Dharamsala: India have carried their good form from the Test series, into the ODIs, as they completed a comprehensive six-wicket win over New Zealand, at the HPCA stadium, in Dharamsala, on Sunday.
The hosts, who were coming off the back of a 3-0 whitewash of the Kiwis in the recently concluded Test series, went onto the front foot right from the start, as Umesh Yadav and debutant Hardik Pandya went on to dismiss half the New Zealand batting lineup within the 13th over, for 48 runs.
Pandya was especially dangerous in the New Zealand innings, something that earned him the Man of the Match award.
However, Tom Latham and Tim Southee launched a good counter attack on the hosts, posting a 71-run partnership for the ninth wicket. Amit Mishra, who took three quick wickets at the end of the New Zealand innings, finally managed to dismiss Southee, and restrict the visitors to 190 all out.
With such a low total to chase down, the Indians never looked in danger during the second innings.
Openers Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma got India off to a good start, but three quick wickets gave the Kiwis a bit of a window of opportunity. However, vice captain and captain Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni stabilised the innings, posting a 60-run partnership, to guide India to safety.
Although Dhoni had to depart due to a mix-up while taking a quick single. However, Kohli and Kedar Jadhav managed to steer the Indians to their first victory in the five-ODI series against New Zealand.
India: 194/4 from 33.1 overs
SIX! Virat Kohli finishes things off in style, dancing down the track, to hit it back over Sodhi's head, and over the ropes. It was so perfectly hit by the vice-captain, that the ball rammed into the sight screen.
India: 162/4 from 28.4 overs
WICKET! NZ get a lucky breakthrough. A bit of lapse in concentration causes a misjudgement in running between the wickets for Kohli and Dhoni, who are generally very good at it. The single was never on, but honi was too far down the pitch, by the time he realised it. It was a rather easy throw (by Guptill), for Ronchi to collect the ball and whip off the bails.
India: 145/3 from 25.5 overs
FIFTY! Kohli has settled in well, with captain MS Dhoni at the other end of the pitch. The duo are taking India close to their target.
India: 102/3 from 19.3 overs
WICKET! Third wicket down. Manish Pandey plays a poor shot off a short Sodhi ball, as Williamson takes an easy catch at short mid-wicket.
India: 100/2 from 19 overs
Virat Kohli brings up the 100-run mark for India. The vice-captain has faced most of the balls in his partnership with Manish Pandey, who is playing the sheet-anchor role.
India: 80/2 from 15 overs
DRINKS! NZ will like the fact that India have two new batsmen out on the pitch. However, what they would not like, is the fact that one of them is talisman Virat Kohli. The hosts need just 111 runs to win, at a comfortable 3.17 runs per over.
India: 62/2 from 12.1 overs
WICKET! NZ are creeping their way back into the match. Both the India openers have now been dismissed. Rahane was caught in two minds, as he looked to prod at a short ball outside the off stump. However, he seemed to have shanged his mind at the last moment, as the ball caught the outside edge of his bat. Ronchi took a smart catch behind the wicket.
India: 62/1 from 12 overs
A huge roar goes up in the stands, as vice-captain Virat Kohli comes out to bat. While the fall of Rohit's wicket does not really bode much of a danger for India, the hosts do have to be careful on a track that seems to have a lot of cracks. Also, ball seems to have started to swing around a bit, in the last few overs.
India: 49/1 from 9.2 overs
Bracewell strikes first for NZ! His in-swinger beats Rohit all ends up, as the ball goes on to hit the Indian batter's back leg, on the knee roll. An easy decision for the umpire.
India: 49/0 from 9 overs
The Indian openers finally seem to be getting into the groove. After Rahane hit a couple of boundaries, Rohit now gets into the act, as he hooks Southee for a six! The duo are giving due respect to the good deliveries though.
India: 19/0 from 4 overs
Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane have made a steady start to the innings. It does not seem as though the ball is swinging around as much as it was, towards the start of the NZ innings. However, the Indians seem to have taken a slow appraoch to their innings, as the required run rate is is under 4 runs per over.
New Zealand have set a target of 191 for India and Dhoni and Co. would be very happy about it. Indian bowlers have been brilliant today, and they did not allow the Kiwi batsmen to build up a strong total. There are very few positives for New Zealand to take away from their batting performance. Honestly, Southee and Latham are the only positive for the visitors.
NZ: 190 all out from 43.5 overs
Wicket! It's all over for New Zealand batsmen at Dharamsala. Mishra picks up his fourth and New Zealand's last wicket of the innings. Sodhi is out LBW.
