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India have already sealed their maiden T20I series win in New Zealand. Courtesy: AP Photo

New Zealand head coach Gary Stead defended his decisions during host’s Super Over defeat in 3rd T20, hailing the current Indian team for playing fantastic cricket. India beat New Zealand via Super Over to take an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the 5-match T20I series in Hamilton.

Hosts required 2 runs off 4 balls to seal victory but botched up the chase against some excellent bowling from Shami. After hitting Jasprit Bumrah for 17 runs in the Super Over and restricting India to just 8 runs of the 1st four balls, New Zealand still found a way to lose the game.

“I have only been involved for the last 18 months, so I have doubt. They are a very good team. From top to bottom throughout the whole team, they are very strong and are proven IPL match winners and they are going to be the contender of game four and future series,” he said.

Stead also lauded his skipper Kane Williamson for playing an outstanding inning in the Hamilton thriller on Wednesday. Williamson’s 95 off 48 balls went in vain as they failed to overhaul the target of 180 set by India but took the game into the Super Over. Williamson then scored 11 runs in the Super Over bowled by Bumrah as the hosts set India a target of 18 to win.

Stead, who is leading the Black Caps since August 2018, heaped rich praise on India pace spearhead Bumrah saying his side was lucky to have handled the Indian pacer well in the third T20I in Hamilton.

“He is a very tough person to handle I know that for sure. We were lucky last night where we played him really well and that was on the back of Kane Williamson batting for a long time against him. Kane’s innings was outstanding and we will struggle to see (a) much better T20 innings,” Stead said.

“No doubt that the Indian team is playing fantastic cricket at this time. They have IPL competitions where these guys are stars and are used to pressure on a regular basis. But that takes nothing away from them to perform at crunch time. From our point of view, we need to get better,” he concluded.

Source: www.indiatoday.in