A wild heave to the leg side. The ball canter towards the boundary line. Team India needed four, he needed five. But Glenn Phillps at deep wicket pouched the ball with ease. A stunned silence across the Wankhede. It wasn’t to be. Sachin remained one step ahead, at least for now. Virat Kohli did not get his 49th ODI century but India earned their fifth victory for the World Cup by beating New Zealand by 4 wickets and maintained their 100% start to the World Cup.
- Rohit Sharma (Cap.) 2. Shubman Gill 3. Virat Kohli 4. Shreyas Iyer 5. KL Rahul (WK) 6. Suryakumar Yadav 7. Ravindra Jadeja 8. Jasprit Bumrah 9. Kuldeep Yadav 10. Mohammed Shami 11. Mohammed Siraj
- Devon Conway 2. Will Young 3. Rachin Ravindra 4. Daryl Mitchell 5. Tom Latham (Cap.) (Wk) 6. Glenn Phillps 7. Mark Chapman 8. Mitchell Santner 9. Matt Henry 10. Lockie Ferguson 11. Trent Boult
Indian skipper Rohit Sharma won the coin toss and decided to bowl first on a challenging Dharamshala wicket. There was some moisture on the pitch which would favor the seamers early on. The pitch would wear off eventually to help the spinners later.
Captaincy & Tactics
The Indians took the field with a clear plan. Attack the New Zealand batsman early on. The new ball pair of Bumrah and Siraj was spot on with the delivery of this tactic, they hit the good length zone in 63% of their deliveries from their first spells. The swing and bounce generated on the wicket made life harder for the Kiwi batsmen. Then Mohammed Shami joined the attack to add another dimension to an already vicious attack.
The absence of Hardik Pandya forced India into changes to their bowling lineup. Rohit Sharma had to plan carefully during the middle overs as there was no option for a sixth bowler. Kuldeep was wayward in his first five overs, but he came back strongly to release the piling pressure. Rohit Sharma did not have any choice but to return Bumrah to the attack during the middle overs in search of a wicket. But his persistence with Mohammed Shami paid off eventually, with the pacer claiming a five-wicket haul.
Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill started off the Indian innings in a typical fashion: hitting regular boundaries to force the opponents on the back foot. They sauntered to 71 in the opening stand. Lockie Ferguson hit the good length zone to claim two wickets. Mitchell Santner was used to perfection by the New Zealand captain Latham with the left-arm spinner giving the ball air and turn.
Virat Kohli started by adopting a cautious approach, he then went through the gears to guide India home. The short ball method did not work well against Kohli, he was regularly pulling the ball away towards the midwicket region. It was an exhibition of purest batting art on a difficult pitch.
Daryl Mitchell was a man of the hour in the absence of Kane Willamson in the New Zealand setup. He adapted his batting style to the requirements of the situation: Shuffling across the stumps, then moving closer to the off stump on the back foot. Mitchell played the on-drive to perfection, scoring 24 runs in the process. He took 47 singles also to keep the scoreboard ticking.
Rachin Ravindra has been a fantastic discovery for New Zealand cricket. He was tentative early on but grew into the game with time. He has scored 290 runs so far in this tournament. He played all around the ground, displaying his range of shots with a subcontinental touch.
All the other Kiwi batsmen failed to make their mark on the game. Young and Conway fell early on, and Phillps and Latham did not get going. Santner and Ferguson were bowled in consecutive deliveries by Shami. New Zealand managed to score only 64 from the last ten overs.
Virat Kohli was in his sublime form, but not during the early exchanges. Kohli scored just 27 from the initial 47 deliveries with Santner proving to be a worthy opponent for the right-hander. He then found his mojo and ripped through the New Zealand attack with menacing authority. He maintained 90% control throughout his innings, another regular day at the office. Kohli deployed the pull shots majestically, he scored 21 runs through this stroke. Kohli became the first batsman to score 3,000 runs in major ICC events.
Rohit Sharma flexed his muscles early on during the powerplay. He hit 4 fours and 4 sixes to seemingly make the target smaller. Shubman Gill also scored 5 boundaries in his innings of 26. The opening stand created an ideal stage for the middle order yet again.
Shreyas Iyer was going fine until a miscued shot ended his stay. It was a short ball – his Achilles heel these days that caused his untimely demise. KL Rahul was deceived by the change of pace by Santner and lost his wicket when he was adjudged to be LBW.
Ravindra Jadeja finally found the opportunity to bat at this tournament. It was at a crucial stage for his team, with 83 runs still needed. The southpaw allrounder from Gujarat scored an invaluable innings of 39 from 44 deliveries with three boundaries and a six. Jadeja, along with King Kohli made sure India would make a cakewalk to victory with 2 overs remaining.
