Napier: India skipper Hardik Pandya, who played a crucial knock and helped his side end the rain-affected third and final T20I against New Zealand in a tie via Duckworth-Lewis method following rain interruption here on Tuesday, said that the attack was the best defence on the wicket, given the quality of opposition bowlers.
After New Zealand won the toss and opted to bat first, Indian pacers Mohammed Siraj (4/17) and Arshdeep Singh (4/37) produced the sensational bowling performances and scalped four wickets four wickets each to bowl out Black Caps for 160 despite fighting half-centuries by Devon Conway (59 off 49) and Glenn Phillips (54 off 33).
Chasing 161 to win, India were reeling at 21/3 in 2.5 overs but Pandya hit three boundaries and a six during his unbeaten knock and along with Deepak Hooda (9 not out off 9) took India to 75/4 in 9 overs when rain stopped play.
According to DLS, 76 would have been the winning score for India after 9 overs but they were 75, which was the par score. With incessant rain lashing the McLean Park, the match couldn’t be resumed and eventually it ended in a tie as India clinched the three-match series 1-0, courtesy their 65-run win in the second game in Mount Maunganui on Sunday.
The first game between the two sides at Wellington was washed out without a ball being bowled.
“Would have liked to win the game by playing the full overs, but it is what it is. At some point, I felt attack is the best defence on this wicket. We know the kind of bowling attacks they have, it was very important to get those 10-15 runs extra even though we lost a couple of wickets,” Hardik said during the post-match presentation.
As per Indian skipper, a tough game like this, would have given an opportunity to test some of the players, but weather didn’t allow it.
“A game like this could have given us an opportunity to test some of the players, but having said weather is something we cannot control,” he said.
The star all-rounder has been rested for the ODI series starting on November 25, with Shikhar Dhawan leading the side.
“I’m going back home, taking my time off to be with my son,” said Hardik.