Sharma, Kohli and “Boom-Boom” Bumrah excel as India wins 2-1


 By Kersi Meher-Homji

What an exciting end to a roller coaster series with the third and final One Day International (ODI) at Kanpur providing the climax! An hour before the end, I predicted New Zealand to win the match and the series, especially when they were only one wicket down for 153 and their opening batsman Colin Munro going bang-bang.

But the victory target of 338 proved too much and the visitors lost narrowly by six runs and the series 1-2.

As the sporting New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said at the presentation, “Fantastic series, some great cricket played and in good spirit. Credit to Kohli and team, they were the better team, although by just a little bit. Lots of promising signs from our end. Losing from this close is frustrating, but good signs ahead. The surface was good throughout and the team that played better on that day won the games in this series. But against these guys, you HAVE to be at your best to cross the line.”

Williamson won the toss and decided to field. As if saying “thank you”, India plundered 6 for 337, Rohit Sharma (147 runs) and skipper Virat Kohli (113) adding 230 superlative runs for the second wicket.

But any thought that the Kiwis would fold down without a fight was proved wrong. Opener Munro hit the first ball he received for a six as 19 runs came off Bhuvneshwar (Bhuvi) Kumar’s first over. In all, Munro smashed three sixes in his fire- power 75.

Just as the famous Hollywood actress Marilyn Munroe had sex appeal, Colin Munro showed six appeal!

With his captain Williamson (64) he added 109 express runs and the hunt was on. The normally accurate Bhuvi was hammered, conceding 51 runs in his first five overs.

Later on, quickie Jasprit “Boom Boom” Bumrah and leggie Yuzvendra Chahal started taking vital wickets and NZ fell only six runs short.

As Chahal said, “Whenever I bowled slow, it spun. So my intention was to vary my pace. I just wanted to make the left-handers drive. The dew factor made it very difficult to bowl. On this wicket, you need to flight the ball, so my job was to toss it up.”

Sharma was adjudged Man of the Match and Kohli Man of the Series.

This was India’s seventh consecutive win in a bilateral series, a record for them. The previous sequence was six series wins in a row, in 2007 and in 2008-09.

I’ll end this article with a question. When will India include Ravindra Jadeja in an ODI? He can score fast, capture wickets with his left-arm spin and take miracle catches. I would prefer him to Kedar Jadhav who is almost 33, four years older than the established Jadeja.


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