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On Tuesday, January 24, Team India defeated New Zealand by a huge margin of 90 runs in the third ODI at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore, thus completing the streak once again. 3-0 With a whitewash win Holkar Cricket Stadium India have overtaken England to become the new No. 1 team in the ICC ODI rankings.
Earlier in the day, India openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill came out all guns blazing from the word go, as the pair put on 212 runs between them before the skipper was dismissed. The 212-run stand between Rohit and Gill is the highest by an opening pair against New Zealand in ODIs.
Rohit scored 101 off 85 balls, his second fastest century in ODIs while Gill scored 112 off 78 deliveries. Gill’s century means the batsman has equaled Pakistan’s Babar Azam’s world record for most runs (360 runs) in a three-match ODI series at the age of 23. All-rounder Hardik Pandya also came in to join the side, scoring a brilliant half-century to ensure the Men in Blue posted a mammoth total of 385/9 in their 50 overs.
Sadly for the visitors, the only bright spot in the entire ODI series would be their two centuries. If it was Michael Bracewell in the second ODI, it was Devon Conway in the third ODI, who was the lone warrior for the Black Caps, scoring a brilliant century (138 off 100 deliveries), though his efforts were not entirely in vain as none of his teammates could hang in there and the Indian bowlers could handle them. It was very good.
India vs New Zealand talking points, 3rd ODI:
Shardul Thakur and Kuldeep Yadav scored runs over the Kiwi batsmen
The Indian bowlers were brilliant in their approach in the third ODI, attacking the Kiwi batsmen from the very first over. Shardul Thakur finished with figures of 6-0-45-3 and Kuldeep Yadav finished with 9-0-62-3. His spin twin Yuzvendra Chahal also chipped in with his economical bowling, picking up two crucial wickets and forcing the Kiwi batsmen to search desperately for answers.
Rohit-Gill opening pair hits
In the ODI series against Sri Lanka, Rohit Sharma’s decision to pick Shubman Gill over Ishan Kishan for the opener’s slot caused a lot of uproar. But Shubman Gill has caught everyone off guard with his sheer consistency in the ODI series now against Sri Lanka and now against New Zealand, already entering the record books.
Also, it can probably be said that India have finally found a solid opening pair in Rohit and Gill, even though the World Cup is still months away. The duo scored a double century in the third ODI where the Black Caps lost half of the match.
Captain Tom Latham said:
I think I didn’t start well with the ball. Great partnership, but we turned it into a 380. We were in a great position to chase, but we lost a lot of wickets. It’s our last experience before the World Cup, so we’ve got an idea. We wanted to create depth and make it a great experience for everyone. The more you stay in this situation, the more you learn.
Winning captain Rohit Sharma said:
I thought we had most of the possession in the last six games and that’s the key in the 50-over game. We were also consistent. Apart from Siraj and Shami, I knew we wanted to give the guys on the bench a chance. Wanted to mix Chahal and Omran. We wanted to see how they reacted under pressure.
I don’t think any score is safe here. Shardul has been doing it for some time. People call him a magician in the group. Just needs to get more games under his belt. Wrist spinners get better during the game. Gill’s view is much the same.
Coming into the team as a youngster and having that attitude is great. I’m batting well, so it was just about going that extra mile. The pitch was good today. To be honest we don’t talk much about rankings. We mainly discuss doing the right things on the field. Australia are a quality team and things will not be easy for us but I think we are ready for the (BGT) series.
Player of the Match, Shardul Thakur said:
I like my teammates (laughs) It’s important to be in the moment when the opponents come after you. I don’t worry too much. You have to be prepared for different situations. Everyone enjoys batting. In the modern world it is all about batting.
Player of the Series, Shubman Gill said:
It feels good when you have a series and you perform well. I don’t think my approach has changed after the double century. It’s all about starting and converting each game. Just being in the situation and looking for the score helped convert those starts for me. Our bowlers bowled really well on this wicket.