India quickly wrapped up the 5 match ODI series in New Zealand with a 3-0 series win and the remaining two games was a chance for the men in blue to experiment and finalize on the group of players they wanted to take to the 2019 ICC World Cup which will take place in England from May 30.
India Finish With 4-1 Scoreline
India had an off day during the fourth ODI at Hamilton and was bowled out for 92. This was an India side without V Kohli who was being rested by the BCCI. The men in blue needed to come back strong in the 5th ODI to show that they are a dominant force even without the best batsman in the world.
India batted first in Hamilton and once again were in big trouble as they lost their top four wickets for just 18. The Kiwis would have been hoping for a second consecutive collapse but A Rayudu and all-rounder V Shankar steadied the ship. Rayudu started slow and then went on to hold the innings together with a well-made 90 while V Shankar (35) and K Jadhav (34) prevented the batting from collapsing.
H Pandya helped India finish strong with some lusty hitting as he made 45 of just 22 balls to help India get to a respectable 252.
Kiwis Struggle In Home Conditions
The Kiwis never looked like taking the match away from India as they also lost early wickets and were 3 for 38. Captain K Williamson and T Latham put together a nice partnership and looked threatening but they fell to the spinners. The pacers shared 5 wickets between them and slowly chipped away at the Kiwis who were bowled out for 217 in 44.1 overs.
In a statement, stand-in-captain R Sharma said “After the Hamilton loss, the way we lost was big. We needed to get together as a team. We wanted to test ourselves today. Lot of people put their hands up and got us through. I couldn’t ask for more.”
M Shami was awarded the man of the series.
India Potent In All Conditions
India has now more or less fully finalized the team they will want to take to the World Cup in England. The starting 11 have most likely picked themselves with their performances in the ODI series in Australia and New Zealand. The men in blue have shown that they can play in all conditions and will be a huge favorite to win the 2019 World Cup.