After a hectic T20 World Cup where he ran in for 18 overs across six matches, Hardik Pandya took a break from bowling as he entrusted six other Indian bowlers do the job in the second T20I against New Zealand.
Deepak Hooda (4-10), Yuzvendra Chahal (2-26), Mohammed Siraj (2-24) put in a clinical performance while defending 192 at the Bay Oval on Sunday as the visitors took a 1-0 lead in the series with a 65-run win.
Pandya, who is captaining the side in place of rested Rohit Sharma, was pleased with the bowling performance, where he had used three spinners and three pacers.
"Bowlers did well and it was about being aggressive in the mindset. It doesn't mean taking a wicket every ball, but being aggressive with the ball is important. The conditions were very wet, so credit to the bowlers," Pandya said in the post-match presentation.
"I have bowled a lot, going forward I want to see more bowling options. Not always that this will work but I want more batters to chip in with the ball. I expect them to be professional, which they are," he added.
Batting first, India were propelled to 191/6 in 20 overs, thanks to a stupendous knock of 111 not out off 51 balls (11x4, 7x6) by Suryakumar Yadav. Pandya felt it was a comprehensive performance by his team.
"Can't get any better than this. Everyone chipped it but it was surely a special innings by Surya. We would have taken a score of 170-175," Pandya said.
Pandya had earlier captained India in their tour of Ireland in June soon after leading Gujarat Titans to the IPL 2022 title in their debut season. The Baroda allrounder shared his thoughts on leadership.
"Give them the opportunity to enjoy themselves. It's about creating an environment where they are all in a happy space. I see many times in this team that all the players are happy for each other's success. And that's important," Pandya said.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson praised Suryakumar's innings and was left frustrated by his side's batting as they kept on losing wickets regularly to be bundled out for 126.
"It was not our best effort. Surya's innings was out of this world. One of the best knocks I've ever seen. Some of those shots, I've never seen before. They were outstanding, we weren't up to mark," Williamson said.
"Need to look at the small margins. Sometimes, a special innings can happen, Surya is the best player in the world," he added.
The Black Caps failed to get a good start with the ball as they removed India's new opening pair Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant by the 10th over and 69 runs on the board and were left powerless by Suryakumar's scintillating strokeplay.
"We didn't get momentum with the ball, didn't get enough wickets and didn't get momentum with the bat either. It was frustrating. Again, I'll say about Suryakumar, his innings was the difference," Williamson said.
After the first T20I was washed out, New Zealand have a chance to level the series on Tuesday by winning the third T20I in Napier.