India vs New Zealand: 1st ODI report card – Shami breathes fire, Dhawan back among runs
Rohit Sharma – Rating: 3/10, Verdict: Poor
The opener fell early in the manageable run chase. He scored 11 runs off 24 balls before fending off a Doug Bracewell delivery to the first slip. Having struggled against left-arm pacers in the past, he looked circumspect early on against the moving ball and will look to improve when the action moves to Mount Maunganui for the second ODI on 26 January.
Shikhar Dhawan – Rating: 9/10, Verdict: Very good
After failing to get going on the Australian tour, Dhawan cam good in Napier, smashing a 103-ball 75 not out to guide India home. His measured innings had six boundaries. The match-winning knock early in the series will boost Dhawan’s confidence, having consistently failed to get a big one after good starts during the West Indies and Australia series.
Virat Kohli – Rating: 8/10, Verdict: Very good
A day after the Indian skipper created history by becoming the first player to win all three of the ICC Test, ODI and Sir Garfield Sobers Cricketer of the Year awards, it was business as usual for Kohli. With a modest score to chase, the 30-year-old barely needed to step out of the second gear on way to a 59-ball 45. However, he failed to see out the chase.
Ambati Rayudu – Rating: 5/10, Verdict: Average
Rayudu has been the focus of much attention in the Indian lineup, owing to the vacancy at number 4. He has been backed by captain Kohli for the role but failed to come good Down Under. Not much was required off him in Napier when he walked in to bat as the chase was reduced to a mere formality. He scored the winning run on way to 13 runs off 23 balls.
Kedar Jadhav – Rating: 5/10, Verdict: Average
Jadhav scored 57 off 61 balls in a crucial fourth wicket partnership with Mahendra Singh Dhoni to help India clinch the Melbourne ODI and with it their first bilateral ODI series win against Australia Down Under. He chipped in with three overs of his slingy off-spin and accounted for the in-form Henry Nicholls’s wicket. However, he dropped Kane Williamson off a Vijay Shekhar delivery. The all-rounder wasn’t needed with the bat.
MS Dhoni – Rating: 5/10, Verdict: Average
Dhoni was coming into the New Zealand off a phenomenal ODI campaign Down Under where he scored a fifty in all three of his innings to be adjudged Player on the Series. His batting was needed in Napier and he accounted for Lockie Ferguson’s dismissal with a stumping off a Kudeep Yadav ball.
Vijay Shankar – Rating 5/10, Verdict: Average
Shankar was drafted into the side after KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya were dropped for ongoing off-field infractions. He made his debut in the Melbourne ODI and got his second game in Napier. He came in as the first change bowler to bowl six tidy overs but went wicketless. Shankar would have accounted for the prized wicket of Williamson as his first had Jadhav not dropped the Kiwi captain. He didn’t get a chance to bat.
Kuldeep Yadav – Rating: 9/10, Verdict: Very good
The Chinaman spinner was scalped Williamson and Bracewell to affect the Kiwi collapse. He then ran through the tail to snuff out any hoped of the home team getting close to 200. Yadav finished with four wickets off his ten overs that went for an economical 39 runs.
Yuzvendra Chahal – Rating: 9/10, Verdict: Very good
Chahal put up another clinic of limited overs spin bowling. He dismissed the dangerman Ross Taylor with some ingenious bowling as the Kiwi was hoping to cut loose. Chahal then got rid of Tom Latham with another caught and bowled. He finished with 43/2 from his quota of 10 overs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar – Rating: 6/10, Verdict: Average
Kumar bowled a tight line for his five overs but went wicketless. The success of his opening bowling partner Mohammed Shami would ring alarm bells for Kumar as Jaspreet Bumrah remains the first-choice opening bowler.
Mohammed Shami – Rating 10/10, Verdict: Excellent
Shami was brilliant at the start of the Kiwi innings, accounting for Martin Guptill and Colin Munro’s wickets in his first two overs. The paceman bowled an accurate line and length in a sensational spell of fast bowling to knock the hosts back early on. He then returned to catch Mitchell Santner plumb in front. Shami’s six overs went for just 19 runs. He ended up with three wickets and two maidens. Guptill’s wicket was the pacer’s 100th in ODI cricket and he became the fastest Indian to reach the milestone (56 matches). Shami’s memorable day was capped off with the Player of the Match gong for his efforts.