Following the end of a brilliant tenure of Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli as coach and captain in T20Is, it was time for the beginning of a new era for Team India in the shortest format of the game. Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma officially kicked off their times as leaders of the national side with the T20I series against New Zealand as their first assignment.
Much to the delight of everyone, it started off on a winning note in a thrilling contest at Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Wednesday. It was Hitman who won the all-important toss as he put the Kiwis to bat first on a good-looking wicket. Despite losing an early wicket, the visitors were once cruising towards a big total on the back of brilliant fifties by Martin Guptill and Mark Chapman.
Good all-round performance by Team India
However, India’s experienced duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2/24) and Ravichandran Ashwin (2/23) rose to the occasion as they once again proved why it is often said that ‘form is temporary but class is permanent’. As a result of some brilliant bowling in the second half of innings, NZ could only post a total of 164/6 in 20 overs.
In reply, the Indian batters got off to a brilliant start in powerplay. Following the dismissal of KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma (48 off 36) and Suryakumar Yadav (62 off 40) kept the momentum going to take India close to the finish line.
Although things went slightly tricky towards the end with India losing a couple of wickets, Rishabh Pant held his nerves in the final over and finished off the things in style with a gorgeous boundary over the mid-off fielder standing inside the circle.
Fans go berserk on social media
It was notably India’s 50th victory in the shortest format while chasing the target, making them one of the most successful teams in T20Is while batting second. And as expected, the netizens were delighted to see India back to winning ways following their disappointing campaign at the mega event in UAE.
While some expressed their concerns over how close the match got towards the end, the others were just happy to see Pant finishing off the match for the national side, just like what MSD used to do in past. Overall, there was a sense of ecstasy among everyone to see Dravid-Sharma era begin with a win.
Check out the reactions:
India starts with a win under Rohit & Dravid – there are lots of work to be done but early days – keep going, World Cup is coming in 2022. #CaptainRohitEraBegins #RohithSharma #INDvNZ pic.twitter.com/pmzQia6GMX
— TEJASH 🚩 (@LoyleRohitFan45) November 17, 2021
Dravid – Sharma era begins with a win. Finally glad to see India win against NZ… Yaaaaaaay!!#INDvNZ
— Rekha U (@RekhaU) November 17, 2021
So Rishabh Pant did a Dhoni today!#INDvNZ
— yash (@bardia_yash) November 17, 2021
Looks like India was trying to make match more Interesting #INDvNZ
— Nitish Ashish Sinha 🇮🇳 (@knitish45) November 17, 2021
@ashwinravi99 my Anna have the ability to turn the ball and the match at the same time. "Thalaiva of Spin"
— Sahil Chibber (@sahil_chibber) November 17, 2021
— Oolta Poolta (@ijanvaidya) November 17, 2021
Rohit-Dravid pairing begins the journey with a nervy last-over win.#INDvNZ
— Sahil Bakshi (@SBakshi13) November 17, 2021