Barring the 75 runs knock in the third One-Day International at Kanpur which came in a losing cause, Colin Munro did not have much to show for the India tour. The hard-hitting batsman was getting the starts but was failed to capitalize on them. As a result, New Zealand did not get the starts on tour and lost the ODI series before falling behind in the T20Is too.
With the T20I series on the line, New Zealand needed Munro the most, and the left-handed batsman roared back to form in style, slamming an unbeaten 109 to guide the Kiwis to a convincing series-leveling win in the second game in Rajkot. His knock came off just 58 balls and was studded with seven fours and as many sixes.
As a result of Munro’s brutal knock, the world number one T20I side posted a mammoth 196 for two before restricting the high-flying hosts to 156 for 7. Speaking after the game, Munro expressed his liking for the shortest format of the game.
“I think I’ve always felt good in this format; it was just a matter of it not quite clicking,” Munro said. “It’s one of those game where when you’re going well, you’re going really well. And when you’re not, you’re not. For me it’s a mindset thing. I’ve tried not to expect too much off myself playing at this level or at Twenty20. It’s just trying to ride that wave and not trying to get caught in … when I score runs, I try not get too high and when I don’t, not get too low. It’s just about trying to keep as even as you can and I think I’ve done that over the last two years.
“I enjoy Twenty20; it’s a game where you know it’s a short game and you go out there to express yourself and when it comes off, it comes off. Sometimes you put too much pressure on yourself in the longer form where you’ve got to score runs all the time. In Twenty20, you just got to go out there and express yourself and take the good with the bad. Sometimes it comes off like it did tonight and the other night it didn’t come off. You just got to go with the flow,” added the batsman who rode his luck to score his second T20I century this year.
Munro was undone by the slower deliveries in the first two One-Day Internationals, but one prominent feature of his latest innings was how brilliantly he dealt with them in Rajkot. As a result, the Indian bowlers had to resort to plan B which did not quite worked well.
“To be honest, I wasn’t expecting too many slower balls in the first couple of ODIs,” conceded Munro. “Bhuvi and Bumrah just bowled back of a length, trying to nick you out, bowl LBWs and the way I came out was aggressive and that made them change a bit. They bowled really well in terms of that. Bumrah’s slower ball … he’s made a name for himself with that slower ball and Bhuvi’s knuckle ball is very good with the new ball.”
Munro also praised his opening partner Martin Guptill for taking the pressure off him in the initial overs as the duo went on to add 105 runs before the latter fell to Yuzvendra Chahal for 45.
“I think Guppy had a lot of the strike early and he got off to a good start,”he said of Guptill, who at one stage had 12 off 18 balls. “He said the wicket was good so just play your natural game. And that helped me. Guppy facing the first couple of balls, I think that’s a tough role because wicket could be sticky, skiddy, so he enjoys it. The communication we have at the top of the order and throughout our batting is key in order to make those big targets.”
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