Hardik Pandya-led Team India had an unlikely start to the three-match T20I series against New Zealand as the guests clinched one-sided 21 runs at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on Friday. While batting first, the Kiwis batted brilliantly as Devon Conway and Daryl Mitchell guided New Zealand to 176-6 in 20 overs. Indian bowlers were left clueless as the Blackcaps got quite compatible in the condition.

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Analysing this performance, a former Pakistan cricketer has taken a dig at the Indian skipper by stating that he was not ‘smart enough' with his bowlers. While speaking on his YouTube channel, Danish  Kaneria claimed that Hardik brought Shivam Mavi too late into the attack and didn’t use Deepak Hooda properly.

“Hardik Pandya was not sharp enough in the 1st T20I. He should have been brought in early. He could have also used Deepak Hooda a bit more, given the amount of turn that was on offer. He made one more mistake as he brought Shivam Mavi too late into the attack.  This is where Hardik erred tactically. He didn’t seem to have any plans,”.

"The Indian bowlers leaked a lot of runs. The skipper himself didn’t bowl well with the new ball. He did not hit the right areas. New Zealand openers Devon Conway and Finn Allen showed great aggression, attacking the Indian bowlers right from the start,” Kaneria added. 

Notably, Hardik Pandya gave away 33 runs in his three-over spell. On the other hand, Opener Devon Conway and Daryl Mitchell struck half-centuries to guide New Zealand to a comfortable 21-run win in the first T20I of the three-match series.

Conway made a 35-ball 52, while Mitchell smashed a 30-ball unbeaten 59. For India, Washington Sundar scalped two wickets, while Kuldeep Yadav, Shivam Mavi and Arshdeep Singh accounted for one wicket each.

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