Twitter Reactions: New Zealand's batting brilliance hands India a rare series whitewash

Twitter Reactions: New Zealand’s batting brilliance hands India a rare series whitewash

After suffering a rare series whitewash, the Men in Blue will now lock horns with New Zealand in the two-match Test series starting from February 21.

New Zealand
New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

After getting annihilated 0-5 in the T20I series, New Zealand duly retaliated and registered a thumping 3-0 victory in the ODI series. The Indian bowling force was left clueless after a robust batting performance by the Kiwis as they clinched the third and final ODI of the series by five wickets.

The Kiwi batting force notched up the pressure from the paramount over as the opening duo of Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls stitched a 106-run partnership to propel their side to a flying start. While Guptill gathered 66 runs off 46 deliveries, Nicholls continued his run-scoring spree in the ODI series as the right-hander a brilliant 80-run knock. He weaved his innings around nine fours before getting dismissed by Shardul Thakur in the 33rd over of the run-chase.

However, the opening stand had already paved way for the hosts to sweep the Men in Blue in the three-match ODI series. After the middle-order of New Zealand– Kane Williamson (22) and Ross Taylor (12) — failed to stay at the crease for a prolonged period, it was wicketkeeper Tom Latham and all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme who sailed the Kiwis’ ship to the shore.  De Grandhomme’s explosive 28-ball 58 coupled with Latham’s 32-run knock guided New Zealand to a comprehensive five-wicket victory.

KL Rahul smacks fourth ODI ton to power India to 296

Earlier, India rode on KL Rahul’s fourth ODI century. The Karnataka batsman continued to shine in his role batting at five after coming in to bat with the team in trouble at 62/3 in the 13th over. He first stitched a 100-run partnership with Shreyas Iyer even as the duo rebuilt the innings by rotating the strike patiently. Iyer was once again looking good to go past the three-figure mark but got out tamely after completing his half-century.

However, Rahul didn’t deter and continued scoring runs at a fair clip. Rather he upped the ante after getting to the 50-run mark in 60-odd deliveries. With a calm head in Manish Pandey playing well at the other end, Rahul played his shots and made sure that the run-rate never dipped. In the process, he also got to his first ODI ton batting at number five.

Just when things were looking ominous for the Kiwis with four overs to go, both Rahul and Pandey got out in the 47th over off Hamish Bennett. While the former notched up 112 runs with nine fours and two sixes, his partner scored 42 runs off 48 balls with a couple of fours to his name. The duo getting out at the wrong time to hurt India in the last few overs as they could post 296 runs for the loss of seven wickets after 50 overs.

Meanwhile, the visitors’ top-order travails continued in this game as well. Mayank Agarwal‘s poor series ended with yet another low score while Virat Kohli also never looked in his elements during his 12-ball stay in the middle. Prithvi Shaw, once again, was impressive but misjudged a run which cut short his innings at 40.

The Men in Blue suffered a whitewash in an ODI series since their 0-5 defeat against West Indies in 1988/89. After the rare series whitewash, Virat Kohli and his troops will now lock horns with New Zealand in the two-match Test series starting from February 21. It will be interesting to see how both the sides fare after delivering a fierce performance in the T20I and ODI series.

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