India vs New Zealand: ‘Let’s settle this in April’ - KL Rahul’s message for James Neesham after 3rd ODI
India batsman KL Rahul and New Zealand all-rounder James Neesham were involved in a funny exchange on social media after the Kiwis won the third ODI at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Tuesday. Courtesy of this win, New Zealand avenged their defeat in T20I series as they clinched the ODI series 3-0 . Team India suffered their first ODI whitewash in 31 years (minimum three matches).
It all started during the 20th over of the Indian innings when Rahul clipped the Kiwi pacer towards mid-on for a quick single. During his run-up, Neesham blocked Rahul’s way, and the batsman had to change his direction.
The moment turned into a discussion between the two cricketers which continued for a while. Even though, there were no heated exchanges, the two players continued to indulge in verbal banter on the field till Neesham returned to his position to bowl the next delivery.
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After the end of the match, Neeshan jokingly posted an image on social media and his post read: “Paper, scissors, rock?”
Rahul took note of this post and replied: “Let’s settle this in April. See u in a bit.”
The reason why Rahul asked it to be settled in Aprill is because Neesham was acquired for his base price of Rs 50 lakh by Kings XI Punjab for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Rahul will be leading KXIP in the absence of former skipper Ravichandran Ashwin, who was traded to Delhi Capitals. After locking horns in a gruelling three-match series, both Rahul and Neesham will don same team’s jersey in the cash-rich league.
Rahul slammed his 4th ODI hundred to take India’s total to 296/7 in 50 overs. Rahul made 112 runs (from 113 balls), including nine fours and two sixes, as he rescued India from 62/3 in the 13th over after being sent in to bat. He put on 100 runs with Shreyas Iyer (62 off 63 balls) for the fourth wicket, and later on another 107 runs with Manish Pandey (42 off 48 balls) for the fifth wicket.
But it was not enough to save India from a 3-0 whitewash as the Kiwis were helped by a brilliant batting performance to pull off the chase with five wickets in hand. The Kiwis were off to a confident start in their chase with Martin Guptill (66) and Henry Nicholls (80) and putting on a 106-run stand. However, wrist spinner Yuzvendra Chahal took three wickets to bring India back in the game.
Colin de Grandhomme (58*) and Tom Latham (32*), though, took their side past the finish line with an unbeaten 80-run partnership.