Virat Kohli on the verge of equalling MS Dhoni’s record in New Zealand
India will look to seal the series in the third game itself on Monday.
Published - Jan 27, 2019 8:05 pm | Updated - Jan 27, 2019 8:05 pm
India have been on a roll in the recent past. In ODI cricket, their record has been exceptional. Since the series in Australia in January 2016, they have lost just one bilateral ODI series and that was in England last year. In fact, since the start of 2017, they have never lost more than one game in an ODI series. Hence, they are currently in supreme form.
After coming back from behind in Australia, New Zealand promised to be another fascinating series and were expected to pose a tougher challenge. However, the Kiwis have failed to live up to expectation and the Virat Kohli-led side have coasted through to victory in the first two games. They won the first game by 8 wickets as they strolled through the chase of 158. In the second game, the Men in Blue score 324 before putting up a clinical performance with the ball and restricting the hosts to 234.
The third game will be Virat Kohli’s last game of the tour. The selectors have decided to give him a break and he will head back. He will miss the last two ODIs and the following T20I series. However, before he flies back he has a chance to equal MS Dhoni’s feat. Till 2009, India had never won an ODI series in New Zealand. However, it was Dhoni’s side that created history as they won the five-match rubber 3-1, becoming the first-ever Indian side to win a series here. Thus, Kohli has a chance to become the second Indian captain to register a series win in New Zealand.
Back-to-back clinical performances are really pleasing
The bowlers set up the game in the first ODI for India. Mohammed Shami blew away the openers before the spinners got into the act, restricting the Kiwis to 157. In the second game, it was the turn of the batsmen. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan struck fifties and set up the innings as the middle-order came in and contributed, taking the score to 324. The bowlers then finished the job as India went extended their lead.
In both games, there was hardly any fight from the Kiwis as the matcher ended up being pretty one-sided. Skipper Virat Kohli was very pleased with the way his team performed. “Clinical performance again. We had a par score as Rohit mentioned with the kind of pitch and boundary dimensions here. But we bowled really well and back-to-back clinical performances is really pleasing,” Kohli said in the post-match presentation.