New Zealand vs India: Shami and Kuldeep star to give visitors 1-0 lead
Team India registered another comprehensive victory in the opening ODI at Napier today. Virat Kohli’s regime continues to display dominant performance in all the three departments. They arrived in New Zealand riding high on the back of their historic win down under in both the ODI and Test series.
India won the first ODI against New Zealand by eight wickets and lead the five-match series by 1-0.
Indian bowlers dominated the Black Caps batsmen and bundled them for just 157 runs in 38 overs. Mohammed Shami was declared the Man of the Match for his tremendous spell on a flat pitch. He took three crucial wickets and broke the spine of one of the best batting lineups in the world.
Shami started the carnage and got early breakthroughs for the Indian side. He dismantled the stumps of the dangerous Kiwi opening pair - Martin Guptill and Colin Munro for 5 and 8 runs respectively.
Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor came in the middle to steady the ship. Taylor was looking good before he was caught and bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal for the score of 24. Tom Latham arrived at the crease to get out in the same fashion as Taylor. Chahal took a brilliant catch on his own ball to dismiss him.
Then Henry Nicholls was sent packing by the part-timer Kedar Jadhav for just 12 runs. Half of New Zealand team was back in the pavilion with just 107 runs on the board.
Kuldeep Yadav then arrived to the scene and took the last four wickets after Shami got Santhner LBW for 14 runs. Kuldeep then got the valuable wicket of Kane Williamson(64) in his spell, which effectively ended all hopes of the Kiwis to put up a good total.
The 24-year-old chinaman has this uncanny habit of sending the tail-enders back as soon as possible, which makes him a lethal weapon in the limit-over cricket. He did the same this time around and cleaned the Kiwi tail at the earliest. They could only manage to score 11 runs after their skipper fell. Kuldeep ended with impressive figures of 10-1-39-4.
The target would have been a walk in the park for such a destructive batting lineup but this track was tricky, so they had to be patient. Rohit Sharma was the first one to head back to the dressing room after scoring 11 runs.
Shikhar Dhawan, who looked in great touch since the beginning of the innings, was then joined by the skipper Kohli. Both the Delhi lads batted brilliantly in the low-scoring affair and almost finished the job for their side. Virat Kohli got out for 45 runs, trying to hook a short-pitched ball from Lockie Ferguson.
Ambati Rayudu arrived in the middle to finish off the nominal remains of the chase and took the Indian team home, along with Dhawan. It was exciting from an Indian viewpoint to see Dhawan back in form, he remained unbeaten at 75 runs. In the process, he became the second fastest Indian after Kohli, to reach 5,000 ODI runs. His form is crucial if India wants to win the ICC World Cup later this year.
Team India has delivered the first punch and started this series on a winning note. After the high in Australia, this could be another memorable tour for the Men in Blue. Having won the opening match, India would be eyeing to dominate the Kiwis in their own den. It is early to make any statement, but the way things are going team India look favorites not just on paper but on the field as well.