Sodhi: NZ has to be more aggressive with the ball against India

New Zealand spinner Ish Sodhi felt that the Kiwis need better strategy against a strong Indian batting unit after they failed to defend 204 in the first T20I.

New Zealand leg-spinner Ish Sodhi conceded heavily but also picked up the wicket of Shivam Dube in the first T20I against India.   -  Getty Images

Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi believes New Zealand needs to be more aggressive with the ball against India’s world-class batting unit during the second T20I to make a 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 on Friday.

“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 as the likes of K.L. Rahul, Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer always kept the required run rate up by scoring boundaries regularly.

“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.

“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 is also expecting dew to be a big factor at the Eden Park 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, 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.

“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,” Sodhi added.

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.

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