They did not even bat the full quota of 50 overs. Latham would be disappointed, the opener was there throughout the Kiwi innings. His partnership with Southee helped NZ to post a respectful total.
NZ: 177/9 from 41.3 overs
Wicket! The partnership is broken. Mishra picks up his second wicket and Southee's innings is over.
NZ: 166/8 from 40.1 overs
Fifty! First half-century for Southee in ODIs. The crowd appreciates the effort. The partnership is now more than 60 runs.
NZ: 151/8 from 39 overs
New Zealand have crossed 150 here in Dharamsala, thanks to Southee's highest ODI score. Southee is playing an entertaining innings and has also hit two sixes.
NZ: 119/8 from 35 overs
The pitch looks a very good one to bat. Southee just hit Bumrah for two boundaries. Maybe, too liitle too late.
NZ: 106/8 from 29.2 overs
Wicket! Mishra to Bracewell, Out. The partnership is broken! Rahane took the catch at mid-wicket.
NZ: 100/7 from 29.2 overs
Fifty! Latham scores 50 of 77 balls. Finally some good news for the Kiwis in the game. The opener is playing a very crucial innings here for the visitors. NZ have also posted 100 on the board.
NZ: 81/7 from 25 overs
Latham and Bracewell are building a small partnership for New Zealand. Finally, Mishra has been called up by captain Dhoni to bowl.
NZ: 66/7 from 19 overs
Jadhav fails to get a hattrick, but his two quick wickets have exposed the Kiwi tail. It will be interesting to see whether NZ can put up three figures on the board.
NZ: 65/7 from 18.4 overs
Kedar Jadhav is on a hattrick! Picks up successive wickets of Neesham and Santner.
NZ: 48/5 from 12.1 overs
Pandya picks up his 3rd wicket of the match. Similar shot by Ronchi, as Umesh takes another smart catch at mid-off. A much simpler catch for Umesh this time, though.
NZ: 43/4 from 10.4 overs
WICKET! Umesh Yadav is on fire today! Takes a brilliant diving catch at the covers, to dismiss Latham, who tried to drive Pandya on the off-side.
NZ: 33/3 from 6.1 overs
Wicket! Yadav to Taylor, out. The batsmen goes for a golden duck, Dhoni took the catch. The ball held its line and induced a slight edge from the bat of Taylor.
NZ: 29/2 from 5 overs
Wicket! Yadav to Williamson, out. The ball swung quite a lot outside the off-stump and the Kiwi skipper ended up giving a catch to Mishra, at third man.
NZ: 14/1 from 2 overs
Out! Pandya to Guptill, caught out. Pandya takes his first ODI wicket, the ball swung a little and Guptill ended up edging it to the second slip.
NZ: 1/0 from 1 over
The only run for NZ came due to a wide ball.
We are underway at Dharamsala. Umesh Yadav is bowling the first over for India.
Both Sunil Gavaskar and Scott Styris think India are the favourites to win the first ODI.
New Zealand XI: Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Luke Ronchi(w), Corey Anderson, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Doug Bracewell
Hardik Pandya will make his ODI debut for India today. World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev presented him his ODI cap.
India XI: Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni(w/c), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah
India have won the toss and have opted to bowl first.
India all are set to take on take on New Zealand at Dharamshala, in the first ODI of the five match series, on Sunday. The visitors endured a tough time in the Test series as they were whitewashed 3-0 by the Indian team.
The ODI series will be an opportunity for the Kiwis to bounce back on this tour. They are ranked higher than India in the ICC ODI rankings and also boasts a squad of players, who have a proven track record of success in the shorter version of the game.
On the other hand, MS Dhoni’s team have the momentum with them and would be hoping to continue their successful run against the Black Caps. India will have to win the five ODI series by at least a 4-1 margin to move up a position in the rankings.
Also, Kiwis would be unable to draw any inspiration from their ODI record in India. They lost their last ODI series in India 5-0 in 2010. However, the last time these two teams met in a 50-over series, New Zealand defeated India 4-0 in 2014.
The visitors welcome back Tim Southee and Corey Anderson for the ODI series. The duo missed the Test series due to injury. India have rested Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami for the shorter format series.
Both the teams have played 93 matches against each other so far with India recording 46 wins, and New Zealand notching 41 victories. Five matches saw no results and one was a tie.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain and wicketkeeper), Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Manish Pandey, Jayant Yadav, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Kedar Jhadav, Mandeep Singh, Amit Mishra, Dhawal Kulkarni, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (Captian), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Anton Devcich, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Matt Henry, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi (wicketkeeper), Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling, Tim Southee....