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England Tour of India T20I series T20s

Wicket more difficult than the Australia series – Shakib

The track prepared for the first T20I against New Zealand, according to Shakib al Hasan, was more difficult than the ones used in the Australia series. New Zealand was bowled out for 60 runs, their lowest T20I total, and lost by seven wickets. Before the series, Shakib had pleaded for better pitches as the team prepares for the ICC T20 World Cup, which begins next month. With plenty of help for the spinners, it was a low-scoring affair once again.

“I think the wicket is more difficult than what we got in the series against Australia,” Shakib pointed out. “Yet I think that we have bowled very well, bowled in the right areas. And as New Zealand were not very experienced in such conditions, they struggled a lot.”

With limited boundary options, Shakib recognized that rotating the strike to build a total was crucial. “It is very important to pick as many singles as you can, one should focus on running between the wickets because hitting boundaries are very difficult here,” he said,

“So one should be in a positive frame of mind, pick ones and twos to get set and release the pressure and after that try to punish the bad ball to capitalize.”

“When I made any achievement, it obviously gives me a good feeling,” he said. “But I don’t want to keep that in mind.

If I keep performing and contributing to the team, things will fall into place. I am never really focused on such landmarks but when I hear from others about milestones it makes me happy and inspires me to do well more.”

‘The goal is to reach 100’

Glenn Pocknall, New Zealand’s interim head coach, was unconcerned about the performance and believes the batsman’s challenge now is to devise a new strategy.

“A lot of learnings. We knew it was going to be a challenge. We’ve been outperformed by a very good outfit and we’ll do our assessments,” he pointed out.

“We didn’t quite assess the conditions quite as well as we had thought. Losing four wickets for not many runs is always going to be a challenge in any format, especially in this format. We came back really with a really good partnership. We’ll take a lot from that.

“We certainly need to discuss what the right approach is. We’ve had really good conversations with our batters about what the right approach is to bat on such surfaces. Now we have experience in the middle and we’ll look to simplify things and have another plan. The challenge, for now, is to find how we can get to 100 and then defend that.”

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