During the first T20I of ongoing New Zealand vs India five-match T20I series in Auckland, India wicket-keeper batsman KL Rahul impressed everyone with his bat. He scored his 10th T20I half-century in white-ball cricket and helped India to win the game with ease.
While opening the chase with vice-captain Rohit Sharma (7) in a 204-run target, India lost Rohit Sharma very cheaply. Rahul added a 99-run partnership for the second wicket along with captain Virat Kohli. However, he took the onus on his shoulder and played the shots everywhere in the ground.
Moreover, his shots gave no sign of jet lag or not being able to adjust to the foreign conditions. It seemed like he has carried his formidable form from the recently-concluded Australia series. The right-hand batsman made sure that India feel no pressure while chasing. His free-flowing scoring put up more than 50 runs in the powerplay.
Meanwhile, the highlight of his innings came on the penultimate ball of the fifth over when he hit New Zealand speedster Tim Southee for a mere flick which ended up landing into the crowd. KL Rahul hit the shot in the nearly same way the legendary India wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni does. He is known for his trademark helicopter shot.
Before New Zealand spinner Ish Sodhi dismissed him, Rahul made a quickfire 56 off mere 27 balls. His knock included the help of four fours and three sixes.
After India captain Virat Kohli won the toss and put the hosts in to bat, New Zealand put up a huge competitive total of 203 for 5 in their allotted 20 overs. Their score came on the back of individual half-centuries from opening batsman Colin Munro (59), veteran batsman Ross Taylor (54*) and captain Kane Williamson (51). India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was the pick of their bowlers who finished with the figures of 2-0-18-1.