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India v New Zealand, 3rd ODI – Who Said What

Team India won the series 2-1.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli celebrates his 32nd ODI ton. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After a resounding win in Pune, team India were confident as they arrived at Kanpur for the decider game of the series against New Zealand. Prior to the commencement of the series, the expectations were not great from the visiting side. But the way the black caps have performed in the series, they have managed to win a lot of praise.

Coming in to the game, the Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to field first. India lost Shikhar Dhawan early in the match but continued to rally around with Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in sublime touch. The record shattering Virat Kohli continued his rampaging form to complete his second ton of the series. Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma top scored with 147 as India posted a huge 337 on the board.

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In the run chase, New Zealand lost Martin Guptill early in the innings. But Colin Munro and Kane Williamson added a key partnership for the second wicket to keep the visitors in the hunt. Both scored fifties and were dismissed in quick succession by Yuzvendra Chahal. Later, Tom Latham also chipped in with a fifty but the visitors ended up falling short by just 6 runs in the game.

Tom Latham

Latham has always had a good time in India. Last year, he was the top performer for his side. This year, he batted in the middle order and kept wickets too. He expressed his happiness over his performance and credited the Indian side for their brilliant bowling.

Tom Latham said: It’s been great. Last year, I opened and this year I kept and batted in the middle order. It’s been a great year. Always nice to come here, unfortunately we couldn’t get over the line. For us it was to take it as deep as we could. Against quality seamers – Bumrah and Bhuvi – just couldn’t get there. The Indians played really well. We haven’t got as close before. We were probably left with too much in the end. Credit to India. They played really well.

Jasprit Bumrah

While most of the bowlers had an off day at work, Indian speedster Jasprit Bumrah bowled exceptionally well. On a day when most bowlers leaked runs at over 6 an over, Bumrah returned with figures of 3/47 that included some big wickets. He mentioned that he kept his things clear in the mind and wanted to make things simple.

While Bumrah made merry, his partner Bhuvneshwar Kumar was taken away for 92 runs. Speaking on this, he cited that Bhuvi has been a consistent performer and had a rare off day at work today.

Jasprit Bumrah said: I mostly try to keep my head calm. I think that gives the best chance to execute. I should have gone to the stumps and taken it down (talking about Latham’s run-out). It was good that I could hit the stumps. Similar thing happened in England as well, that’s probably why he (Dhoni) was laughing. Just focus on the match and focus ball-by-ball and try to execute. I try to watch the ball till the end. I lock the ball and try to execute it. It was difficult to bowl because of dew. You have to back yourselves and I was trying to do that. This is how cricket goes. Cricket is a great leveler.

Bumrah added: He (Bhuvi) was contributing in the previous matches. Hopefully in the next matches we will be doing well. With the runs going, it was tough for him (Chahal). He was brilliant and hopefully he continues to do well.

Yuzvendra Chahal

At one stage, New Zealand looked cruising towards the target with Williamson and Munro hitting fifties. India needed someone to break the partnership. Leggie Yuzvendra Chahal managed to send both the set player back to the pavilion.

Yuzvendra Chahal said: We needed wickets and whenever I bowled slow it spun. I wanted to make him (Munro) drive. After 4-5 overs, it was difficult to bowl. On this wicket, you have to flight the ball. So I had to toss it up.

New Zealand Captain – Kane Williamson

The Kiwi skipper, who scored a vital fifty in the match, was graceful in defeat as he commended team India for their effort. He also noted that the Kiwi team has a lot of positives to take from the series. He hailed his bowlers and the middle order for coming up with spirited performances.

Kane Williamson said: Fantastic series. Some really good cricket played and great spirit. Credit to Virat and team, they were the better team, just. Lots of promising signs for us. The surfaces were good throughout. That’s the nature of the sport, but you do need to be at your best to beat such sides. Tom Latham batted with such clarity in his mind, it was great to watch. Also Henry Nicholls. Bowlers stuck it out as well. They performed well most games.

Player of the Match – Rohit Sharma

Coming in to the game if there was an Indian batsman who needed to get runs under his belt, then it was Rohit Sharma. Rohit had failed to score in the previous two ODIs. He managed to more than just cover up things in this particular game. Rohit scored a whirlwind 147 with 18 fours and 2 sixes. He expressed his satisfaction over the knock. He noted that the conversation with Sanjay Bangar helped him a great deal.

Rohit Sharma said: Feels good when your team wins and you contribute in it. Pretty happy with the way we played throughout the series. New Zealand were competitive throughout. We had to be at our best to win. After the innings break, considering the kind of threat they bring to the table, it’s important to understand your game and play accordingly. Pre-match analysis helped me to see where my head was falling. My head was falling a bit earlier, not coming in line. Enjoy playing in Kanpur, have good memories. Today was a perfect day. There was lots of dew, credit to the bowlers who stuck to their plans. Every hundred is special. I was just trying to do certain things and it came out pretty well. Was talking to Sanjay Bangar about what was going wrong with my batting. When the things you do off the field pay off, that’s very satisfying.

India captain, and Player of the Series – Virat Kohli

Skipper Virat Kohli led from the front for the Indian team. He scored two centuries in the series and finished as the leading run scorer of the series. He was adjudged as the Player of the Series for his efforts. He led the Indian team to their 7th consecutive bilateral series win. Kohli credited the Kiwi team for fighting hard in the match. He also praised his team for their effort and is keen on moving to the T20s now.

Virat Kohli said:  It was a pretty close game. Credit to New Zealand, they fought hard in this series and forced us to play our best cricket. Credit to the skill and character they possess. You’ve to tell yourself that the bowler knows best because he too wants to win the game. With the dew like it was, sometimes it feels even 22 fielders won’t be enough. Glad the guys pulled it through. The wicket eased out in the second half, and it was coming on beautifully. It was good to bat even during our innings but it slowed down considerably. The aim is always to help the team win games, regardless of how many runs I score. Very happy we could get another one in the bag, and move forward to the T20s.

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