There was a lot brewing in the horizon as New Zealand ran India close the last time around with a 3-2 series result. As Kiwis set sail yet again for Indian shores, there was an aura of excitement in the air, as it always does with the Kiwis.
FIRST ODI- All Round Black Caps Shadow Kohli’s Century
It isn’t always that a Virat Kohli hundred goes in vain, but when it does, it takes a team like New Zealand to do it.Trent Boult pierced through the Indian lineup, helping himself to a four-wicket haul. Tom Latham and Ross Taylor put up a 200 run stand with the former scoring a fine century. The Kiwis made the 280-run target look timid, and it is also the highest winning target by New Zealand against India to be chased.
SECOND ODI- Tables Turn as Blues Trump Blacks
THIRD ODI- Humdinger at Kanpur
The series decider between the two strong contenders could not have gotten any better. Rohit Sharma’s 147 and Virat Kohli’s 113 took India to a massive 337. In reply, the All Blacks fired collectively, with half centuries from Munro,Williamson and Latham each and yet, fell short of the target by just 6 runs.Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah were the pick of the Indian bowlers, the latter snaring 3 wickets and saving the series for India.
New Zealand and India outperformed each other on two occasions and as it all boiled down to a couple of overs in the third ODI, the team that had the cooler nerves won the series. New Zealand relied heavily on Tom Latham to score as his 206 runs accounted for 24% of the total runs scored by New Zealand. The Kiwis wielded Santner well as he enjoys the best economy of 4.57 while Bumrah was the pick of the Indian bowlers with 6 wickets and average of 23.50.
Most Runs- Virat Kohli – 263 runs at an average 87.67.
Most Wickets – JuspritBumrah: 6 wickets at an average 23.50
Tim Southee: 6 wwickets at an average 33.17
Man of the Series- Virat Kohli
Fifth Umpire Champion of the series- Tom Latham with 206 runs at an average 103.
India- The Juggernaut Rolls On…
Virat Kohli and his men seem to be doing no wrong. The customary run scoring by the top order was evident. Dinesh Karthik has begun to show great promise and has further intensified the race for the middle order. But the highlight of the series is undoubtedly the bowlers comprising of youngsters Chahal, Kuldeep, Axar and Bumrah who were ably backed by the skipper behind the stumps as well as the skipper in the deep. Hardik Pandya though, seems to be firing in alternate series which may be a cause of worry for India.
New Zealand- Champions from the Shadows
New Zealand has performed beyond expectations as it always does. Trent Boult in the first ODI portrayed glimpses of a prolific career ahead. Tom Latham is undoubtedly among the most underrated players in the international crop. New Zealand though, does have things to look into. A lack of a settled spin attack despite IshSodhi warming the benches is one such. Corey Anderson’s void seems a bit too big to fill for Colin de Grandhomme as his all-round prowess failed in India. Martin Guptill with 53 runs averaging 17 runs is another major concern for the Kiwis.
At the end of the day, the scoreboard might suggest that India has won the series. But sport, especially cricket, is a lot more than just the scoreboard. The underlying narrative of a resilient Kiwi far outweighs the wickets and runs.Walking into the series with no real experienced batting order in these conditions, a lack of an established spin attack and a shuffled batting lineup meant trouble, and yet to come out the way Kiwis did is something only this side can do. New Zealand managed to pull off something that the English, Sri Lankans and Aussies have failed to achieve in a very long time- give India a run for its money.
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