India beat New Zealand by 8 wickets to win their second ODI, and, with it, the series. The first ever international match staged in Rajkot was almost embarrassingly one sided, with New Zealand never recovering from making a terrible start with the bat.
The first game between the two in Hyderabad went down to the final over. This encounter, by contrast, barely lasted half distance.
It was India’s fifth successive ODI win and one of their easiest.
Both teams named unchanged sides from those that had appeared in the first match in Hyderabad.
India won the toss and, on a pitch that is less bat friendly than many in their home country, chose to bowl first.
That decision was quickly vindicated as the Indian pacers ripped through the New Zealand top order who quickly found themselves five down with only 15 on the board in the 11th over.
Glenn Phillips and Michael Bracewell helped temporarily stop the rot, but Bracewell could not repeat his heroics of Hyderabad this time round, and he was out for 22. And then Phillips and Mitchell Santner added 47 in what was the best partnership of the innings,
But both fell in the space of six balls, Santner for 27, and Phillips, top scoring for his side with 36, and the end came soon after that.
The tourists were all out for just 108 in the 35th over.
Mohammed Shami took 3 – 18, but all six Indian bowlers used had some success with the ball.
Defending such a low total New Zealand’s only hope was to take early wickets. However, India captain Rohit Sharma had other ideas, and he put on 70 for the first wicket with Shubman Gill, making 51 of them, before he was out in the 15th over.
Gill and Virat Kohli nudged their side closer to victory with a partnership of 26, before Kohli was out for 15. It was left to Ishan Kishan to see India over the line with Gill.
India reached their target with almost 30 overs still to be bowled, and with 8 wickets in hand.
Whilst the local crowd will have been glad to see India won, having waited so long to host a match of this stature, they may have been disappointed that the entertainment was over so quickly.
Key Talking Points
New Zealand’s bad day at the office
This was the worst start ever that New Zealand had made in a 50 over match, their previous low being the 18 -5 they had slumped to against Sri Lanka in Colombo two years ago. And, it meant that the top order had failed for the second match in succession.
Without their usual captain Kane Williamson, the seemed to miss an experienced head to steady the ship, and, although, again the middle and late order helped bring some semblance of respectability to the final score, that is no recipe for long-term success in this, or any other format.
They had been competitive in the first match, but this was just not good enough. Changes are almost inevitable for the third game.
India seamers have a field day
By contrast the India seamers made the most of the conditions, on a pitch that offered them some bounce and movement.
Whist Siraj had the most success in terms of wickets, everybody got something from their match, and, although spin did not play a big part in the match, there was still time for Kuldeep Yadav to claim the final wicket.
Indian openers shine
Rohit has been inconsistent recently, so will be heartened by his half century. Meanwhile Shubman Gill added to his century in the 3rd ODI against Sri Lanka, and his double ton in the first game, with another composed knock, finishing unbeaten on 40.
What happens next
The final match of the ODI series will be played in Indore, on Tuesday, January 25th. After that the teams swap formats and begin a three match T20I series.
India will now be confident of completing their second successive series whitewash, having done the same to Sri Lanka earlier this month, as they continue their build-up to the World Cup later this year.
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