India were reprieved by the rain in the third and final ODI in Christchurch.
After India were bowled out for just 219, New Zealand had reached 104/1 when the rain arrived and decided to stay for good.
At that point the home team were 50 runs ahead of where India had been at the same stage in their innings on the DLS (Duckworth/Lewis/Stern) methodology. However, because the requisite number of overs had not been completed, it was declared a no result, potentially saving the tourists’ blushes into the bargain, as they seemed on course for a heavy defeat.
It means that New Zealand won the series 1 – 0, courtesy of their seven wicket victory in the first ODI in Auckland, The second match in Hamilton had also fallen victim to the weather.
New Zealand had won the toss in front of a full house in Christchurch, looking to exploit the overcast conditions.
The ground traditionally favours the batting side, but, yet again the India openers struggled to score quickly at the start of the innings, and both Shubman Gill and Shikhar Dhawan laboured against the New Zealand seamers, with Adam Milne accounting for both of them.
It was another disappointing match for Rishabh Pant, out for just 10, and, for once, Suryakumar Yadav was unable to come to the rescue of his team, falling cheaply.
Shreyas Iyer, though, did his credentials no harm by making 49, but it was left to Washington Sundar to give the innings a veneer of respectability. He made 51 off 64 balls, including a six and 5 fours.
Without his efforts, India’s final score of 219 all-out would have been considerably worse.
Daryl Mitchell was the most successful of the New Zealand bowlers taking 3 – 25. Milne also took three wickets, whilst Tim Southee finished with 2 – 36.
New Zealand began their reply at a great rate, scoring a run a ball. Finn Allen and Devon Conway put on 97 for the first wicket before Yadav caught Allen off the bowling of Umran Malik for 57.
Skipper Kane Williamson joined Conway in the middle, but he had only been at the crease a few minutes and had yet to score, when the rain fell. At that stage Conway was 38 not out, but he did not get the chance to add to his score.
The rain steadily got worse and the umpires were forced to conclude that there was no realistic chance of further play, with most of the crowd having already left by then.
At that stage, only 18 overs had been bowled. With 20 overs needed to constitute a match, it was declared a no result.
Mixed tour for India
India can fly home from New Zealand with mixed emotions after their mini-tour, having won the T20I series and lost the ODIs, both by the margin of a single game. In truth, rain spoiled the entertainment for most of the spectators. One game was a complete wash-out and it badly affected three of the others.
More questions than answers
Ahead of the World Cup next year, India were hoping to solve some of their selection conundrums, whilst, with some of the big names rested for this tour, some fringe players were hoping to stake their claim.
In reality the new Indian selectors would have learned little that they did not already know, although both Shubman Gill and Iyer showed flashes of their potential.
The inability to find a potent strike bowler in the continuing absence of Jasprit Bumrah remains a concern.
And still there are question marks about India’s approach at the start of an innings in white ball cricket, with suspicions that it is out-moded and innately cautious.
What happens next
For India there is little time to rest, as they will be shortly travelling to Bangladesh, where they will play the first of three ODIs beginning next Wednesday, 7th December. That will be followed by two Tests.
They will be hoping that the weather conditions there are more favourable.
New Zealand have slightly longer before they are back in action again, when they travel to Pakistan to play two tests and three ODIs. The first of those tests begins in Karachi on December 27th.
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