New Zealand vs India – A different ball game
Both New Zealand and India have had their fair share of results each time they locked horns in ODIs and Tests. While India had the upper hand right from their first series against the Kiwis way back in the 1950s, New Zealand's resurrection began in the early 2000's and they continue to be an improved side even today.
New Zealand first toured India in 1955 and ended up losing the 5-match Test series 0-2. Thanks to outstanding contributions from Polly Umrigar, Vinoo Mankad, Subhash Gupte, India managed to completely outplay the visitors. The next series was played 9 years later, and New Zealand were once again pushed down the barrel by an even stronger Indian side. Four out of the five Tests ended in draw and India won the series 1-0 after claiming the last Test. This time, it was the genius of Dilip Sardesai and Chandrakant Borde in batting and newcomer S Venkatraghavan's exploits with the ball that set up the Kiwis for a humiliating loss.
It was India's turn to tour New Zealand two years later, and it turned out to be a historic one. After 12 futile attempts, this was India's first overseas Test series win. Under the tutelage of MAK Pataudi, the Indian contingent marched to a 3-1 series victory. The spotlight was on India's spinners, Erapalli Prasanna, Bapu Nadkarni and Bishan Singh Bedi, who spun their team to victory in crucial situations. The Kiwis won the 2nd Test, leveling the series at one point, but were then crushed by the Indian spinners.
The next few series were even-Stevens, as both sides kept winning alternately. The early 2000's was the era of the Tendulkars, Dravids, Gangulys, etc. India were overloaded with talent, and outright wins could have been the only fair result. The 1999-00 series was as fruitful for India as it could get. India won the Test series 1-0 and also bagged the ODI series 3-2. But in the next two series, India went completely downhill. While they lost the 2002-03 series by a huge margin, the series that followed a year ended in a dull draw.
It was in the 2008-09 tour that T20 cricket was first played between these two teams. New Zealand were hit by a new storm by the name of Ishant Sharma in Tests, and India managed a comprehensive 1-0 win. In the ODIs, the visitors registered a comfortable 3-1 victory, but ended up losing the T20 series 0-2.
New Zealand and India have met on 92 occasions in ODIs, with India being the most successful with 46 wins compared to New Zealand's tally of 40. Five games ended in no result, while one was a tie.
In Tests though, India are clear front-runners with 18 wins in 55 Tests, while the Kiwis have only emerged victorious in 9 games.
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