After whitewashing the Test series, India got off to a brilliant start in the limited-overs series against New Zealand by securing a 6 wicket victory in Dharamsala. After the bowling heroics from Hardik Pandya, Virat Kohli shone with the willow to take India home with 17 overs left in the game.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 190 all out in 43.5 overs (Latham 79*(98), Southee 55(45); Pandya 3/31, Yadav 3/31, Mishra 3/49) lost to India 194/4 ( Kohli 85*(81), Rahane 33 (34); Ish Sodhi 1/34)
Hardik Pandya had almost become a forgotten man, after his brother grabbing the limelight to the start of India's long Test season at home by getting selected for the India A tour. This left the 23-year-old with some time to retrospect after his initial rise. However, Pandya was back in the spotlight in the first ODI against New Zealand, as he was handed the debut ODI cap from legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev.
The Baroda all-rounder shared the new ball with Umesh Yadav, as the duo provided India with a brilliant start. Martin Guptill went after Pandya in the second over and hit him for three boundaries in his
The Kiwis lost their next six wickets for just 51 runs. Despite Sunil Gavaskar predicting a run feast at the HPCA Stadium, the wicket offered a lot to the new-ball bowlers. Umesh Yadav removed Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor cheaply, while Pandya picked up the wickets of Corey Anderson and Luke Ronchi. Skipper Dhoni played a masterstroke by throwing the ball to Kedar Jadhav, who picked up two wickets in a single over to propel the Kiwis into their shells. In the 19th over, New Zealand
Tom Latham – the lone man standing
Tom Latham has been New Zealand's most consistent batsman during the entire Test series, and the 24-year-old became the first Kiwi batsman to carry his bat through in an ODI. With the rest of the batting lineup falling like a pack of cards, the southpaw held the fort at one end. Eventually, he found some support from an unlikely source in Tim Southee. The 27-year-old pacer, whose previous highest score in the ODIs was 32, was given a new lease of life after Umesh Yadav dropped his catch at 2 runs. Southee made the most out of that dropped chance by going after the Indian bowling.
Southee scored 55 runs, before being dismissed by Amit Mishra, hitting 6 fours and 3 huge sixes in the process. The duo formed a crucial 61-run partnership to take New Zealand towards the 200-run mark. However, Ish Sodhi did not last long after Southee was dismissed and the New Zealand innings collapsed at 190. Latham remained unbeaten at 79, and a bit more support from the middle-order would have helped him take the Kiwis to a respectable total.
Virat does it yet again
With not a big target to chase, Rohit and Rahane took India to a bright start as the first wicket fell at 49 runs. Rohit, who was looking a little uncomfortable, attempted a heave across the line of the stumps but caught plumb in front, scoring 14 off 26 deliveries. After hitting 2 sixes and 4 fours, Rahane too lost his concentration and edged an away-going delivery to wicket-keeper Luke Ronchi to leave India at 62/2.
After the dismissal of Rohit and Rahane, the onus was on Virat Kohli and Manish Pandey to deliver the goods. Manish Pandey, who came on the back of a solid show for India A side in the Quadrangular series in Australia, couldn’t live up to the expectations as his attempted a pull over the backward square leg was caught by Kane Williamson. Pandey's dismissal after scoring 17 runs, paved way for skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni at No.5.
Virat Kohli showed yet again why he is considered as the best limited over batsman in the current generation as the Delhi-batsman notched up his 37th one-day international fifty in the process.
While Virat was demolishing the Kiwi bowlers, Mahendra Singh Dhoni played the second fiddle. At 21 runs, the Indian skipper attempted a single which was never on offer and was run out by Martin Guptill at short cover. However, Virat quickly scored a string of boundaries taking his score over 75, then finishing the match with a six over the sightscreen in the 34th over .