99/8 in their 20 overs. Indian spinners dominated the Kiwi batters right from the start and scoring runs was extremely hard for the visitors.
Skipper Mitchell Santner (19) top-scored for Kiwis, nobody could touch the 20-run mark. Mark Chapman and Michael Bracewell also managed 14 runs each.
Pacer Arshdeep Singh (2/7) was the pick of the bowlers for India. Spinners Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Deepak Hooda and Kuldeep Yadav took a wicket each. Pandya also took a wicket.
During India's chase of 100, the pattern of bowler's dominance continued and Men in Blue were down 70/4 in 14.3 overs. Openers Ishan Kishan (19) and Shubman Gill (11) continued their disappointing run with the bat.
Then it was Suryakumar Yadav (26* off 31 balls) and Pandya (15* off 20 balls) who formed a match-winning stand of 31 runs to take India across the line.
Suryakumar was chosen as the 'Man of the Match' for his calm and composed knock.
India has the series level at 1-1. The decider will be played on Wednesday in Ahmedabad.
Brief Score: New Zealand 99/8 (Mitchell Santner 19, Michael Bracewell 14, Arshdeep Singh 2-7) vs India 101-4 (Suryakumar Yadav 26*, Ishan Kishan 19; Michael Bracewell 1-13). (ANI)