New Delhi, Oct 23: New Zealand batsmen showed clinical efficiency in a tricky chase to spoil Virat Kohli's milestone match with a comfortable six-wicket victory over India in the opening One day International, here tonight.
For the 'Black Caps', young gun Tom Latham (103 no) and senior pro Ross Taylor (95) batted with lot of purpose, chasing down a target of 281 in 49 overs with minimum fuss.
New Zealand lead three-match series 1-0.
This was after Virat Kohli showed his class with a gutsy 31st hundred in his 200th ODI in energy-sapping conditions to take India to 280 for 8 in 50 overs. None of the other Indian batsmen even crossed 40-run mark.
During New Zealand's chase, Taylor and Latham came together at 80 for 3 with India trying drive home the advantage but their 200-run stand for the fourth wicket proved to be a clincher in the end.
New Zealand played well no doubt, but here are 5 reasons why India ended up on the losing end on Sunday.
1. Match-winning partnership of Ross Taylor and Tom Latham id the trick. Having posted a good total on the board, India started off well with the ball, reducing the visitors to 80-3 in the 18th over. Taylor, who has been a regular feature in the IPL over the years faced 100 balls hitting eight boundaries while Latham -- the only successful Kiwi batsman during their last tour, hit eight fours and two sixes in 102 deliveries scoring his fourth ODI hundred.
2. The Indian bowling attack didn't have a plan B despite the wicket being not so conducive for batting. The best part about the New Zealand run-chase was that they achieved the target without taking undue risks.
They did not try to attack spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav (1/64 in 10 overs) and Yuzvendra Chahal (0/51 in 10 overs) taking all the singles and doubles on offer with occasional boundary for the taking.
3. Karthik and Dhoni's dismissals at key junctures also cost India dearly. Both Dinesh Karthik, who was making a comeback into the Indian side for the first time since the series against West Indies in June, and MS Dhoni, played a crucial role in the Indian innings alongside skipper Virat Kohli but their dismissals came at a crucial time in the match.
4. With India losing both the openers early, Kohli showed a different approach, by taking considerable time to settle, initially dealing in ones and twos, and then taking the Kiwi bowlers to task. After a cautious start, Kohli hit a cover drive in the 11th over and followed it up with two consecutive boundaries in the 15th over off Colin De Grandhomme.
The skipper, was lucky to get a reprieve on 29, after Mitchell Santner dropped a straight forward chance at cover off De Grandhomme.
There was no looking back for the Indian skipper after that as he punished pacer Adam Milne, hittig him for a six over long leg.
5. It was Trent Boult, who gave the Kiwis early breakthroughs, removing Shikhar Dhawan (9 off 12 balls) and Rohit Sharma (20 off 18 balls) cheaply on a Wankhede pitch which had spongy bounce and ball was holding up a bit.
Boult lived up to his reputation and got the ball to swing and seam. Dhawan nicked one to 'keeper Tom Latham in the fourth over, with the hosts 16-1.
Boult then cleaned up Sharma in his next over, as he got the ball to come into the right-hander leaving India struggling at 29/2.
Rohit pulled Southee for consecutive sixes but the Mumbai batsman failed to convert his start. For the Kiwis, Boult (4- 35) was the pick of the bowlers as he later removed Dhoni and Pandya.
News24Bureau with Agencies