However, if you went with India as the betting favourites and put money on them in the ODI series, you would have come out on the losing side just like the men in blue did. They lost the series after losing the first two ODIs but were looking to play for pride on 11 Feb at Mount Maunganui and avoid suffering a series whitewash.
Kohli Fails – India Fails
The Kiwis won the toss and put India into bat as they wanted to make early inroads and get rid of the two inexperienced openers as they have done in the first two ODIs. Even though India batted first, Kohli refused to tamper with the batting order and get KL Rahul to open.
Mayank Agarwal will rue his missed chances as he got out for 1 and put India under pressure. The captain came out at number three and knew that a lot of responsibility was on his shoulders to play a big knock and lead from the front. However, he got out for 9 and the Kiwis were immediately on top.
Shreyas Iyer played another good innings batting at four and tried to put together a partnership with Prithvi Shaw who was run out for 40 just as they were looking good. KL Rahul was the man who helped India get to a decent score and he continued his rich vein of form and went on to score an impressive 112 of just 113 balls.
Manish Pandey had to bat with the tail and try to get things going in the death overs but he struggled to find the boundaries. In the end, India was only able to get to 296 in their allotted 50 overs. India knew they were 20 to 30 runs short of what they would have ideally like to have made.
Fast Bowlers Let Visitors Down
The Kiwi openers made sure they got their team off to a good start as Martin Guptill (66) and Henry Nicholls (80) got New Zealand off to a flying start with a 100 run partnership. The platform was set for the Kiwis to have a comfortable chase but they were unable to keep the momentum going as the spinners bowled economically and brought India back into the game.
Yuzvendra Chahal was the most impressive of all the bowlers, picking up three crucial wickets to give India a chance of winning the game. However, Colin de Grandhomme came to the crease when it mattered and played a blinder that completely turned the game on its head. Grandhomme took the fast bowlers apart and hit 58 of just 28 balls at a strike rate of 207. His knock included 6 fours and 3 sixes which helped New Zealand cruise to a comfortable victory and finish the game in 47.1 overs.
Shardul Thakur had a game he will want to forget as his 9.1 overs cost the team 87 runs. Navdeep Saini who has been impressive also got some stick and sent down his 8 overs and conceded 68 runs. Jasprit Bumrah was the only fast bowler who never leaked runs; he conceded just 5 runs an over but could not take any wickets.
This series whitewash will hurt Kohli and the Indian team as the Kiwis outplayed them. The momentum has also shifted from India to New Zealand; they will now be full of confidence with the two match test series approaching!