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India v New Zealand 2017: ODI series combined XI

India won the hard-fought series 2-1.

Team India celebrates the victory
Team India celebrates the victory. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India and New Zealand were involved in one of the best One-Day International series in the recent past over the last three matches. The hosts won the third game at Green Park in Kanpur merely by six runs and sealed the series on Sunday. However, the victory was a hard fought one as the Kiwis had almost hunted the monumental target of 338. The visitors became the only team to push India to the corner in their stellar home season and have won many hearts in the process.

There were some magnificent performances throughout the series from both batsmen and bowlers of both the sides. It was the duo of Ross Taylor and Tom Latham which surprised the hosts with their ability to play spin and chased down the target of 281 at Wankhede. The Indians came back strongly in the next game in Pune which set up for a thrilling decider on Sunday. No team deserved to lose the game and the series but India held their nerves in the dying stages and Jasprit Bumrah once again proved his worth at the death.

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Here we bring you the combined best XI of the sensational series:

1. Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma struggled in the first two ODIs of the series but when the decider arrived he looked a completely different player. He looked in amazing touch and notched up his 15th century in the format. His attacking knock 147 propelled India to 337 on a flat track. The vice-captain of the Indian team has been in prolific form this year and it would be important for him to continue in the same vein as the Men in Blue are set to be on the road next year.

Rohit added 174 runs in this series but a large chunk of his runs were scored by him when it mattered the most. Though he would look to make amends at the start of the series against Sri Lanka who are set to play a return series in India.

2. Colin Munro

Colin Munro looked settled in his new role and reaped satisfactory rewards from the experiment. The team management promoted him up the order to open alongside Martin Guptill to exploit his hard-hitting skills in the powerplay. He scored 113 runs in the series at a strike rate of almost 100 which proves he put the pressure on the Indian bowlers. His innings of 75 in Kanpur was the testimony of his hitting ability and he provided a perfect start to his team in a tall chase. He might continue in the role on a long-term basis now as the skipper and the coach looked happy with him.

3. Virat Kohli (C)

After a relatively lean series against the Aussies, Virat Kohli reaffirmed his dominance in the ODI format and shrugged off any doubts in the mind of his critics. He looked more assured and clearly was the best batsman of the series with two centuries to his name. The one in Wankhede was pure class as it tested him mentally and physically both. But the hundred in Kanpur was just sublime as he went about his business from ball one. There were no mistimed shots and he scored boundaries to every corner of the ground. He ended the series with 263 runs at an average of 87.66 and also won the Man of the Series award.

4. Ross Taylor

The most experienced batsman in the New Zealand line-up, Ross Taylor is the lynchpin of this team which is a bunch of inexperienced but talented cricketers. His calmness in the middle rubbed off his teammates who played spin much better than any of the other visiting countries. He was the chief architect of their terrific chase of 281 in the first ODI in Mumbai and ended up amassing 155 runs in three matches at an average of 51.66. Taylor was dismissed at a crucial juncture in the final game else he was set to launch himself in the death overs.

5. Tom Latham (wk)

Another Kiwi batsman who impressed the most was Tom Latham. He was moved down the order taking into account his ability to play spin which worked wonders for them. Latham just swept away the bowlers in the first match which surprised everyone and also forced India to drop Kuldeep Yadav who had bamboozled Australia with his variations. He also did a decent job behind the wickets and didn’t drop any catches which should have cemented his place in the side. However, it remains to be seen if he continues to play in the middle order or this was just a temporary change for India series to counter the spin threat.

6. Dinesh Karthik

Dinesh Karthik has more or less cemented his position at no. 4 spot in the team at least for the next series. He was recalled to the squad on the back of some excellent form in domestic cricket and proved his worth yet again. He played a patient knock of 64 runs off 92 deliveries which ensured India chased 230 run target without much fuss. Also, he formed a crucial partnership with his skipper Kohli in Mumbai when three wickets had fell pretty quickly. Now he only needs to be consistent to travel with the World Cup squad in 2019.

7. Mitchell Santner

Indian batsmen play spin exceptionally well but they always respect Mitchell Santner who quietly goes about his business and bowls his quota of 10 overs. His wily left-arm spin bowling always forced the hosts to keep playing the grounded shots. Most importantly he kept Hardik Pandya quiet and even dismissed him in the decider when he sent to up the ante. Santner could only scalp 4 wickets in the series but was the best bowler as far as the economy is concerned and conceded only 4.56 runs per over.

8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has rejuvenated his career this year after a blip couple of years back. He has mastered the death bowling and also increased his pace especially without giving away his swinging ability. Bhuvi was the bowler who broke the back of the Kiwi batting line-up in Pune which was a must-win encounter for the hosts. He had an off-day at the office in Kanpur but also came back at the death to castle the dangerous Henry Nicholls with a superb yorker. He picked 5 wickets in the series and was the third highest wicket-taker.

9. Trent Boult

The left-arm seamer Trent Boult had a decent series with the ball but he would have loved to pick more wickets. His spell in Mumbai at Wankhede Stadium was absolutely mind-boggling which rocked back India. He scalped 4/35 in the first game of the series and played a major role in restricting the hosts to a below-par total. But he was played out easily since then in the remaining two matches and he was also relatively expensive. His control over his line and length was impeccable though and always kept Indian batsmen in check.

10. Jasprit Bumrah

India has two of the best death bowlers in the world cricket in their team and they are delivering one game after the other. Jasprit Bumrah has grown in stature in last year or so and his pinpoint yorkers have made him the death overs specialist. He also delivers with the new ball and swings it both ways. Though when it mattered the most he was exceptional and bowled really well in Kanpur when the onus was on him to win the game and the series for his country. Bumrah finished the series with 6 wickets at an economy of 4.86 and an amazing average of 23.50.

11. Yuzvendra Chahal

Yuzvendra Chahal, the leg-spinner who was played well by the visiting team but always found a way to come back and scalp a wicket. He fearlessly tossed up the ball and invited the batsmen to go over the top. Chahal proved his mettle when put under some serious pressure on Sunday and snaffled Munro and Williamson who were involved in the 100-plus stand. Moreover, his economy of less than 5 in the series makes him the go-to bowler of his captain.

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