New Zealand wrapped up the ODI series by defeating India by 22 runs in Auckland. The Black Caps backed up their performance from the first match of the series, displaying resilience when they needed it most to dig themselves out of trouble with the bat before being clinical with the ball.
Ross Taylor was once again the foundation of their batting line-up, scoring an unbeaten 73. He combined with debutant Kyle Jamieson for a vital ninth wicket stand of 76 to propel the hosts to 273/8 from their 50 overs after being reduced to 197/8 by the India attack.
The tourists were not able to respond after letting New Zealand off the hook. Virat Kohli had another underwhelming day with the bat, scoring only 15 before he was dismissed. Ravindra Jadeja almost provided late drama as he notched a half-century batting in the lower order.
However, it was not enough as India ultimately fell short of the total. The Black Caps put in a combined effort with the ball as Hamish Bennett, Tim Southee, Colin de Grandhomme and Jamieson all notched two wickets. The victory leaves New Zealand with the prospect of avenging their whitewash defeat in the T20I series with a sweep of their own in the ODIs.
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Jamieson came into the fold for his ODI debut at Auckland and produced a first game to remember. He helped guide his side to a competitive total with the bat, scoring 25 vital runs in the tail in his partnership with Taylor. The 25-year-old was then impressive with the ball, notching two wickets and conceding only 42 runs from his 10 overs.
He held his composure under pressure and struck to remove Navdeep Saini at a crucial time. Jamieson and the rest of the New Zealand attack were on point even without their star men they’ve managed to cope and put pressure on the tourists.
It shows the Black Caps have plenty of strength in depth in their ranks. They will be determined to finish on a flourish, compounding India’s batting woes.
Without Kane Williamson in the team, Taylor has risen to the occasion in the ODIs. India have not had an answer to remove him from the crease, with the 34-year-old adding an unbeaten 73 to his innings of 109 not out in the opener. Another strong performance from the batsman could be enough to take his team over the line for a whitewash.
Martin Guptill also found his touch in the middle in Auckland, which is another encouraging sign for the Blacks Caps’ hopes of a sweep.
India have endured a rare defeat in an ODI series – only their third loss in a bilateral campaign over the last four years, with the others coming against Australia and England. Kohli and company have not been able to carry the momentum of their win from the T20I series into the contests.
The tourists have failed to put together a complementary display in the ODIs. In the opener, their batting was superb, only to be let down by their bowlers. In Auckland, the bowlers put forward a strong effort, but the batsmen failed to chase down a gettable total.
The leading players in the line-up have struggled in the matches as Kohli has failed to find his form, while Jasprit Bumrah was wicketless at Eden Park. With injuries in their batting unit, the tourists can ill afford to have their captain misfiring.
Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw and Shreyas Iyer have to rise to the occasion in the final match, proving that they are capable of carrying the run-scoring burden. Jadeja was the one India player to perform in Auckland, claiming figures of 1-35 to go with his half-century. He has been a model of consistency for his country and expect his form to continue.
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The weather in Mount Maunganui should not be an issue on Tuesday. The forecast is for sunny weather throughout the day, with the temperature reaching a high of 24°C during the afternoon and dropping down to 19°C in the evening. Conditions should not suit one team over the other as the matches in the past at the Bay Oval have not been high-scoring affairs.
New Zealand have been playing impressive cricket to secure the series. Taylor has led the way with the bat, producing two outstanding knocks to drive his side to the two victories. India have not had a response for his brilliance, while the tourists’ lack of depth in their squad has been exposed.
India’s young batsmen outside of Iyer have struggled to produce at the highest level. Kohli has usually been able to bail out his team when they have been under pressure, but not on this occasion.
The Black Caps have been relentless and have won the key moments in the match. Every player that they have called on to come into the squad has thrived under the spotlight, with Jamieson becoming the latest player to hold his nerve.
Momentum is on New Zealand’s side so expect them to seize the initiative to complete the whitewash, earning redemption from their defeat in the T20I series.
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Ross Taylor has been in outstanding form with the bat, scoring 182 runs without being dismissed in the series. He should be ready for another substantial knock at the Bay Oval.
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