Ranchi: India all-rounder Washington Sundar termed their loss to New Zealand in the opening T20I here as a “one-off” defeat and backed the hosts to bounce back in the three-match series. Chasing an competitive 177, India’s top-three, including in-form Shubman Gill (7) were dismissed for just 15 runs inside 19 balls, making the task difficult for the remaining batters with the home team settling for 155 for 9, handing New Zealand a 21-run win, their first victory of the tour on Friday night.
New Zealand were swept 0-3 in the preceding ODI series by India before the new-look home side under Hardik Pandya took over for the T20 leg.
“I think it was just a one-off game,” said Washington, who scored a quickfire 28-ball 50, besides returning with tidy figures of 2/22. “I don’t think that just because it was spinning so much, we have to address anything. Just that one-off game. Had we got off to a flier or a better start, things would’ve been much different. Obviously, it did spin, and you will see such wickets here and there.
“…people over here and players in our team have played on such wickets in the IPL and even in the Indian team. So, just that one-off game where certain things didn’t go our way,” he added.
But his responses seemed “unconvincing” for a journalist, who went on to probe further and asked whether they should “change” their top order.
This time, the youngster was at his wittiest best.
“Do you really think a change is needed? If you don’t get your favourite biryani in one of the restaurants, you will never go to that restaurant?” “All of them have made so many runs. It’s just one day. It happens to anyone — even New Zealand collapsed in Raipur (108 all out in 34.3 overs in the second ODI),” Washington said.
“It did not mean they had to change their top order. It’s a game where anything can happen. We will have to be patient. At the end of the day, it’s a sport where both teams cannot win and all 22 players cannot perform. All of them have done well to get to this stage.” The 23-year-old backed left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh, who registered poor figures of 4-0-51-1 and young pace sensation Umran Malik, who conceded 16 runs in the only over he bowled during New Zealand’s innings.