The shocking loss at Mumbai led to an urgent need of a victory for India in front of the Pune crowd. Now the focus is on winning against New Zealand to stay alive in the India vs New Zealand series. The match started off with the visitors winning the toss and electing to bat first but as it turned out, the Kiwis found Bhuvi and co. too hot to handle.
New Zealand could only manage a target of 231 in front of the Indians. Shikhar Dhawan and Dinesh Karthik took India to a 6-wicket victory in a must-win game and the hosts manage to level the series by 1-1. Here are the five talking points of the match.
After their performance in the 1st ODI, it was expected that the visitors would put forward a challenging total especially looking at the pitch. However, they faced one man named Bhuvneshwar Kumar who was simply sensational on the given day.
He first caused an early setback for the Kiwis by taking the wicket of Martin Guptill. Jasprit Bumrah at the other end removed Kane Williamson shortly after. NZ was reduced to 27-3, as Bhuvi removed the dangerous looking Colin Munro from the equation.
Just when the Black Caps were about to forge a match-changing partnership with Nicholls and De Grandhomme. But Bhuvi removed Nicholls, batting on 42, with a beauty. Bhuvneshwar Kumar ended with figures of 3/45 in the 10 overs.
After the good work done by the seam bowlers, the likes of Kedar Jadhav, Axar Patel, and Yuzvendra Chahal did not let the Kiwis off the leash. They prevented boundary balls and singles to rotate the strike, with the occasional wicket.
Axar Patel picked up the centurion from the previous match Tom Latham while Chahal picked up danger man Grandhomme, and Milne off successive deliveries. Kohli also managed eight priceless overs from Jadhav for not many.
Shikhar Dhawan looked a class apart while chasing New Zealand’s total of 230. Dhawan was glorious during the powerplays as he struck boundaries at will through covers and kept India in the hunt with a good start. The southpaw scored a glamourous 68 off 84 balls, which comprised of 5 elegant boundaries and two maximums.
Indians have been struggling to find a proper number 4 batsman. But, Dinesh Karthik, on his comeback, proved a point or two with his match-winning unbeaten knock of 64 off 92 deliveries. India needed a calm head in the middle after losing Kohli. DK took India to a comfortable 6 wicket victory without any fuss. The Men in Blue easily levelled the India vs New Zealand series
Looking at the Indian batting line up and the target in front of them, it was necessary for the visitors to take wickets in clumps. 22-1, 79-2, 145-3, and 204-4 were the intervals in which India’s wickets fell, which meant that there always was a partnership which took the game away from the Kiwi.