Who said what: World reacts as India dominates New Zealand in the 1st ODI
India have started their limited-overs tour of New Zealand in grand fashion. They outplayed the Kiwis completely and registered a comprehensive victory in the opening ODI at Napier.
Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bat but Mohammad Shami was too hot to handle for the Kiwi openers as they couldn’t cope with his seam and swing.
Williamson and Ross Taylor tried stabilizing the innings but Yuzvendra Chahal came in and picked up 2 wickets in succession. From there on, New Zealand never recovered and their lower-order surrendered to the mystery of Kuldeep Yadav.
Chasing 158, the Indian openers started cautiously. While Rohit Sharma could not quite get going, his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan found his way back into form by scoring 75 runs and remaining not out till the end. He was ably supported by his captain Virat Kohli who himself scored a fluent 45. India finished the match with 15.1 overs and eight wickets to spare.
Here's what the captains said after the first ODI.
Virat Kohli: It was one of our most balanced performances. With the ball, we couldn't have asked for anything better. When I lost the toss, I thought a score of about 300-plus but the bowlers were brilliant. To get them out for 150-odd on this pitch was brilliant. Belief in his (Shami) abilities is key and as he said, the fast bowling unit is extremely confident of knocking any team out. The lines and lengths bowled by the spinners were brilliant because the pitch only slowed down in the second half and they were really good. Really important innings for Shikhar and we spoke during the sun break that he needed to finish the game to get some momentum. He is a dangerous player when in rhythm. (Whether he's experienced a sunstrike break before) Never in my life, this rule wasn't there in 2014 and I actually got out in a similar situation.
Kane Williamson: Certainly wasn't our best effort. India, we expected them to be good and they really were on top of the game. The surface wasn't as traditional as we thought it to be. India bowled well, particularly the lengths hit by their slower bowlers were really good. Getting to just 150ish on a pitch where 250-plus was needed, doesn't help. I think we didn't adjust well enough to the surface, don't think it was the lack of match practice that cost us. Their whole bowling unit contributed well and they need credit for that. We also did well with the ball, showed enough intent and will hope to take those things forward.
Mohammed Shami, Man of the Match: Till now, whatever we have achieved has been a team effort. We enjoy each other's success and are able to execute our plans. If we have a plan A that doesn't work, there's always a Plan B. As a bowling unit, we decide things together. Injuries changed my outlook. I made a comeback after a long time and spent a good time at our rehab centre which is world class. The management and support staff have been really cooperative, as has been my captain who has always encouraged me. Pitches were similar to Australia but the grounds there were bigger and climate was warmer, here the venues are smaller with pleasant temperatures. Important to adapt and we're enjoying it.