After being all out for just 92 in the fourth ODI, team India decided to turn things over for the 5th and final ODI against NewZealand in Ind vs NZ ODI series. India won the toss and captain Rohit Sharma decided to bat first but this was perhaps not the best decision for the team in blue.
The Indian opening lineup faltered badly, 4 players returned to the pavilion just after 18 runs. Rohit Sharma (2), Shikhar Dhawan (6), Shubman Gill (7) and MS Dhoni (1), it seemed that India was to repeat the story and perhaps be all out on a very small total. It was a nightmare for Indians who struggled to have a single good partnership but then things took a sharp turn when all rounders entered the field.
All-rounders saving India
Under pressure, Ambati Rayudu led the revival with an innings of 90 that featured both seemingly dodgy defense and some sparkling stroke-play. Two all-rounders played their part with 45s, Vijay Shankar off 64 balls to help rescue India at the death.
Ambati Rayudu stole the show by making 90 on 113 balls. His partnership with Vijay Shankar proved to be crucial for India as it allowed the team to achieve a respectable total of 252.
Youngster Hardik Pandya also proved his mettle and struck 3 consecutive sixes, he made 45 on just 22 balls. The charged batting elevated the mood for a rather disappointed Indian dressing room.
New Zealand’s fight
Although the target of 252 was not tough yet it was challenging to some extent considering the Wellington pitch. Mohammad Shami got two early wickets of both the Kiwi openers i.e. Colin Munro and Henry Nicholas.
It was all downhill from there for New Zealand, their middle order failed to establish a long lasting partnership. Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and many others departed one after the other. Jimmy Neesham tried to provide some resistance by scoring a 44 but was run out by Dhoni. Yuzvendra Chahal then got important wickets towards the end making it impossible for the black caps to make a comeback.
At the end, India won the match by 35 runs and the series.
India wins the series
India comfortably won the match and the series as well by 4-1. After beating Australia in Australia and now New Zealand, the Indian spirits are touching the sky and they are in great shape before the World Cup.
Let’s see how long will their amazing form continue.
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Pic Credits: Money Control