5 players who lit up the India - New Zealand ODI series
As the 5-match ODI series between India and New Zealand comes to an end, we have been treated to a cricket series where no team was able to assert complete dominance over the other.
Neither of the teams crossed the 300 mark while batting – a rarity in modern day cricket, especially in the subcontinent and both batsmen as well as bowlers made match-winning contributions.
In short, the just concluded ODI series between India and New Zealand was a tightly fought one that maintained a perfect balance between bat and ball. Eventually, India were able to clinch the series after New Zealand’s fight tapered off during the final ODI.
At the end of this thoroughly entertaining series, we take a look at five standout performers from the series
# 1 Amit Mishra
In the absence of the rested spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja as well as pacers Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra took to the mantle of lead spinner and enjoyed great success, finishing as the top wicket-taker of the series.
It’s unfortunate for a bowler of his class to have played only 36 ODIs in the 13 years since debut having - perhaps unfairly - fallen down the pecking order from time to time.
The leggie is a genuine wicket taker like any spinner of his kind, though his less than stellar fielding capabilities may have hampered his chances in shorter formats.
Given a shot this time around, he made full use of the opportunity to lead India’s bowling attack and his greatest weapon – deception in flight and turn - was on display in this series.
Throughout the series, he never allowed the New Zealand middle order - especially the duo of Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor whose key wickets he picked twice and thrice respectively - to get away with the game.
His overall tally of 15 wickets is the second best by an Indian bowler in a five-match ODI series, next to his own record of 18 wickets against Zimbabwe in 2013.
Mishra signed off in style, wrapping up the Kiwis and the series in quick time for India with figures of 5/18 in the final ODI at Visakhapatnam, and will have given enough food for thought to the selectors for the next time they sit together to pick the ODI squad.