IND v NZ, 1st ODI Review: Ross Taylor and Tom Latham stitch a victory in Virat Kohli’s 200th ODI

The crowds at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai were in for a run-feast as both sides raked in fabulous centuries off the willows of Virat Kohli and Tom Latham respectively.

Tom Latham
Tom Latham celebrates his hundred. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The first One-Day International (ODI) between India and New Zealand was special in more than one ways. Besides being the kick-off of the much anticipated limited-overs series between the two world-class sides, the match also marked the 200th ODI for the Indian skipper, Virat Kohli. The crowds at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai were in for a run-feast as both sides raked in fabulous centuries. The Kiwis fought hard for their victory and emerged as the better side on the day, as they won the match by 6 wickets.

Having won the toss, India chose to bat first on a pitch that had some good bounce on offer. During the toss, Kohli likened the pitch to that of the Eden Gardens, Kolkata in the match they’d played against Australia only a few weeks back. The two Indian openers, in the form of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan must have stepped onto the field with the intention to consolidate on a solid start, but were unable to convert their starts into something substantial. On both the occasions, it was left-arm pacer, Trent Boult who sent the openers packing. Dhawan was the first to be dismissed for just 9 runs off 12 balls, as he edged a delivery that was moving slightly away from him, to wicketkeeper, Tom Latham. Although Sharma hit Tim Southee for two consecutive sixes in the fifth over of the innings. However, Boult had the last laugh as he bowled a superb delivery that kissed the off-stump, dislodging to the bails in the process to dismiss Sharma for a personal score of 20 (18).


Virat Kohli scores a century yet again

It was India’s run-machine, Virat Kohli who came to the rescue yet again. Not only did he bring up his 31st ODI century, going past Ricky Ponting’s record of 30 centuries in the format, but he did it cautiously while protecting his wicket as well as rotating the strike continuously to enable a steady influx of runs onto the board. Kedar Jadhav was the next victim of the tight Kiwi bowling attack as he was caught and bowled by the spinner, Mitchell Santner.

The humid conditions at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai were uncomfortable for the Kane Williamson-led side, to say the least, as all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme faced bouts of dehydration and retching on the field in between overs. To add to his woes, Santner dropped a dolly of a catch of Kohli off his bowling when the skipper was at a meagre score of 29 runs. Kohli did not fail to capitalize on his lucky brea as he went on to smash 121 runs off 125 balls. Dinesh Karthik, who had been drafted into the playing XI ahead of Manish Pandey, stitched a valuable partnership with his captain and scored 37 runs off 47 balls, including 4 boundaries, before his wicket was scalped by Tim Southee.

Former skipper, MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya provided short-term support to Kohli as they scored 25 (42) and 16(15) respectively, before being picked up by Boult. Boult was easily the pick of the bowlers, having picked up 4 wickets at an economy of only 3.5. Southee, on his part, picked up 3 wickets while conceding 73 runs in his quota of 10 overs. While Kohli got out to Southee’s bowling, Bhuvneshwar Kumar lighted up the lower order with his swashbuckling cameo as he scored 25 runs in 16 balls, including two boundaries and two 6’s. The Indian side ended their innings at a considerably good score of 280-8.

Tom Latham and Ross Taylor guide the Black Caps to victory

Coming in to bat, New Zealand openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro started odd the proceedings in a feisty manner as Guptill hit Bhuvneshwar Kumar for consecutive boundaries in the very first over of the innings. The field placements erred on more than one occasions as catches of both the openers fell short of slip cordons and Kedar Jadhav dropped a sitter off Munro’s bat at the boundary, giving the batsmen lucky breaks.

It was only in the 10th over that India mustered a breakthrough as Dinesh Karthik took a stunning catch running backwards to send Munro (28) back to the pavilion. New Zealand skipper, Williamson was greeted by a toe-crushing yorker by Jasprit Bumrah in the very first ball he faced and he got out soon after, off the bowling of Kuldeep Yadav for a personal score of 6 (8).

Hardik Pandya came into the attack and dismissed Martin Guptill (32) and henceforth started the Kiwi’s clinical approach towards the game. Tom Latham and veteran batsman, Ross Taylor stitched a beautiful partnership, combing in one run after the other with immense patience. Boundaries were scored at regular intervals as the duo rotated the strike regularly and ran the 1’s and 2’s with lightning-quick pace. Latham and Taylor broke records as they brought up the highest partnership for any wicket at the Wankhede.

The Indian bowlers, with the exception of Yuzvendra Chahal, picked up a wicket apiece, but that wasn’t enough to take them through. In particular, Latham’s stunning innings 103*(102) comprised 8 boundaries and 2 sixes as he played sweep shots with utmost. Although Taylor was unable to reach the three-figure mark himself, his 95 runs off 100 balls saw New Zealand soar home. Henry Nicholls sealed the match with a boundary, as New Zealand gained a 1-0 lead in the 3-match ODI series.

Brief scores: 

India: 280/8 in 50 overs; Virat Kohli: 121(125), Trent Boult: 4 wickets for 35 runs in 10 overs.

New Zealand: 284/4 in 49 overs; Tom Latham: 103* (102), Hardik Pandya: 1 wicket for 46 runs in 10 overs.

Man of the match:  Tom Latham