After displaying his finishing skills in the ODI series against Australia, Shreyas Iyer was at it again as India took on New Zealand in the first T20I of a five-match series at Eden Park, Auckland. Iyer scored 58 off 29 balls as chased down 204 with an over and six wickets to spare.
India lost Rohit Sharma early in their innings, but KL Rahul and Virat Kohli put together a 99-run partnership to ensure that they stayed on track. Rahul made 56 off 27 balls while captain Kohli hit a knock of 45 in 32 balls.
After Rohit was dismissed with 16 on the scoreboard, Rahul and Kohli took India past 100 in under 9 overs. Rahul was dismissed by leggie Ish Sodhi in the 10th over, and Kohli walked back soon after.
India's inexperienced middle-order has often been a cause of concern in recent times. But Shreyas Iyer put his hand up today to ensure that India crossed the finish line with 6 balls to spare. He put together small partnerships with Shivam Dube and Manish Pandey. He struck five fours and 3 sixes in his 29-ball innings.
Iyer seems to have ended the no. 4 debate that has been plaguing India for the last couple of years. His innings at Eden Park was lauded by experts and fans alike on Twitter.
Shreyas ko kaafi Shrey jaata hai.— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) January 24, 2020
204 Chase karna har kisi ko nahi aata hai.
Great win and full on entertainment.
Kohli, Rahul doing business as usual but very impressed with the temperament shown by @ShreyasIyer15 . #NZvsIND pic.twitter.com/n0abS4E7A5
What is jet lag? What is a 200 plus chase in a first match of a T20 series? No big deal for team India. Especially happy for @ShreyasIyer15 for delivering a match winning knock.#NZvsIND #INDvNZ pic.twitter.com/yMcalR7FGJ— R P Singh रुद्र प्रताप सिंह (@rpsingh) January 24, 2020
Top knock by Shreyas. Top win by India. India’s Third highest run-chase fighting the away conditions and jet-lag. Well done 👍 #NZvInd— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) January 24, 2020
Fantastic win for India to start the New Zealand tour. A record 4th time that India have chased 200+ in T20 I. Good all round batting effort with Rahul, Kohli and Shreyas Iyer playing beauties. And under the circumstances,some really tight bowling from Bumrah and Chahal #NZvIND pic.twitter.com/qTGdXDBas3— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) January 24, 2020
You’ve seen the rise of #ViratKohli, of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and now KL Rahul too.— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) January 24, 2020
Watch out for the next big thing - @ShreyasIyer15
Such ease and composure despite playing in New Zealand for the first time! #NZvsIND
With four more T20s and an ODI series yet to be played, Iyer will get ample opportunities to prove his mettle on the fast New Zealand pitches. If he can continue this form, he would have cemented the no.4 spot before the tour ends.
Very impressed with Shreyas Iyer today. I thought his innings in Bengaluru against Australia was a little too flashy, a little jumpy. This was far better, dominant and in control.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 24, 2020
Shreyas Iyer has solved the middle of the middle order problem of India.— Keh Ke Peheno (@coolfunnytshirt) January 24, 2020
The next T20 encounter between the two sides would be played at Auckland on January 26.