Team India lost the second One-Day International (ODI) against New Zealand at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday. The top order failed to chase down the set target of 274, and the hosts won the contest by 22 runs to clinch the three-match series.
However, the lower-order did some fireworks, which kept the visitors in the game until the fall of the last wicket. Indian speedster Navdeep Saini, who’s known for clicking 145kmph-plus deliveries, exhibited his batting masterclass in the second game.
The Delhi-born came to bat when his side was reduced to 153-7 in 31.1 overs. He stitched a crucial partnership of 76-run with all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja for the eighth wicket. This was Saini’s first opportunity with the bat in ODIs, and he used it pretty well as the right-hander slammed 45 runs off 49 balls with five fours and two sixes.
Just before his dismissal, Saini smashed debutant Kyle Jamieson for a maximum, which left everyone, including skipper Virat Kohli amazed. However, in the very next delivery, the 27-year-old was bowled by Jamieson.
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The Indian skipper did talk about Saini in the post-match presentation as well. “We didn’t know how good Saini could be with the bat, so if the lower order could be that good, then it inspires the middle order and the top order to step it up too,” Kohli said.
This was India’s first series defeat across all formats after the 2019 World Cup held in England.