India vs New Zealand, 3rd ODI, Top Performances: Rohit Sharma-Shubman Gill's 212-run stand, Devon Conway's 138 and Shardul Thakur's 3/45 are top performances. India beat New Zealand by 3-0 and overtake England to the top of ICC ODI rankings.
Brief Scores: India 385/9 (Gill 112, Rohit 101, Tickner 3/76) beat New Zealand 295 (Conway 138, Nichollas 42, Thakur 3/45) by 90 runs and seal series by 3-0
Player of the Match: Shardul Thakur (25 runs and 3/45)
Player of the Series: Shubman Gill (360 runs in three innings)
Gill seals opening spot; India miss chance to score 400
There were real questions over opener Shubman Gill before the start of the series, but with 360 runs in three innings at a strike rate of 128.57, he has sealed his spot there. However, Ishan Kishan seems to be struggling in the middle order; India need to find a way to give him his comfortable position to bat.
India had a real chance to score 400+ total especially after getting to 212 in the 27th over, but they struggled to keep the same intent in the middle overs which cost them the probable team target. But against the strong batting sides of Australia or England, India need to grab those opportunities whenever they get them.
Aggressive India earn series victory to become top-ranked ODI side
New Zealand captain Tom Latham, on winning the toss, opted to bowl first expecting dew to cause issues later on this small ground. India made two changes, resting both new ball bowlers - Mohammed Shami and Mohammad Siraj - to include Umran Malik and Yuzvendra Chahal in the playing eleven while the Blackcaps dropped Henry Shipley to add fast bowler Jacob Duffy in the side.
Put into bat first, both India openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill with their aggressive brand of cricket put on a record 212-run opening partnership in just 26.1 overs. New Zealand made a slight comeback in the game when they took 5/83 in 14 middle overs. But Hardik Pandya with his 38-ball 54 and a contribution from Shardul Thakur propelled India to 385/9 in their allotted 50 overs.
Chasing 386, New Zealand lost opener Finn Allen on the second ball after which Devon Conway put up a 106-run partnership for the second wicket with Henry Nicholls. India made a good comeback in the middle overs to make New Zealand slump from 106/1 to 200/5. With the wicket of centurion Devon Conway, India tightened their grip to bundle out New Zealand for 295.
With this 90-run victory, India (114 points) have now overtaken England (113) to become the top-ranked ODI side.
Let’s scan the top three performances from the third ODI between India and New Zealand at the Holkar Stadium in Indore.
India’s record opening 212-run stand blew away New Zealand
One of the main prospects that India promised to do in the series was batting with in an aggressive manner at the opening position to help the side putting on huge totals on the board.
After seeing the first over off, Shubman Gill began the process with a lucky boundary that went through the gap in the slip corridor. In the very next over, captain Rohit Sharma took on Jacob Duffy nailing him for two boundaries through the covers and mid-wicket region. Gill smashed the first six of the game against the same bowler hooking him over fine leg before Rohit joined the party with his first six over the bowler’s head.
Gill with the help of four boundaries and one beautiful six, punched over backward point against Lockie Ferguson, and smacked the bowler for 22 runs in the over as he now has 100 ODI runs in 86 balls with the help of 12 boundaries and four sixes against Ferguson, getting dismissed only once. Rohit then smacked Duffy for two more sixes: the first one was lifted over deep square leg while the second one was pulled over the mid-off region. With a four through covers, Gill reached his fifty in 33 ball, while Rohit nailed another six straight down the ground to mark his 49th ODI half-century.
Gill gloriously cleared the ropes against Mitchell Santner for another six before Rohit powered another six against Daryl Mitchell over the leaping Devon Conway at the long-on boundary. Gill then lofted Michael Bracewell for a four over extra cover before smoking him into the mid-wicket region for a six to celebrate his fourth ODI hundred in just 72 balls.
Rohit Sharma too with a single marked his most awaited 30th ODI century in 84 balls to equal Ricky Ponting in the number of ODI centuries; It was his first century since January 2020. By the time Rohit Sharma was dismissed on 101 with the help of nine boundaries and six maximums, India had registered a 212-run partnership to lay down a platform for a huge score on the board. Rohit now has 9782 ODI runs in 241 games at an average of 48.91.
Shubman Gill who got out on 112 with the help of 13 boundaries and five sixes, now has 1254 ODI runs in 21 games.
Devon Conway kept New Zealand in the chase with his 138-run knock
Devon Conway began his international career in superb fashion scoring runs for fun, but his recent knocks of 10 and 7 in the first two ODIs were not upto the mark but chasing a huge score on this small ground, New Zealand needed the left-handed opener to step up.
Conway didn’t have much strike in the first few overs but he began with a beautiful boundary lifted over mid-on before following it up with another four in the same region. He smashed his first six of the evening whipping Hardik Pandya over the mid-wicket fielder before throwing his bat to the extra pace of Umran Malik to get another six.
With another maximum, slog swept over deep mid-wicket region against Washington Sundar, Conway recorded his fifty in just 41 balls. He danced down the track to smack Kuldeep Yadav for a boundary over long-off before reverse sweeping Yuzvendra Chahal through backward point for another four. He nailed Kuldeep for another six over wide mid-on before pulling Umran Malik for a six over mid-wicket. Conway has now scored 26 runs in 17 balls against Kuldeep without getting dismissed in ODIs.
With two back-to-back sixes over the mid-wicket region, Conway brought up his third ODI century in just 71 balls. He kept on taking on the bowlers as he smashed Malik for another boundary between extra cover and mid off before powering Shardul through mid-wicket. Conway nailed Washington Sundar over extra cover for a boundary before slashing the off spinner for a six over mid-wicket.
Finally, he was dismissed on 138 in 100 balls with the help of 12 boundaries and eight maximums as he now has 733 ODI runs in 18 games at an average of 45.81.
Magician Thakur brings India back in the game with 3/45
With India struggling later in the innings after a great opening partnership, Shardul Thakur was needed to do the job of smashing the bowlers at the late stage of the game. Thakur put up a decent 64-run partnership with Hardik Pandya where he himself notched up 25 crucial runs in 17 balls with the help of three boundaries and one six.
With the ball in hand, he didn’t have a great start going for 30 runs in his first three overs without any success but there is always a reason why he is called the golden arm. India were smashed all over the park as New Zealand reached 184/2 in 25 overs when Thakur was called back into the attack.
He straightaway sent back Daryl Mitchell on 24 who got a feather in trying to pull the short ball. On the very next ball, Thakur foxed opponent captain Tom Latham for a duck who chipped the slower ball straight into the hands of the mid-off fielder; it was the second time Latham was dismissed by Thakur in ODIs. In his very next over, he pocketed Glenn Phillips on 5 who offered catching practice to Virat Kohli at short mid-wicket.
Thakur who finished with 3/45 in his six overs, now has 50 ODI wickets in 34 games.
Statistical highlights from India vs New Zealand, 3rd ODI
With 360 runs in three innings at an average of 180 in the series, Gill equaled Babar Azam for earning most runs in a men’s three-match bilateral ODI series. Babar achieved the same feat against West Indies in 2016-17.
India hit 19 sixes in the third ODI which equals their previous record that came against Australia in 2013.
What’s to Come
With the end of the ODI leg, the focus will shift towards the three-match T20I series between the two countries, the first of which will be held on January 27 at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi.