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India attains top spot in ODI rankings with a 3-0 win against New Zealand

By Real11 - Jan 25 2023 239 Views
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Clinical India top ODI rankings with clean sweep over India

In what rolled out to a run fest at the Holkar Cricket Stadium, the 212 run opening stand between Rohit Sharma and Shubhman Gill helped India clean sweep the three match ODI series against the Kiwis. With this, India have also attained pole position in ODI rankings. Tom Latham and co mustered 295 in pursuit of a gigantic target of 386. 

The visitors needed a brisk start but they didn’t get one as Fin Allen chopped one onto the stumps; paying the price for staying back at the crease. Devon Conway (100 ball 138) and Henry Nichollas, though, shifted the momentum with a 106- run second wicket stand. The duo manufactured different kinds of shots and used their feet to great effect to put the Indian bowlers under some pressure.

Just as NZ were looking to have the upper hand, Kuldeep Yadav struck with a timely wicket of Henry Nicholls. Despite losing his batting partner Conway continued to play like a kid with freedom, bringing out the reverse sweep, slog sweep and occasionally coming down the track to attack Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. At the halfway mark, NZ were very much in hunt with eight wickets in hand. But Thakur produced a match-defining spell to put the hosts in the driver's seat. 

Thakur used the cross seam short ball first to remove Daryl Mitchell and then the lethal Glenn Phillips. He also sent Tom Latham packing with an attempted knuckle ball. NZ dealt with a massive blow in the 32nd over with the loss of set batsman and centurion Conway. He hit one straight down the throat of midwicket to Umran Malik’s bowling. Micheal Bracwelll and Mitchell Santner made handy contributions but failed to recreate their magic from the opening game as the visitors were eventually bundled out for 285 in the 42nd over. 

Earlier in the day, Rohit and Gill made complete use of the small ground and batting friendly conditions to give India a rollicking start. While Sharma played the role of aggressor, Gill counted on his exquisite timing to do the scoring. In just the fifth over of the match, the pair cracked a six each-hook and loft- to provide the men in blue a perfect launchpad. In the eighth over, Gill went on to cut, drive and steer Lockie Ferguson as 22 runs were added. Rohit soon joined the party, pulling and lofting Jacob Duffy. 

India reached the 100 run mark in just the 13th over. Rohit finally ended a three year   century drought (ODIs) in the 26th over. Gill too accomplished the landmark in the very same over. At that stage, it felt as if the hosts could even target 450 but the Kiwis did well to apply brakes on India’s scoring rate with regular strikes. Rohit was castled by Micheal Bracewell while playing a slog across the line and Blair Tickner took the prized wicket of Gill. 

Virat Kohli did play a quick cameo (27 ball 36) before falling to Duffy. The track by then had slowed down a little as NZ’s into-the-deck bowling alongside deceptive pace variations resulted in the wickets of Suryakumar Yadav and Washington Sundar. Shardul Thakur and Hardik Pandya then added 54 runs inside five overs to ensure India finish on top going into the second innings. 

Brief scores: India 385/9 in 50 overs (Shubman Gill 112, Rohit Sharma 101; Blair Tickner 3 for 76) beat New Zealand 295 (Devon Conway 138; Shardul Thakur 3-45) by 90 runs

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