Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi believes New Zealand need to be more aggressive with the ball against India’s world class batting unit during the second T20I to make an immediate comeback in the five-match series.
India claimed a six-wicket win in the first T20I after chasing down 204 with relative ease to go 1-0 up in the five-match series.
Sodhi feels the hosts didn’t bowl many attacking spells to put enough pressure on the visitors.
“We put 200 on the board again. If we can look to be more aggressive with the ball that attitude will be a great learning from the first game. If we are going to go for runs or miss out on a couple opportunities for wickets, you only learn after you try it out,” said Sodhi on Saturday.
“You have to see how the game is going on. But it differs from batsman to batsman and bowler to bowler. You have to discuss with the captain and the bowling group as well.
“Mitchell Santner and myself do that a lot. Last night he was in the outfield so I spoke a lot with Kane (Williamson). I bowled 2-3 overs’ spell, and one of them was a defensive spell; the other was an attacking spell. So we have to bowl with the same attacking attitude throughout,” he added.
The spinner said it is difficult to create pressure on India, which boosts of some world class batsmen but New Zealand must find a way to make an immediate comeback in the second T20I.
“They have five or six world class batsmen in their side and it will always be difficult to contain them at the best of times. Eden Park with its boundary size is a challenge as well,” said Sodhi, who took 2 for 36 on Friday.
“Kane was good with the bowlers at end of the game and the thinking as a bowling group was that we have to take wickets. 45 from 4 overs would be decent here but it won’t be on many other grounds. So we have to make the aggressive shift for the next game but we did really good with 200 runs on the board. We just need to defend it better.”
Sodhi, who will be a crucial part of the New Zealand attack again, also spoke about the possibility of the Eden Park pitch slowing down for the game on Sunday.
“You have to look at whether wicket gets better. We found it was holding on Friday night, cross-seamers were holding a bit and the ball was spinning a bit too,” he said.
“We will have to see if it gets slower and if there is dew factor like there was under the lights (on Friday). It’s just one of those grounds where good and bad balls go for sixes, and it can be quite hard to contain at times.”
Talking about the challenge of playing at Eden Park, Ish Sodhi said: “We don’t play a lot of cricket there but it’s unique. Boundaries are not favouring any one side, same for both sides, and we have been successful in the past there.
“We just have to figure out how to defend there or if we need to change tactics and bowl first. The team management will have that conversation.”
Dew made for a surprise at Eden Park on Friday and Sodhi said it remains to be seen if the same conditions will be prevalent for the second match. He also felt late starts could be a factor throughout this five-match series.
“I haven’t had much time to process it but last night we thought we played a decent game. The first half was nicely set up, a huge positive with the bat. The Indians came out pretty hard in the first six overs. They had momentum from end of our innings and we couldn’t really go hard at them.
“Maybe we need to train a bit more under lights otherwise we are all used to playing at 8pm starting time. It is not too bad and we have played in the IPL at night time.”
Ish Sodhi, who had dropped a sitter off Virat Kohli, said the floodlights sometimes make it difficult to hold on to catches.
“The lights here are a bit different as most stadiums have five-six towers. Here they are low and in a line, so it can be tough catching. It hits you harder when the ball comes down, but no excuses,” he said.
“When that catch went down (off Virat Kohli), I was thinking what if he scores big now. But that is the nature of professional cricket and you have to take your chances,” Sodhi signed off.