Jasprit Bumrah is proving his efficacy with the new ball in hand. Bumrah started off the proceedings with a maiden first over, but Conway couldn’t find the way out of the tight line. He has bowled 20 overs in the power play during this tournament. He has only conceded 58 at 2.9 runs per over, taking two wickets. Mohammed Siraj had an economy rate of 2.75 in his first four overs. Bumrah was giving only 1.75 runs per over.
In the absence of Hardik Pandya, Mohammed Shami had to step up for his captain. He justified his selection and more with a five-wicket haul, his second at the World Cups. Mohammed Shami is turning into a World Cup great with 36 wickets taken from just 12 matches. It will be a hard task for the Indian camp to exclude him from the next team sheet.
Kuldeep Yadav’s first five overs would have worried his captain, leaking 48 runs. Daryl Mitchell was targeting the chinaman bowler, with 43 runs taken from 26 deliveries. But Kuldeep was back with his googlies, sliders, and skidders in the second spell. He only conceded 25 in his four overs.
Lockie Ferguson has been bowling at an express pace in this tournament. One other thing the seamer is doing well, hitting the good length and shortish good length regularly. He has delivered 85 deliveries in that region so far, more than any other bowlers. Ferguson ended his spell with 2 wickets and some rattled nerves from a batting point of view.
Mitchell Santner sits at the top of the wicket list with another brilliant display with the ball. He let the ball rip and turn, and Virat Kohli was beaten for pace in consecutive deliveries. Santner bowled 32 dot deliveries to stifle the run rate, conceding only 32 from his ten overs. Matt Henry was expensive with 61 from 10 overs, he claimed the premium wicket of Virat Kohli to silence the home crowd.
Ravindra Jadeja is widely acknowledged as the best fielder in the world. The whole stadium gasped when he dropped a dolly at the point with Ravindra Jadeja on strike. It was a costly mistake and Jadeja went on to add more than 60 runs. Suryakumar Yadav also failed to catch Daryl Mitchell out at long-on. It was not up to India’s world-class standard.
But there were some fine catches to restore some pride. Skipper Rohit Sharma ran and took a good catch with a couple of Indian players also approaching. Mark Chapman was caught by Virat Kohli sensationally with the champion batter diving low.
The New Zealanders were exceptional on the field with brilliant dives to stop the flow of boundaries. Mitchell Santner conjured up a moment to run Suryakumar Yadav out. It was a valiant display on the field by restricting India to singles.
Daryl Mitchell scored his fifth ODI century to guide New Zealand to a defendable score. Rachin Ravindra survived a few initial scares and accumulated 75 runs from 87 balls – an innings that was defined by grace. Mohammed Shami sent a statement to his management that he is more than ready to take his place in the playing XI. The pacer from Uttar Pradesh claimed five wickets to dismantle the Kiwi batting lineup. Kuldeep Yadav claimed 2 wickets but was expensive by giving away 73 runs.
Virat Kohli narrowly missed out on another ODI century, however, the chase master put 95 on the board to put India in control. Rohit Sharma’s blitz attack during a powerful innings ended with 46 runs scored in quick time. Jadeja made his presence felt with the bat hand, he made an unbeaten 39. Lockie Ferguson picked up 2 wickets in the game. Henry, Boult, and Santer finished their spells with one wicket apiece.
New Zealand batting pair Rachin Ravindra and Daryl Mitchell weathered the early storm to guide New Zealand to safe waters. All the Indian bowlers were put to the sword, especially Kuldeep Yadav, who received a severe beating. Mohammed Shami picked up the wicket of Will Young in his first spell and captain Rohit Sharma brought him back to the attack as a last resort.
It was a fuller-length delivery to Rachin Ravindra on the stumps. Ravindra quickly latched on to it and sent the ball flying towards the boundary line. But it did not possess enough legs to go over the boundary line and Shubman Gill was waiting a long on. He completed a fine grab to finally break the 3rd wicket partnership. New Zealand lost momentum in their innings and ended up scoring well short of the projected 300+ score.
India stretched their winning run to 5 by beating favorites New Zealand by 4 wickets with 2 overs to spare.
Player of the Match
The returning Mohammed Shami won the best performer of the match for his 5-wicket haul for 54 runs.
|New Zealand Total: 273/10 (50 overs)||India Total: 274/6 (48 overs)|
|Daryl Mitchell 130 (127)||Virat Kohli 95 (104)|
|Rachin Ravindra 75 (87)||Rohit Sharma 46 (40)|
|Mohammed Shami 5/54||Lockie Ferguson 2/63|
|Kuldeep Yadav 2/73||Matt Henry 1/55|
In the end, It turned out to be another Kohli show. Mohammed Shami set the stage for the batsmen with a brilliant display of pace bowling. The New Zealanders were competitive and made a great game out of this. But the hosts were too good on the day to claim all two points, they sit pretty at the top of the table with a 100% record. India will have another crunch having come up with a struggling English side waiting for them in Lucknow next Sunday. New Zealand will engage in an all-Oceanian affair on Saturday.