About the Match
India bounced back with a win in the third ODI by 7 wickets to take a 2-1 series lead against New Zealand; the two teams will face off in the 4th ODI at Ranchi on 26th October. While the hosts will try to go for the kill here after facing a shocking defeat in the second match, the Kiwis will be eager to draw level and keep the series hanging in balance till the last match of the series. Both teams have strong match-winners, who can bring out all their firepower to help their respective team win; it needs to be seen which side will execute the game plan to perfection and emerge victorious here.
Chasing 286, Kohli yet again steered the team safely to the finish line with a superb 154 off 134; Dhoni came in at No.4 and gave very good support by scoring 80 from 91 deliveries to keep the scoreboard ticking. Earlier, speedster Umesh Yadav and spinner Kedar Jadhav took 3 wickets each to demolish the Kiwi batting line-up; Bumrah and Mishra repeated their good performance with the ball and claimed 2 scalps each to stifle the visitors and restrict them to 285 runs.
In the 2nd ODI, the Indian batsmen succumbed to pressure after losing early wickets; despite Dhoni, Jadhav and Pandya combining to get the runs flowing, they lost the match by a heart-wrenching 6 runs. Bumrah and Mishra had earlier performed well taking 3 wickets each in regular pace to restrict New Zealand to 242 but the hosts failed to impress with the bat.
They have a strong batting unit with Kohli, Rahane, Sharma, and Dhoni, who can build the foundation while youngsters like Jadhav, Pandya and other all-rounders can try to keep the momentum going whether in a chase or while setting a target. The bowlers are result-oriented and look good to continue their domination in the upcoming match too.
Tom Latham and Ross Taylor shouldered the responsibility of building the innings batting first against India after losing the in-form Williamson and opener Guptill during the early overs. While Latham posted 61 from 72, Taylor scored 44 and then all-rounder James Neesham contributed well with a quick fire 57 off 47 to take the total to 285 with help from Henry at the tail.
However, the bowlers weren’t at their best as only Henry and Southee provided quick wickets; although Santner and Neesham bowled economically, they couldn’t break partnerships and they lost the match by 7 wickets. In the 2nd ODI, Southee had demolished the hosts by taking 3-52 in less than 10 overs; he is a vital part of the pace attack and they can strategize well on Wednesday.
Williamson had scored a brilliant 118 in the second ODI and he can lead from the front yet again; with experienced players like Taylor, Anderson, Guptill and Latham at the top-order, New Zealand could focus on setting up challenging totals or chase one with conviction.
India has taken 2-1 lead in the series and the players are determined to continue with their winning momentum; on the other hand, this match is crucial for the Kiwis if they want to keep their hopes alive. The contest could see some fireworks across the park but we feel that India is better placed to win the match and series to give their fans some more Diwali cheer.