India vs New Zealand, 1st ODI


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India got out of jail against New Zealand in the first One Day International by 12 runs at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Wednesday, January 18. However, it was not at all easy for the hosts by any means as they were given a huge scare by middle-order sensation Michael Bracewell who went on to score a spectacular century.

While India’s batting clicked on the particular day, the bowling was not up to the mark as they squandered the opportunity of managing an early finish despite having the opposition on the mat by accounting for their top-order cheaply.

Courtesy of some death over brilliance by pacers Mohammed Siraj and Hardik Pandya, the Men in Blue succeeded in snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur brilliantly handled the pressure in the final over picking up the key wicket of Bracewell to help India take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. 

Siraj was the pick of the Indian bowlers with figures of 4/46 including two maidens. He was well supported by Kuldeep Yadav (2/43) and Shardul Thakur (2/54).

Talking Points from India vs New Zealand, 1st ODI:

Shubman Gill registers his maiden double century:

Shubman Gill had come into this match on the back of a scintillating 116 against Sri Lanka last weekend and once again looked confident in his approach. Even though the Kiwi bowlers picked up wickets from one end, Gill did not get distracted and continued batting flawlessly and kept India’s scoreboard ticking. He went on to register his maiden double century and became the fifth Indian batter to achieve this feat after Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, and Ishan Kishan. Shubman scored 208 runs off 149 deliveries and his innings included 19 fours and nine sixes at a stupendous strike rate of 139.6.

Michael Bracewell nearly does the unthinkable for New Zealand:

In reply, the New Zealand batters never clicked collectively and were on the verge of facing a humiliating defeat after being reduced to 131/6 in the 29th over. Nonetheless, Michael Bracewell had other ideas and gave the hosts a run for their money by taking the contest right down to the wire. He was the last wicket to fall being caught plumb in front of the wicket by Shardul Thakur, but not before scoring a 78-ball 140 at a strike rate of 179.5 including 12 fours and 10 maximums.

Losing Captain, Tom Latham said:

It was an amazing innings (from Bracewell). From 131/6, to come and play an innings like that, for him to put our team in a situation to win the game, it’s outstanding. Obviously disappointing we couldn’t get across the line but it was special. When you’re chasing and coming at a pressure situation, to give us a chance to win that game was special. I think it probably gripped a bit more under lights, India used a lot more cutters into the wicket and it worked. Bracewell batted well and his partnership with Santner was very good to see.

Winning Captain, Rohit Sharma said:

To be honest, the way he (Bracewell) was batting and the way it came on to the bat nicely, it was clean ball-striking. We knew that if we bowled well, we would be okay unless we really slipped up with the ball. Unfortunately, that’s what happened. I did say at the toss that I’d like to see us challenge ourselves, not quite the situation I expected but that’s how it is. He (Gill) is going really well. The form he was in, we wanted to make use of it and that’s why we backed him in the SL series. Free-flowing batter and it’s quite exciting to watch. Siraj has been brilliant, not just in this game but in the red-ball, T20 format and now ODIs. Really good to see what he does with the ball. Executing what he wants to do and he is very clear about his plans. Which is how it should be.

Player of the Match, Shubman Gill said:

I was waiting eagerly to go out and do what I want to do. With wickets falling, at times I wanted to unleash and I’m glad I could do it at the end. Sometimes when the bowler is on top, you need to make them feel pressure. Need to avoid dot balls, show some intent and hit hard into the gaps. Which is what I was doing. Wasn’t really thinking of 200, but once when I hit sixes in the 47th over, I did feel that I could. Before that, I was playing what was coming to me. He (Kishan) is one of my best mates. I was there when he scored his ODI double hundred and it was special. It feels nice when you are wanting to do something and it is coming off on a regular basis. Definitely a sense of satisfaction. It (double ton) has sunk in pretty well.

 

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