Hyderabad: After a disastrous whitewash against India in the T20s, The kiwis made a victorious comeback in the first ODI as they beat India by 4 wickets in Hamilton on Wednesday. Ross Taylor scored his 21st ODI hundred (109*)and took New Zealand home.
After scripting history by whitewashing the Kiwis in the T20s by 5-0, the great kiwi challenge reached its next level, the ODIs. India and New Zealand were up against each other in a three-match ODI series as New Zealand and India received huge shocks in the form of Rohit Sharma and Kane Williamson.
Kane Williamson couldn’t recover from his shoulder injury and was rested for the first two ODIs whereas a calf injury ruled out Rohit Sharma for the remainder of the New Zealand tour.
Tom Latham was named the Captain for the first two ODIs and he started off well by winning the toss and electing to bowl first against India.
It was a new opening pair for India as debutants due to Rohit and Dhawan’s injuries as Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal walked out to bat for the first time. The duo looked confident and were off to a good start with a 50-run partnership. The New Zealand bowlers were back into the game as India received double blows in the form of Shaw and Agarwal.
Skipper Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer then took over the Indian innings and played according to the situation. Both the Batsmen were very good with the rotation of the strike and put the oddballs to the fence. The duo soon brought up a 100-run partnership. This also marked the end of Virat Kohli as he was bowled off Sodhi. The nation’s wait for a Virat Kohli ton prolonged as another inning passed by.
Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul then put their foot on the accelerator and took India over the 6-run mark as Shreyas Iyer scored his maiden ODI Hundred. He soon got out while trying to clear the fence but KL Rahul kept squeezing in the boundaries alongside Kedhar Jadhav, who played a quick-fire cameo to take India to 347-4.
New Zealand had a mountain target of 348 to chase with the Indian bowlers ready to roar. The opening pair of Henry Nicholls and Martin Guptill guided New Zealand to a decent start as they did not lose a wicket. The duo went onto add 85 for the first wicket before Guptill got out for 32. Henry Nicholls stuck in the middle but did not get any support from Tom Blundell. He was stumped for 9.
New Zealand’s most experienced campaigner, Ross Taylor walked into bat as the match was on India’s plate. He along with Henry Nicholls kept the scoreboard ticking until a Virat Kohli special produced a freak run-out out. Tom Latham, having a great record against India took the initiative alongside Ross Taylor to build a huge 138-run partnership to take off the pressure. The scenario then looked clear and comfortable for New Zealand as they once again started signs of choking. They lost Latham, Needham and de Grandhomme as India looked for a comeback.
Mitchell Santhner then hit Shardul for a six and a four and made sure New Zealand levelled the scores. Ross Taylor then scored the winning runs as the Indian bowling line-up proved completely ineffective in front of a Ross Taylor show. Taylor was unbeaten on 109* and was also adjudged the Man of the Match. The Indian bowlers missed their line and lengths pretty often as they conceded 29 extras, including 24 wides.