In wake of his side’s 4-run defeat in Dhaka, young New Zealand all-rounder Rachin Ravindra said that the Blackcaps showed ‘incredible’ improvement in the second T20I, and asserted that their showing in game two bodes well for the rest of the series.
After being bundled out for a mere 60 in the first T20I, New Zealand showed far better application in the second, in pursuit of 142. The batsmen, led by skipper Tom Latham, dug in, and the visitors took the chase to the very last ball.
They eventually fell short, but Ravindra insisted that New Zealand’s showing in the second T20I is a ‘great sign’ heading into the third game.
"As I said, the improvement between game one and game two is incredible, maybe on a slightly better surface, but it showed in our batting, especially the way we were able to adapt. I think that's great signs coming up for our next three games,” Ravindra was quoted as saying by ESPN Cricinfo.
“We can look to take learnings from here and we are still not firing on all cylinders. Hopefully, we can get it right next game and get our combinations right and hopefully [get] a win."
Bangladesh played risk-free, conventional cricket to post 141 in the second T20I, and New Zealand followed suit, shelving their reckless template from the first game to showcase a much more mature performance. This maturity was embodied by none other than skipper Latham, who, after failing in game one, completely focused on hitting along the ground to post a fine 65, albeit in a losing cause.
In the Dhaka wicket that has proven to be a graveyard for batsmen, Ravindra insisted that it is imperative for batsmen to not force the issue and keep the scoreboard ticking by playing conventional cricket.
"It'll be nice to bat a little bit longer and hopefully contribute a few more runs towards a win.I think it's about hitting good cricket shots on these sort of wickets. You play good cricket shots, you're going to get that boundary eventually.
“You don't necessarily need to manufacture too much, but seeing the way he [Latham] played to his strengths and hit his sweeps, [it] looks like he was well-prepared."
Ravindra, who made his international debut in the first T20I, did not contribute with the bat in game two, but did, however, play a crucial role with the ball. The left-arm spinner picked three wickets, including that of both the well-set openers, and his breakthroughs helped the Kiwis restrict the Tigers under 150.
The 21-year-old revealed that the presence of senior figures helped him thrive with the ball, and further added that his modus operandi in white-ball cricket - to fire the ball in quickly at a length - is tailor-made for the conditions he has been presented with in Dhaka.
"I think it was good to be able to break up partnerships a little bit and contribute a bit; ultimately lead to a few poles and a couple of dots. It was good to have those comms, especially Tommy [Latham]; just discussing with them [about] how to go about it and I think that sort of helped me a lot in being able to bounce off those senior guys.
"That's usually how I look to bowl in T20s - trying to bowl a little bit back of a length that sticks hard and in these conditions. It works quite well [here] because the odd ball can skid or turn and it's quite hard to hit down the ground using that pace."