Man of the Match: Ambati Rayudu
India to close the series with a win!
Our Prediction is India to win the 5th ODI!
With series already lost New Zealand produced one of their best bowling performances to dismantle India to a tiny 92 and then chased it down with utter disdain to hand India their worst defeat in terms for balls remaining.
There was that rare of sight of swing in ODIs at the Seddon Park and New Zealand had the right bowlers, especially Trent Boult, to make use of the conditions. India were affected by the absence of rested Kohli and injured Dhoni who have so many times got India out of such crunch situations. However, with the swing bowling on display one can safely say that these two would just have delayed the inevitable.
The loss in the dead rubber at Seddon Park gave India purpose for the 5th ODI. They would come back harder at Wellington and it will be interesting to see if New Zealand can produce another spectacular performance.
Nobody could have seen New Zealand’s emphatic fightback coming based on what happened in the series so far. They have once again shown that on their day in helpful conditions they are as deadly as anyone. Boult has been that man for them who could win games for New Zealand single-handedly once he gets a whiff of helping conditions for swing bowling.
In hot and humid conditions New Zealand won an important Toss and asked India to bat first. Before India could blink New Zealand, especially Trent Boult, were all over them. In 14th over New Zealand had reduced India to 35 for 6. Colin de Grandhomme’s medium pace deliveries had broken the back of the middle order after Boult ripped through the top order.
Finally, chasing a target 93 Guptill made no attempt to hide his intentions of dominating one of the best ODI teams in the world by hitting the first three balls of the innings to the boundary. He fell pretty soon but had set the tone for the chase that New Zealand sealed with a flurry of boundaries. It will be interesting to see confident New Zealand pushing India in the last ODI.
Kane Williamson (capt), Trent Boult, Martin Guptill, Colin de Grandhomme, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Todd Astle, Ross Taylor
Trent Boult, Tom Latham, James Neesham, Colin Munro, Matt Henry, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, KS Williamson, Ross Taylor, Mitchell Santner, TD Astle
The law of averages finally caught up with India in the dead rubber against New Zealand on swing friendly conditions at Seddon Park. But the extent of the loss certainly makes this an outlier despite India not having a couple of their best ODI players, Kohli and Dhoni, in the team.
Losing the toss batting first India made a cautious start as there was some help on offer. However, once Dhawan fell LBW to Trent Boult in the 6th over the collapse began. If not for the cameos from Pandya, Yadav, and Chahal, India would have slumped to their lowest total in ODIs.
Indian bowlers did not have much room to play with but they attacked from the word go and so did New Zealand batsmen. It was all over by the 15th over as India were handed their worst loss in terms of number of balls.
India have a recent history of bouncing back strongly but it will be interesting to see how do they fare in the last ODI without Kohli and probably Dhoni too if he is not fit by the 5th ODI.
Rohit Sharma (c), Ambati Rayudu, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni/Dinesh Kathik, Kedar Jadhav, Yuzavendra Chahal, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Shubhman Gill, Hardik Pandya
YS Chahal, Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, MS Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya, Mohammed Shami
Westpac Stadium at Wellington is a high scoring ground. A score of above 300 has been achieved 4 times by one or both teams out of the last 6 ODIs played at this venue - 393 being the highest total here. In a total of 30 matches, 15 have been won by the teams batting first and 13 by the teams batting second with 2 matches producing no result.
The team winning the Toss should choose to Bat first here on batting friendly conditions early on and then try to defend the score in slowing conditions when spinners come into play.
The series has just been made alive again by the manner in which New Zealand defeated the Indians in a dead rubber. Nobody wants to lose like that and when you are one of the great cricketing nations you would want to bounce back, dead rubber or not. While India are raring to prove this was a one-off defeat New Zealand must have settled some nerves and must be looking to have a go at India again. India still got the team to pull it off though.
Thus, our prediction is that India will bounce back to defeat New Zealand at Wellington in the last ODI to make it 4-1.
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