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India suffer rare ODI series defeat


India suffer rare ODI series defeat

New Zealand 300 for 5 (Nicholls 80, Guptill 66, de Grandhomme 58*, Chahal 3-47)
India 296 for 7 (Rahul 112, Iyer 62, Bennett 4-64)
New Zealand won by five wickets

The Indian cricket team was flying high after a win against Australia at home and the whitewash in the 5-match T20I series against hosts New Zealand. On the contrary, the Kiwis returned the favor for the Indians with a 3-0 whitewash in the ODI series.

Virat Kohli scored just 75 runs in three matches while Jasprit Bumrah went wicketless in the series as India suffered their worst ODI series in 23 years. India had last been whitewashed 3-0 by Sri Lanka in a bilateral ODI series in 1997 (three or more matches).

Chasing 297 in the final match of the series at Mount Maunganui on Tuesday (Feb 11), New Zealand cruised to victory. In the opening match of the series, Ross Taylor's hundred had helped New Zealand gun down 347 while a brilliant effort by the Black Caps in Auckland meant India could not chase down a middling 274.

On Tuesday, India's bowlers were clueless. Yet again, the Indians failed to make any breakthroughs in the first 10 overs. Yuzvendra Chahal bowled a ripper to get Martin Guptill for 66 but by then he had added 106 for the first wicket with Henry Nicholls.

Kane Williamson (22) and Ross Taylor (12) did not score big but Henry Nicholls's 80 kept the hosts in the hunt even when they lost a few quick wickets in the middle.

With the asking rate climbing up, Tom Latham, Colin de Grandhomme and James Neesham hit some lusty blows to take New Zealand home. After the heartbreak of the World Cup final at Lord's last year, this was a dream comeback to ODIs for New Zealand, who had been whitewashed 0-5 by India in the T20I series.

India had already lost the series on Sunday after back-to-back defeats in Hamilton and Auckland. And when Virat Kohli said ODIs were irrelevant for his team, this year, it was difficult to comprehend how his men could stay motivated to avoid the humiliation of a 3-0 defeat.

India's body language left much to be desired at Mount Maunganui on Tuesday. After New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and decided to bat, Kyle Jamieson dismissed Mayank Agarwal with a peach of a delivery; Virat Kohli played a poor shot to fall for 9.

Kohli finished the series with 75 runs - his worst performance in a bilateral ODI series as captain. In 2019, he had scored 89 in the ODI series against West Indies at home. Earlier in the same year, Kohli had totalled 148 from 3 matches in a 5-ODI series against New Zealand. He had been rested for the final two games.

Prithvi Shaw, who had debuted alongside Mayank Agarwal in Hamilton, played some delightful shots to reach 40 but was run out when he attempted to go back for what seemed like an easy double.

It was once again up to the middle-order pair of Shreyas Iyer nd K L Rahul to bail India out of trouble. The two batted beautifully to add 100 for the 4th wicket but with Iyer looking set for a second successive hundred, he fell to a short delivery from James Neesham.

K L Rahul continued to prosper in his new role as a wicket-keeper batsman. At No.5, Rahul has shown amazing consistency and finished the tour of New Zealand with his 4th ODI hundred. He has been the stand-out batsman for India in this series - after winning the man-of-the-series award with 224 runs in the T20Is, he finished the ODI series as the second highest scorer with 204. Iyer topped the charts with 217 runs.

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