Shreyas Iyer identifies the crucial over that changed India-New Zealand contest

Shreyas Iyer identified the decisive passage of play during India’s seven-wicket defeat to New Zealand in the first of three T20Is at the Eden Park, Auckland on Friday, November 25.
Tom Latham
“It was pleasing to the eye”

India batter Shreyas Iyer identified a crucial over during New Zealand’s chase, which turned the tide to help the hosts seal a seven-wicket win in the first of three ODIs at the Eden Park, Auckland on Friday, November 25.

Set 307 to win, New Zealand stood at 88/3 in the 20th over, with debutant Umran Malik having dismissed Devon Conway and Daryl Mitchell in a fine-spell of fast bowling. It was at this point Tom Latham joined skipper Kane Williamson for an unbeaten 221-run stand off just 165 balls, helping the Blackcaps ease home with 17 balls to spare.

Latham employed the sweep shot to great effect against spin, while taking on anything short from the quicks. In the 40th over of the chase bowled by Shardul Thakur, the left-hander struck a six and four fours, before getting to his hundred with a single off the final ball. The two wides meant that New Zealand took 25 from the over, which reduced the equation from 91 required off 66 to 66 needed off the final 10 overs.

Iyer reflected on the momentum-shifting over.

"It was, our backs were aching a bit standing for so long and not getting wickets,” he said in a post-match interview on Prime Video. “It makes you dejected for a while but we were there in the game until he (Latham) took over that particular over and he got 20-odd runs in that over.

"So I think that was the momentum shift and definitely he played some amazing shots in that phase. It was pleasing to the eye, a fantastic innings by Tom."

Earlier, Iyer top scored for India with 80 off 76 in their first innings effort of 306/7 after being put in to bat. He felt that the visitors achieved an “over-par” score, acknowledging Washington Sundar’s contribution, who smashed an unbeaten 37 off 16 in the back end.

"When we got to 300, we thought we got an over-par score, especially how the wicket was playing,” said Iyer. “It was holding a bit, it was seaming, it was still happening in the 30th and 40th over. I felt that I wasn't set until I got to 40-50.

"We got to 307 thanks to Washi (Washington Sundar), the way he played. He played an amazing cameo, he came in and he built that partnership in that phase. It was crucial for us, I felt that it was an over-par score."

The second ODI will be played in Hamilton on Sunday, November 27.