Following an emphatic start to the home season by inflicting a 3-0 whitewash on the Kiwis, India began the five-match ODI series at the scenic HPCA Stadium. They won the toss and made use of the pace/bounce available on the surface to reduce the visitors to 65/7.
Through a resilient innings from opening batsman Tom Latham as well as an attacking half-century from Tim Southee, New Zealand managed to put 190 runs on the board and gave something for their bowlers to defend. But, the Indian batsmen did not have too much trouble in cruising towards the target to go 1-0 up in the series.
Let us take a look at who contributed what to India’s six-wicket victory in the opening ODI at Dharamsala.
Hardik Pandya – 8.5
After representing his country in as many as 16 T20Is, Pandya finally received his maiden ODI cap from the iconic Kapil Dev. He followed in the legendary all rounder’s footsteps by delivering a decisive spell with the new-ball which paved the way for India’s smooth sailing in the match. More pertinently, his sharp pace and nagging length raised hopes of becoming an optimistic prospect.
Umesh Yadav – 8.5
Though Pandya picked up three wickets to Yadav’s two, the importance of the powerfully built pacer’s scalps could not be understated. He dismissed skipper Kane Williamson and the experienced Ross Taylor in his consecutive overs to cause an irreparable dent in the New Zealand lineup. Aside from his spell, the catch to get rid of the dangerous Corey Anderson also showed his athleticism.
Virat Kohli – 8.5
The modern day master of chases, Kohli did not have a daunting target to take aim. But, he batted serenely to stitch notable partnerships in the middle order and helped India overhaul the total with more than 100 deliveries to spare. The hallmark of his innings was the customary ease with which gaps were pierced and loose deliveries punished.
Kedar Jadhav – 7.5
Prior to this match, Jadhav had not bowled a single ball in his seven ODIs as well as five T20Is. But, the off-spinner capitalized on the presence of two left-handers at the crease to send back James Neesham and Mitchell Santner in successive deliveries.
Amit Mishra – 7.5
Following a promising start by breaking the partnership between Latham and Doug Bracewell, Mishra had a rather mixed day with the ball. Though he picked up three wickets, the leg spinner gave away 49 runs the process.
Jasprit Bumrah – 7
With the two other pacers doing all the heavy lifting, Bumrah’s role was limited to ensuring that the lower order did not mount a rescue operation. Despite not having anything to show in the wickets column, he played his part by restricting the flow of runs.
Ajinkya Rahane – 7
Among the discernible aspects about Rahane’s cameo was the manner in which he tackled the short deliveries. In a departure from the Test series wherein he remained content with maintaining his guard, the opener did not shy away from going after them and got India’s chase off to a brisk start.
MS Dhoni – 6.5
The seasoned campaigner began the proceedings by winning a crucial toss and immediately pulled something out of his hat by giving the new-ball to Pandya instead of Bumrah. Sensing the need to go for the kill, Dhoni did not mind keeping the all-rounder in the attack for a considerable amount of time. In the batting department, he chipped in with a 24-ball 21.
Axar Patel – 6.5
Introduced into the attack during the 23rd over, the left-arm spinner did not look to deviate from his usual speed on a surface which was not easy for a batsman to time the ball. Though he kept things tight, perhaps a lot more would have been expected from Axar seeing as only the lower-order remained for him to target.
Manish Pandey – 5.5
Coming into the middle with the task not looking too arduous, Manish got himself going by evading the fielders and rotating the strike. However, his stay ended following a mistimed shot off the back foot against Ish Sodhi.
Rohit Sharma – 5
After making handy contributions in the recently completed Test series, Rohit returned to coloured clothing at the top of the order. When it seemed like his breezy opening partnership with Rahane was blossoming into a more substantial one, he attempted a careless flick and missed a fairly straightforward delivery.