Key learnings from India's win in fifth ODI against Kiwis
India won the fifth and final ODI of the five-match series against New Zealand on Sunday. The stars of the show were Ambati Rayudu and all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who excelled with both bat and ball. This was India's sixth ODI victory in 2019. Batting first, India were bowled out for 252, but New Zealand couldn't get past the line. Here are the key learnings.
India's middle order batsman Ambati Rayudu scored a gritty 90 to bail India out after they were stuttering at 18/4. After wasting a glorious opportunity to show his worth in the previous match, Rayudu performed today when his team needed him the most. His performances in this series could help him seal the number four batting position in the World Cup squad.
Shubman Gill managed just seven runs and couldn't take the opportunity presented to him. The youngster, who replaced skipper Virat Kohli, didn't look convincing against swing. His defensive game was weak. Gill played a loose drive after failing to read an out-swinger. Although, it is too early to comment about Gill but as of now, he doesn't look ready for international level.
India's issues against swing bowling continued. After a dismal show in Hamilton, Indian batsmen were poor once again. Matt Henry stood out with his out-swingers to get both Rohit Sharma and Gill. Trent Boult also got MS Dhoni with an in-swinger. India will need to work on their approach. This looks India's Achilles' heel going into the 2019 World Cup.
Hardik Pandya showed his class once again. The all-rounder, who made a return to the Indian team from the third ODI onwards, shone with both bat and ball tonight. His big-hitting attributes can change the complexion of the game anytime. Pandya smashed a 22-ball 45. His impact with the ball has been massive as well. He is likely to play all World Cup matches.
Mohammed Shami brings a lot to the table and he was instrumental in getting the early wickets, in this series. Since his return to the ODI fold against Australia last month, Shami has taken 14 wickets in seven matches. His variations and pace helped his balls skid off the surface to extract more from the surface. Shami has done enough to seal his place.