The 3 match ODI series between India and New Zealand turned out to be a lot more exciting than the 5 match one sided ODI series against Australia which took place recently. The Kiwis one the first ODI to put India under pressure for the first time in a long time at home and the Indians came back well in the second ODI to make it 1-1 and turn the third and final ODI into Kanpur as a must win game for both sides.
Kohli And Sharma Scores Centuries
Virat Kohli is the best and most consistent ODI batsman in the world and he once again led from the front in the third ODI. Having lost S Dhawan in the 7th over, Kohli and R Sharma steadied the ship before opening up and playing aggressively. Sharma and Kohli put together a fantastic 200 run partnership with Sharma scoring 147 (138) and Kohli scoring 113 (106). The two gave India a great platform to launch a final attack in the death overs but the Kiwi bowlers did a great job in restricting India to 337.
H Pandya could not pull off another cameo while Dhoni fell just as he started to get into his groove. India would have expected to get to 350 after the fantastic partnership that Sharma and Kohli put together.
Kiwis Should Have Won Final ODI
The reliable B Kumar turned out to be very expensive in his opening spell and the Kiwis got off to a great start even though they lost M Guptill early. Captain K Williamson put together a good partnership with C Munro and then T Latham continued his good form putting together crucial middle order partnerships with the experienced R Taylor and H Nicholls. However Kohli took a risk and brought back B Kumar who bowled a yorker to dismiss Nicholls.
The Kiwis were still the favourites at this point of time as they had wickets in hand and were 306 for 5 in the 46th over. They should have been able to coast to victory as T Latham was set and the big hitting C Grandhomme was at the crease. However J Bumrah who bowled really well at the start of the innings once again proved why he is considered one of the best death bowlers in the world.
Grandhomme found it difficult to score of Bumrah and rotate the strike. He tried to scamper for a single and in the end ran out T Latham. That wicket was the turning point and in hindsight Grandhomme should have sacrificed his wicket as Latham was the set batsman. B Kumar bowled well in the 49th over and left New Zealand with a little too much to get in the final over which Bumrah bowled.
The Kiwis fell short by 6 runs and gave India their seventh consecutive ODI bilateral series win. Captain Kohli was very happy with his team’s performance who will now take a short break and then prepare to face Sri Lanka at home.