India vs New Zealand 1st ODI – India wins by roughly a truckload of wickets and overs to spare. (It’s eight and 14.1, but who cares?). They made excellent use of the new ball with Mohammed Shami striking twice in his opening spell (two maidens in those four overs too). The wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav giving them no place to hide thereafter. There were very few complications in the case. The target was only 158 after all – barring that little sun-stopped-play incident. Shikhar Dhawan struck his first fifty-plus score in nine ODI innings.
Mohammed Shami, the Man of the Match
“Success boils down to the hard work by the team, on the whole, and we always have plans for players. Plan A, Plan B. We can go from one to the next. Coming back from injury, we have good facilities provided to us. It changed things for me a bit. It was a big blow. For the next 18 months, I was in rehab. I trained really hard and when I came into the team, everyone backed me, the management, the captain and so I was able to push my limits, keep getting fitter and fitter. Slight changes in conditions. Grounds are bigger in Australia. Looking at the last series we played here, it was important to figure out where to bowl here depending on those dimensions”.
“It wasn’t our best effort. We expected India to be good and they were very good. We just had to get through the slower balls but I do think their lengths were immaculate. Obviously, 150 on the board on a surface where 250 was par was hard,” Kane Williamson says. “Sometimes it helps [break between playing]. It was lack of adjusting to the surface. Sometimes you come here and think it’s 350-plus. This one needed a bit more graft. All the Indian bowlers contributed, but we do need to be better. I do think our energy in the field and with the ball was good though and we need to move on from this game quickly”.
“It was one of our more balanced performances in the last few games. When I lost the toss, I thought it was going to be 300 par. One-fifty-odd on that wicket was superb,” says Virat Kohli. “The fast bowling group together believe they can knock any side over. And the belief in his own ability and his fitness – this is the fittest I’ve seen him in his career, and his Test form has translated into one-day cricket.
The pitch got slow in the second half of the innings but in the first half the spinners bowled well, cramped the batsmen and they still made it difficult despite the dimensions on the field. Very important innings for Dhawan. We spoke about how he needed to finish games for India, to keep his confidence and if he’s in that mindset, he can be a great asset. Never had that happen. 2014, I got out once with the sun in my eyes and this rule wasn’t there then”.