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KL Rahul’s century in vain as New Zealand whitewash India

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A solid performance from their batsmen saw New Zealand thrash India by 5 wickets in the 3rd ODI played at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui, winning the series 3-0.
Chasing a target of 297, New Zealand looked in complete control and knocked off the runs with 17 balls to spare. Henry Nicholls top scored for New Zealand with a scintillating 80 off 103 deliveries.
This is India’s third white wash in a series of 3 or more matches and their first in 31 years.
KL Rahul Century

Summary at a glance

Put into bat, India got off to a nervy start, losing both, Mayank Agarwal and Virat Kohli in the powerplay itself. Prithvi Shaw played some shots and looked good for a big score but misjudged a single to depart for a well-made 40.
At 62-3, in the 13th over, Indian innings looked in misery but KL Rahul produced another masterclass and bailed India out of trouble.
He stitched two-century stands, first with Shreyas Iyer and then with Manish Pandey, bringing his own hundred in the process, taking India to a competitive total.
Chasing 297, Martin Guptill gave New Zealand a blistering start, bringing up a century stand with Henry Nicholls for the first wicket.
Things were looking grim for India before Yuzvendra Chahal put up a show with the ball and dismissed Guptill and Williamson in quick succession, dragging India back into the match.
New Zealand soon lost the wickets of Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls too, but a magnificent half-century from Colin de Grandhomme shattered the Indian hopes of escaping a whitewash and took his team to a comfortable victory.
KL Rahul Century Against Newzealand

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Top performers of the match

KL Rahul continued his dominant run in the series and stroked his way to a breath-taking 112 of 113 deliveries.
He got good support from Shreyas Iyer (62 of 63), who once again showed why he is regarded as a special talent in Indian cricket and Manish Pandey who scored a gritty 42, helping India finish on a high.
In the bowling department, Yuzvendra Chahal kept the Indian hopes alive with three wickets but didn’t get any support from other bowlers that led to India’s downfall.
For New Zealand, all of their bowlers were right on the money but special credit must be given to Hamish Bennet who broke the spine of the Indian batting with 4 wickets.
297 was not a cakewalk chase by any means but a destructive inning by Martin Guptill (66 off 46) set the tone for a cruising victory.
Henry Nicholls too was solid at the top and marched his way to a brilliant 80. Colin de Granhomme also played a crucial knock of 58 off just 28 deliveries, ending any hopes of an Indian comeback.
KL Rahul Century

What went wrong for India?

If the team ace bowler goes wicketless in the series, it will always be a struggle for the team. Jasprit Bumrah bowled 26 overs in the series but didn’t pick up a single wicket.
That tells the sorry tale for India. Moreover, they lost Rohit Sharma to an injury and with Virat Kohli having a mediocre series; a 3-0 loss should not be a surprising result.
IND vs NZ Cricket India

Plenty of positives for India and New Zealand

Though India lost the series, they would take heart from the performance of Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey and KL Rahul.
India didn’t have Rohit, Virat didn’t score much either but still, India managed to put a fight in every game, that’s a good sign for a team that’ been criticized for depending too much on their main players.
New Zealand too will be pleased to see the leadership skills of Tom Latham, his performance with the bat and the way Kyle Jamieson performed in his debut series.
Both, India and New Zealand now head to Wellington for the first of the two-Test series, starting February 21, which promises to be yet another enthralling contest.
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