Ish Sodhi was a rare glow for New Zealand as they faltered to a watery T20 cricket final defeat against Australia on Wednesday.

There was some initial batting pep from Colin Munro and Martin Guptill and resistance from Ross Taylor but New Zealand's total was never going to be enough to deny their rivals who kept in front of the required rate as showers invaded Eden Park.

However, Sodhi's control either side of the initial rain interruption was impressive and forced extra care from the Australian top order who struggled to read his variety of deliveries.

He bowled a disbelieving David Warner and with a damp ball, retained a tight line and length through four overs for 21 runs.


On such a small ground, Sodhi's control was impressive and in tandem with Mitchell Santner, the spinning duo checked their rivals although they were unable to strangle their victory surge.

Sodhi's work through the T20 series should have been enough to get him into the squad for the 50-over series starting tomorrow in Hamilton against England and with doubts about the fitness of Santner and Todd Astle, that inclusion was a necessity.

That backup role should be turned into a promotion for the start of the series on Sodhi's regular provincial patch at Seddon Park.

His confidence will be bubbling and his experience of bowling on his home track is another tick for his regular skipper Kane Williamson and the selectors to consider. Fielding is an area of his game Sodhi has needed to improve to support his fellow bowlers and there was more agility and bite about that work during the frenzied action in the T20 series. He can handle the bat too and gave Taylor a chance to push out NZ's total with his stubborn resistance.

Sodhi could have done with extra help from behind the wickets where he needed more noise and tight glovework from Tim Seifert to increase the heat on the Aussies who were not ultra-confident about picking the leggie and that ODI task is now transferred to Tom Latham.

The New Zealand batsmen will have faced Sodhi and others in the nets to get in the groove to combat England's senior spinner Adil Rashid whose work is one of the mainstays of their attack.

Watching talented wrist-spinners bowl on television and seeing how the batsmen read and try to counter their range of deliveries is one of cricket's highlights.

Seeing tweakers bowl live, you don't pick up the variation and deception the camera lens provides through slow motion replays.

The few metres between batsmen and bowlers is daunting when the quicks are rattling the ball through around 150km/h but wrist-spinners such as Sodhi and Rashid create similar anxiety and fascination for us when they hit their marks.