The performances of Colin Munro and Ish Sodhi in New Zealand's 40-run Twenty20 victory over India in Rajkot showed the value in persevering with them at international level.

Both have been on the periphery of the Black Caps for years. Their contributions to level the current series demonstrated an ability to deliver match-winning performances.

New Zealand needs to spread the responsibility of building victories in all formats beyond the usual suspects of Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Ross Taylor, Martin Guptill and Tim Southee.

An example came in the recent one-day international series. Test opener Tom Latham proved a revelation dropping to No.5 and taking the wicketkeeping gloves.

Advertisement

Munro and Sodhi continued the trend in the shortest format, choosing a savvy time and place to deliver skite reels ahead of next year's Indian Premier League auction.

Munro maintained his ascendancy as a limited overs opener with 109 not out from 58 balls. His clean striking anchored New Zealand's 196 for two after choosing to bat.

He combined with Martin Guptill (45 runs off 41 balls) in a 105-run opening stand, and joined Brendon McCullum and West Indians Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis among those to score two centuries in T20 internationals.

The 30-year-old dominated on a surface which offered bowlers minimal assistance. His chances of missing the sweet spot were negligible when he hit through the line, but he also showed finesse glancing debutant Mohammed Siraj through his legs in the 15th over and paddling him fine in the 17th. The question now is: can he do it when the ball nibbles about more at home?

"It's a mind shift thing trying not to expect too much of myself, and not getting too high or low," Munro said.

"The biggest part of being successful at this level is the mental side. I've put too much pressure on myself in the past regarding 'what can I do to make the team?' Now it's more about 'what can I do to win or contribute to the game, even if it's 20 off 10?"

Munro endured a couple of dicey moments. He was dropped by Yuzvendra Chahal on 79 off Kumar in the 16th and avoided a run out calamity at the end of the 12th when Rohit Sharma threw wildly at the striker's end.

When he took the ball and broke the third wicket stand of 54 off 40 balls between Kohli (65 off 42 balls) and Shreyas Iyer (23 off 21), he could safely assume it was his day.

Iyer swung a knuckleball delivery high and, as it began a freefall of Felix Baumgartner proportions, Munro circled below. The all-rounder's effort was living proof cricket hath no determination like a player chasing their own caught-and-bowled.

Sodhi produced breath-taking leg spin at times, extracting turn where others couldn't. The highlight was a signature googly which sawed through Handik Pandya and left the hosts flailing at 67 for four in the 10th over.

"[Variations] are something I've been working on a lot and then it's about figuring out the best time to bowl them," Sodhi said.

"These days in T20, variety is definitely something you want to keep adding to your game."

Sodhi also cut the run flow against Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

The 25-year-old finished with one for 25 from four overs, backing up his figures of two for 25 from the first match where he received less support from the other end.

In Delhi, each pace bowler went at 11 or more runs per over. In Rajkot, no one other than the 10 runs off one Colin de Grandhomme over, conceded more than 8.50.

The two developing internationals shone, but Boult's dismissal of both openers in the second over was pivotal in ensuring India always struggled.

He surgically removed Shikhar Dhawan's middle stump, and lured Sharma into chasing a ball angled across him which edged into Glenn Phillips' gloves. The left-armer finished with four wickets for 34.