India vs, New Zealand was a cracker of a game, the first ODI always sets the tone for the series, and what a match it turned out to be.
India were batting first in this tightly fought match, the opening batsman were both out cheaply, but it was Kohli who was on pure fire in that match, he was playing sublime shots and timing the ball well. This was Kohli at his best he was aptly supported by the lower order batsman, but wickets were tumbling all the time, yet Kohli had the scoreboard ticking over to make sure India were on course for a decent total which could be defended.
Before we knew it Kohli had a hit a century and this a well paced innings by Kohli, this was a captain’s innings and he revelled in the responsibility today.
India posted a total of 280/8 in their allotted 50 overs. New Zealand is a team you cannot keep quiet because they have big hitters in their team who would be providing the fireworks. The New Zealand bowling attack had done their job, and really had put India under pressure, but nonetheless now it was the batsman turn to perform.
The same scenario occurred for New Zealand their openers got a start but were out cheaply. It was the partnership between Taylor and Latham that really propelled New Zealand, to be in control of this game.
The partnership between Taylor and Latham was a sight to behold, they were taking the game away from India and really put the Indian bowlers through their paces. India were giving it their all, but New Zealand were on top of this game. The carefully constructed partnership of Taylor and Latham was the best thing for New Zealand. Latham went onto score a century and Taylor finished on 95 runs. New Zealand had won this match by 6 wickets with 6 balls remaining.
Post match commentary (espncricinfo.com)
Tom Latham is Man of the Match. “All good,” he says. “Pretty humid out there, keeping 50 overs and batting all that time, it was tough. Conditions are completely different than back home. Whatever suits the team. At the moment, its No. 5, it’s up for grabs and it was nice to contribute today. Something I had been working on, just didn’t have the confidence to play the reverse sweep so early in the game. The biggest thing in a partnership is communication, we were talking every over, hats off to him, playing such a great innings. He was a calming influence on me.”
“Brilliant performance. The tone we set was good at the start of the innings. It was a briliant performance from Virat, happening every time he walks out to the crease. But we stuck at it and it was one of the greatest chases I’ve seen, certainly in my time as a Black Cap,” Kane Williamson says, “Short ball, we tried it a lot, would have been nicer if a few balls had gone to hand. But I have to go back to that partnership – Tom and Ross controlled the innings perfectly through the middle overs. You know over here that you take the game deep. It was something we wanted to do. Even with a few more batsmen in the shed, they had to finish it off. The weather was very challenging. We’ve been here two weeks, you can’t really get used to it, but we got on with it. Stuck to the task well and in all facets”
9.45 pm Virat Kohli gets a memento from the MCA for his 200th ODI. “The knock was satisfying,” he sais “Purely because New Zealand put us under pressure early on. We thought 275 was a good total. But Ross and Tom were fantastic. Didn’t give us any chances, apart from a run-out here or there. And when you get a 200 partnership, you deserve to win. Putting dew into perspective, in the last 13-14 overs, we were 20-30 short. But in the first half of the day, the wicket was playing very different. We would have liked a better batting performance, if a couple more guys had chipped in, batting a few more overs, we could have 40 runs extra. New Zealand tackled our spinners really well, handled the fast bowlers too. Credit to Tom and Ross – Tom especially, Ross has been around for a while. He’s not played as many international games. but he played superbly. Trent as well, with the ball. There was enough turn in the pitch to trust the frontline spinners. Maybe if the chase had gone away from us earlier, or If the lower order was in, we might have used Kedar. Hardik did well for us as well, so we didn’t feel the need to bring Kedar in
9.35 pm New Zealand are always a team that hide a bit of their firepower. Seeing their line-up on paper, not many would have thought they would take a 1-0 lead over an Indian side that had walloped Australia and Sri Lanka so substantially. But as was the case in the World T20 a year ago, when they read pitches so superbly, and went in without Boult and Southee for the whole tournament, New Zealand have surprised the world again.
They saw Tom Latham’s skill in playing spin and realised he could serve them better – especially in slow, subcontinent conditions – in the middle order and that move has paid off immediately. There have only been 10 centuries by New Zealand batsmen at No. 4 or lower in ODIs since 2015. Six of them were from Taylor, who made 95 today. They needed steel in the middle order – they were booted from the Champions Trophy because they were Williamson or nothing. Today, the captain made only 9, but his team-mates stood up for him. Spare a thought for Trent Boult as well, who knocked over India’s openers in his first five overs, and then forced India into rebuild more. He finished with 4 for 35 in 10 overs.
“Take the win any time. The way Kohli went out and anchored the innings, put us under pressure,” Ross Taylor says. “But Tom Latham went out there and held us together. He took the pressure off me. Our conversation was to take it deep, and make sure we didn’t have a new batsman in. It’s very hard to start here. Kuldeep and Chahal are fantastic, spinning both ways. It helped that we had a right-left handed partnership. To keep wicket the whole 50 overs, to bat in the middle order, after being an opener, I think it’s one of his best innings ever”