The Kiwis put a fighting performance against the Men-In-Blue in their own backyard even though they lost the series by 2-1. Team India emerged victorious as they soaked in pressure like a sponge when it mattered. Here are five key takeaways from the thrilling series:
1. Virat Kohli regains the No.1 spot in the ODI Batting rankings:
There is nothing in this world that can stop Kohli from scoring runs in heaps. The swashbuckling batsman has made batting look so easy as if he is taking a walk in the park. The Indian skipper scored 263 runs with a healthy average of 87.70. The two tons that he scored in the series helped him regain No.1 spot in the ODI batting rankings & cross 9000 ODI runs in his career. Kohli (889 points) also achieved the highest ever rating for an Indian batsman in the ICC ODI rankings getting past Sachin Tendulkar (887 points).
2. The rise of Yuzvendra Chahal:
After a quiet match at Wankhede, the leggie came back strongly in the 2nd and 3rd ODI. The spell at Pune was crucial as he bowled in the death overs and struck twice to halt New Zealand’s progress. He did something similar in the 3rd ODI as his plucked two wickets, which brought India back into the game. Overall, he picked up 4 scalps in the series but the timing of each wicket benefited Team India.
3. Bumrah and Bhuvi added venom to the Indian pace attack:
In recent times, Jasprit Bumrah (6 wickets) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (5 wickets) have been the Man Friday for Kohli. These two pacers did the job brilliantly throughout series as they made life difficult for the Kiwis with their pace & deadly yorkers. They collectively picked up 11 wickets which provided India an edge in the series.
4. Beginning of Dinesh Karthik's second innings:
Dinesh Karthik has been in the International circuit for a long time but due to many factors he couldn't cement his place in the team. His purple patch in the domestic arena has helped him a lot in terms making his way back to the squad. He began the series with a fluent 37 at the Wankhede followed by a match-winning unbeaten knock of 64 in Pune that helped square the series. These two performances justified that he still has a lot to offer towards the team’s success & push for a spot in the upcoming matches.
5. Hitman delivered when it mattered most:
Rohit Sharma had a couple of quite outings in the 1st and 2nd ODI but his elegance bloomed at the Green Park as he scored a classy 147 in the 3rd ODI. Right from his guard till his stroke-play, everything was so perfect about him in the deciding encounter. Literally, runs were flowing like water for him and he made the most of it by converting his good start into a big score. He ended the series on high by bringing up his 15th ODI ton & completing 1000 ODI runs in 2017.