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Yes, you read that right. It's taken India 10 years to win a match in New Zealand across all formats. The last time they won a match was in the Test series in New Zealand played back in March 2009. They had a sorry series in their tour to New Zealand in 2014 but India made sure to keep it in the past and start afresh. The series begun with all the buzz around Kohli-Kane battle and how the batsmen will be dominating on the batting friendly pitches of New Zealand. But the Indian bowlers did not like the idea of being sidelined and let the batsmen hog all the limelight. They sure turned things around and how.
Winning the toss, Kane Williamson chose to bat first and he reckoned it to be a good batting surface and wanted to put pressure on India by posting a huge score. The Indian bowlers who have been impeccable in the recent past on all sorts of grounds brought out their A game. It was Shami who started it by sending back the openers cheaply in his consecutive overs. It was now time for their mainstay batsmen, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor to steady New Zealand's ship. The duo had amassed loads of runs on India's previous tour and it was very crucial for India to break this partnership and not let these two dictate terms. Virat Kohli introduced Chahal early and the leggie obliged in his third over itself by removing the dangerous Ross Taylor. He was bowling slow and full and the wicket delivery was a lot slower while pulling the length back to which Ross Taylor fell prey. Soon after, Chahal picked another caught and bowled to send back Tom Latham and leave New Zealand in dire straits.
Kuldeep came into the attack and the Kul-Cha effect seemed to take over. Both these spinners weaved their magic and did not let New Zealand get away. Kuldeep bagged 4 wickets and the Kiwi batsmen seemed clueless against both the wrist spinners. Shami came back to dismiss Santner and the entire New Zealand batting fell like a house of cards. Kane Williamson scored a fighting half century and tried to hold one end but the Indian bowlers proved to be too good for him. In the end, New Zealand folded on a paltry total of 157 in just 38 overs.
Owing to the early finish of the first innings, the second innings started early and as always the Indian openers started with a cautious approach. They saw the 9 overs of play without any damage before going into the Dinner break. The break didn't seem to work in India's favour as Rohit Sharma fell right after the break resulting Kohli to walk in to join Dhawan in the middle. Play was brought to a halt soon after the break and it was for a never-seen-before reason. The Sun was shining right in the line of sight of the batsmen and keeping the safety of players in mind, the umpires decided to stop the play until conditions improved. The game had to wait for another half hour which resulted in loss of one over. The revised target for India was 156 in 49 overs.
Dhawan who was struggling for form off late, started timing the ball well and looked in groove. Kohli was at his usual best as he rotated the strike and picked up the odd boundary on loose deliveries. Both these batsmen went about the chase with maturity and made sure the Kiwis had no way of getting back into the game. With 24 runs away from victory, Virat fell while trying to play a half hearted pull to a short delivery, only to nick it through to the keeper. It was just a matter of time before India sealed victory and Dhawan and Rayudu ensured India got there without any further hiccups.
India displayed a clinical performance where the bowlers dominated leaving very little for the batsmen to be tested. India are now 1-0 up in this five match ODI series and they'll like to keep the momentum going as the series progresses.