Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan feels that the team’s middle-order needs to take more responsibility despite the top-order’s impressive returns with the bat, pointing it out as an area of concern India need to look at. Despite the issue, India went on to beat New Zealand by a margin of 73 runs, after batting first, to register a 3-0 clean sweep over New Zealand at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.
After India’s blistering powerplay show where the openers stitched a 69-run stand in 38 deliveries, the middle order (No.4 to 7) scored only 51 runs off 45 balls, laced with three boundaries and one six.
Pathan, in conversation with Star Sports at the end of India’s innings, felt that Rishabh Pant, who scored 4 off 6, should have taken more time to settle in and advised him to get better at playing spin. He also did not read much into Suryakumar Yadav’s four-ball duck, explaining that he is a “high risk high reward player”. ,
“Look in terms of Rishabh’s batting, the kind of shot he played, he needs to keep working on his batting specially against spinners. Since maybe 2020, he has gone out to spinners playing the slog sweep about six or seven times which is quite high. He needs to just get better at it. He could have taken a bit more time as well. And look when I talk about Suryakumar Yadav, I always believe he’s a fantastic player, but he’s a high risk, high reward kind of player.”
Despite a poor show from the middle order, two breathtaking and unlikely cameos powered India to a challenging 184 for seven in 20 overs. Coming in at No. 8, Harshal Patel smashed two boundaries and a six to score 18 off 11 while No.9 Deep Chahar, reminded fans of his Sri Lanka heroics, hit eight-ball 21, comprising as many boundaries and sixes, as India hit 44 runs in the final four overs.
A dominant bowling performance helped India restrict New Zealand to just 111 runs as the hosts registered a massive 73-run win to register a 3-0 whitewash.