On January 21, India defeated New Zealand by an eight-wicket margin at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh Stadium in Raipur. With this victory, the hosts have seized an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Unlike the first game in Hyderabad, when the Indian team was given a run for their money, the second game was a one-sided affair, with Rohit Sharma and company leading from the start. The Indian bowlers had a great day on a fantastic bowling surface after captain Rohit Sharma called it correctly at the toss.
The visitors’ scorecard was dismal, as they lost half their side for 15 runs in the 11th over, with four batsmen going for single-digit scores and one for a duck. New Zealand might have been knocked out for even less had it not been for Michael Bracewell and Glenn Phillips’ 41-run sixth-wicket combination. Bracewell scored 22 points on 30 attempts, while Phillips scored 36 points on 52 attempts. Mitchell Santner’s crucial 27-run knock helped the Kiwis score 108 runs in the 35th over.
In response, the Men in Blue cruised through the finish line in the 21st over without breaking a sweat, clinching the One Day series.
Let’s take a look at what the captains had to say at the end of the match –
Losing Captain – Tom Latham (New Zealand)
Batting up-top wasn’t our best performance. India put the ball in the right areas and it was one of those days where everything we tried didn’t work. On the other hand, everything India did worked. There was some tennis-ball bounce, some came through, some kept low and there was some movement. We just couldn’t build partnerships at the top. Guys lower down tried to fight but it wasn’t easy. We didn’t adapt well today, considering the surface.
Winning Captain – Rohit Sharma (India)
The last five games, bowlers have really stepped up. Whatever we have asked of them, they have stepped up and delivered. You don’t usually see this type of seam movement in India, you generally see it outside India. These guys have some serious skills, they work really hard and it’s great to see them being rewarded. We trained yesterday and the ball was nipping around under lights. We knew that if they had 250 or so, it might have been challenging for us but that was the point of opting to chase. We batted first last game, so the idea was to challenge ourselves. Not sure what I’ll do at Indore (in the final game). The confidence is high within the group and that’s great to see. They (Shami and Siraj) were raring to keep bowling long spells but I reminded them that there is a Test series coming up as well (Australia at home), so we need to take care of themselves as well. I’m trying to change my game a bit now, have been trying to take the bowlers on and I think that’s important. I know the big scores haven’t come, but I’m not too worried about it.