Kane Williamson-led New Zealand are 0-1 down in the three-match T20I series after losing the first game to India by 53 runs at Feroz Shah Kotla. In a pre-match press conference, New Zealand leg-spinner Ish Sodhi spoke about how well the visitors have performed in the recently concluded three-match ODI series and also the first T20I at Delhi. However, Sodhi feels that the key to bouncing back in the series with full force is to slow down India's momentum.
"I think we put up a fantastic performance in Mumbai (in the first ODI of the three-game series lost by the visitors 1-2) and played pretty well for that win. I think the second game is the only one we kind of struggled with. But the third ODI was a fantastic game and I think we chased extremely well. We showed that we can play spin a lot better than sides that have come here in the past," said Sodhi.
Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan scored brilliant half-centuries in the first T20I and stitched together a record 158-run partnership to give the hosts a solid start. Commenting on how the partnership proved to be a key moment in the game, Sodhi said that their batting set up the momentum for the rest of the game.
"T20 cricket is all about momentum and I think they (India) put on a good partnership at the start (a record 158 runs between openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma) that set up the momentum for the rest of the game. I think that's just about recognising those key moments and how we can slow their momentum down," the right-arm spinner pointed out.
The Kiwis aim to win the second T20I at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot in order to keep the series alive.
"Every game we play, we try to put on our best performance and try to win for our country and we're going to approach the same way. We'll come to the ground tomorrow, have a look at the wicket, distinguish how we're going to play and hopefully combat the conditions well enough to come out on top. Being 0-1 down in a series is always tough, but it's two games to come and we'll have to give our best shot," said the Indian-origin cricketer.
Sodhi was part of the Black Caps squad that came for the World T20 Championship last year and had also spent quite a bit of time prior to the series by touring India with the New Zealand A squad.
"I'd like to think that I've improved a lot since the last time I came here. Generally, the driving force is trying to improve and I got 2 for 25 the other day. It's been nice to spend extra time here with the A team, so the acclimatisation has been a lot easier since the last time I was here," he said.
"Regardless of the team we put out, I think we're really lucky with the resources to take on most conditions in the world and hopefully we'll do that tomorrow," Sodhi commented on the visitors' batting order.
(With PTI inputs)