New Zealand vs India 2019: Four reasons why India dominated the first ODI
After a brief hiatus where New Zealand played a lot of International cricket on foreign shores, the Kiwis are finally ready for some home action as the side is now hosting India in an eight-match tour - 5 ODIs, followed by 3 T20Is.
The McLean Park at Napier got its first dosage of International cricket in a couple of years, as the grounds had previously been stripped of its "International venue" status owing to poor drainage facilities which have now improved, and as a result, the Park is back in the game.
India, who is coming into the tour after a historic run in Australia, thrashed New Zealand by eight wickets in a one-sided contest. They were able to skittle out the Kiwis for just 157 runs and followed it up with a solid batting display as Kohli and his compatriots made short work of the relatively-easy chase.
Let us now take a look at some major factors why India were able to defeat New Zealand in a convincing manner:
#1 The spin duo of Chahal and Kuldeep
With each passing game, a recurring point that gets proven is about the Kul-Cha duo, India's most lethal bowling pair in recent years. The presence of Hardik Pandya as a third pacer generally helped Kohli to field the both of them in the starting eleven, and the move has continued to reap rewards.
However, Hardik's absence in the squad created an imbalance. India had to field an extra batsman and an extra pacer costing Chahal his place in the playing side. Vijay Shankar's emergence in the lineup has effectively replaced Hardik at least in designation, and that helped Kohli to field Kuldeep and Chahal in the eleven today.
In the 20 overs bowled between them, Kuldeep finished with 4/39 and Chahal with 2/43. Six wickets for 82 runs in 20 overs. That is impressive, to say the least. While Kuldeep accounted for Williamson who was looking to play another big inning, Chahal took care of Ross Taylor and Tom Latham. These wickets arrested any development in the Kiwi scoreline, and the rest was - as the reader may have seen it - worth minimal effort from India.