About the Match
The Kiwis managed to keep the series alive by defeating hosts India by 19 runs in the 4th ODI to draw level 2-2; both teams will now face off in the decider 5th ODI at Visakhapatnam on 29th October. New Zealand successfully defended 260 after demolishing the middle order and resisting a last minute scare from the Indian tail; they have received a major morale boost and will try to keep the momentum going. India, on the other hand, suffered a setback and will regroup to strategize better in the upcoming match; it needs to be seen which team will lift the trophy on the festive weekend.
Chasing 261, the Indian top-order tried to build the foundation with Rahane and Kohli posting a 79-run stand for the 2nd wicket; however, both batsmen were dismissed in the middle overs and with Dhoni getting out soon after, the responsibility fell on the inexperienced middle-order. Patel did well to score 38 from 40 but the rest were sent back with only single digits to their name. Kulkarni fought hard to get across the finish line but his unbeaten 25 wasn’t enough in the end.
Earlier, the bowlers dealt heavy blows to the Kiwis by taking regular wickets and restricting them to 260; spinner Mishra picked up 2 wickets while speedsters Yadav, Kulkarni and Pandya took one scalp each. Patel adds depth to the spin attack along with Kedar Jadhav, and they can be a lethal combination with others like Bumrah and Yadav, who are in good form.
Kohli has been playing the anchor’s role with his steady run-scoring; however, in this match his 45 from 51 wasn’t enough; Rahane contributed with a well-made 57 and he can try to set the foundation with Rohit Sharma for company. Overall, the bowling has been sharp and the batting unit will definitely try to put up a better performance on Saturday.
Neesham wreaked havoc against India as he dismissed Dhoni and Rahane in successive overs to help the team draw level. Paceman Tim Southee registered a figure of 3-40 in 9 overs and spinner Sodhi cleverly got the better of in-form Kohli in the 20th over to cause a major upset for the hosts. Others like Boult and Santner also provided regular breakthroughs to help defend 260; their bowling attack is a strong combination of pace and spin, and they have proved to be a tough challenge to the hosts.
In the batting department, Guptill’s return to form is a good sign, and his 72 from 84 deliveries helped them get the scoreboard ticking while batting first. Latham, Williamson and Taylor contributed well and the captain is known to lead from the front when situation demands. The lower middle order hasn’t impressed much but all-rounders like Neesham can stabilize the innings.
The Kiwis have made a sharp turnaround in the series and look motivated to win; with a focused bowling approach against the Indian batsmen, New Zealand can yet again cause a major upset here.
The series hangs in balance after the Kiwis won the 4th ODI; the visitors are flying high at the moment and they can prove to be a tough nut to crack. However, India looks well placed to fight back and avenge their previous defeat; the contest could go down to the wire but we feel that the men in blue will finally emerge victorious.