After completing a white-wash in the T20I series against New Zealand, India locked horns with the Kiwis in the first game of the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Wednesday.
Unlike the T20Is, the hosts showcased mature cricket in the ODI series opener and outplayed the visitors.
Ross Taylor smashed his 21st century in ODI cricket and guided the BlackCaps to chase down the mammoth target of 348 runs successfully. Skipper Tom Latham also played a handy knock of 48-ball 69. The duo added a 138-run stand to take the game away from India.
New Zealand won the match by 4-wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Earlier, India posted 347-4 in 50 overs. Shreyas Iyer slammed his ODI career’s first hundred. Wicket-keeper batsman KL Rahul played the role of finisher very well as he remained unbeaten on 88 off 64 balls.
Indian captain Virat Kohli reacted after the loss and credited the New Zealand team for playing exceptional cricket. Kohli reflected on the Indian team’s fielding efforts and said some improvements in the outfield are required.
“An outstanding performance by New Zealand. We thought 348 was good enough, especially after the start we got with the ball. I think Tom’s innings took the game away from us. Ross and Tom were unstoppable in the middle overs. We were decent in the field, we dropped one chance. We need to improve though. We can’t think about that one chance,” Kohli said at the post-match press conference.
The 31-year-old praised the Kiwis for outstanding effort and said they deserved to win in the game. Kohli also praised India’s new opening pair of Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw. The Delhi-born appreciated both Iyer and Rahul for their magnificent innings.
“To bat with a positive frame of mind for about 25 overs after that chance is not a small thing at all. I got to say that the opposition played better than us and deserved to win today. Both new openers gave us a good start, hope they continue to do the same. Shreyas’ hundred was outstanding, and KL was brilliant with the bat, too,” added Kohli.
Both the teams will now meet in the second ODI scheduled to take place on Saturday (Feb 08) at Eden Park in Auckland.