India’s six game tour of New Zealand (three T20i’s and three ODI’s) has just come to an end. The visitors won the T20 series while the hosts took the ODI one. Here are our talking points from the ODI fixtures.
Tom Latham splendid against India again
This series was essentially won by New Zealand thanks to Tom Latham’s stunning 145* (104) at Eden Park. The southpaw came into bat when the Black Caps were in a bit of trouble at 88/3 in the 20th over chasing a mammoth 310, and ensured his side got home with 15 balls to spare.
Latham averages under 30 against the likes of Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, South Africa and the West Indies, but seems to love playing against India- he averages a whopping 65 against the Men in Blue. This innings at Eden Park brought back memories of a similar one at the Wankhede five years ago.
With the next ODI World Cup scheduled to be in India, Latham will be central to the Black Caps’ chances of making it to the knockout stages of that tournament.
Rain takes centre stage
Four of the six games on this tour were affected by rain, much to the frustration of supporters and fans alike, who had to wait for long periods of time to find out whether the game would resume or not. Venue didn’t seem to matter- Wellington, Napier, Hamilton and Christchurch were all affected. Somewhat interestingly, we discovered that this sport also has simulated leagues, which kept us hooked during the long rain delays.
Limited chances for Sanju Samson
Six games on tour, but he played only one. Sanju Samson’s fans were already a frustrated lot given his limited opportunities for the national team, and this tour was another example. Samson did reasonably well in his only opportunity on tour, making 36 (38), but was dropped for the very next game as India wanted a sixth bowler.
By comparison, fellow wicket keeper batsman Rishabh Pant, who played four innings on tour to Samson’s solitary one, only managed 42 runs across them. It would only be fair to give Samson a longer run of games to prove himself, but India haven’t quite been able to do that.
Washington Sundar impressive
India have long been looking for a reliable middle-order batsman who can also give 10 overs with the ball, and Washington Sundar might just be that person for the Men in Blue. The tall Chennai all-rounder was excellent with the bat in the ODI’s- his quickfire 37* (16) helped India cross 300 in Auckland and his composed 51* (64) batting with the lower order saw them cross the 200 run mark in Christchurch.
With Ravindra Jadeja looking injury prone these days, Sundar might just be his ideal replacement in the fifty over format leading up to the World Cup. A solid middle order bat who can change gears if required and is also economical with the ball is worth his weight in gold in Indian conditions