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Hardik Pandya laments death bowling over T20I defeat, expresses surprise over pitch

image-ldet5xiqNZ players celebrate Indian wicket in first T20I (Source: Twitter/BCCI)

Team India suffered a rare defeat this home season, after falling 21 runs short of New Zealand’s total in the first T20I in Ranchi. Earlier, the Black Caps piled up 176-6 off their 20 overs, with 27 of those runs being leaked in the final six balls of the innings by Indian speedster Arshdeep Singh.

In the run-chase, each of India’s top three batters fell below the double-digits, with skipper Hardik Pandya and all-rounder Deepak Hooda also failing to make much impact with the bat. Suryakumar Yadav and Washington Sundar did the majority of the heavy lifting, with the latter even registering his maiden T20I fifty in the format.

Hardik Pandya says bowlers failed to restrict NZ below par score

After the match, captain Pandya spoke about India’s top-order failure with the bat and also cited poor death bowling as one of the reasons behind heavy defeat. The all-rounder also expressed his surprise over the surface, where he believes the new ball turned more than the older ball.

Pandya praised Suryakumar Yadav and Washington Sundar’s efforts with the bat by saying the two kept India in the hunt for pulling off a sensational run-chase. He said:

“I don't think no one even thought that the wicket would play like that. Both teams were surprised but we have to play well on this kind of surfaces. Actually, the new ball was turning more than the old ball. 

"We were in the game when Surya and me were batting and Washi also played well but fell short. The par score on this wicket was 160 and I think we bowled poor in the end. We conceded 25 runs more. We have youngsters and these games only teach us than the games we win.”

With series on the line, Team India will now face their guests in the second T20I on January 29. The match is scheduled to be played at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow, with a potential decider or a dead-rubber to be played in Ahmedabad three days later.

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