India continued its dominance in the first ODI match against New Zealand and Virat Kohli, the new finisher in town, was the one who took India to the finishing line. Hardik Pandya also scared the New Zealand players by his outstanding bowling on his ODI debut.

India won the toss and opted to ball first in the first ODI of the five-match series against New Zealand. MS Dhoni showed his confidence in the bowling department due to the bowlers’ performance in the recently concluded test series. Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were given rest and Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav were the new entrants.

New Zealand had high hopes from this ODI series, after their whitewash in the three-match test series, but their hopes were destroyed by Hardik Pandya when he claimed Martin Guptill’s wicket in his first over and the Kiwis stood at just 14 runs with the loss of one wicket.

The New Zealanders failed to give a respectable start to their innings as the Indian Bowlers were able to take wickets in very short intervals. The Kiwis were at 65/7 when a much needed partnership between Tom Latham and Tim Southee came as a savior for the visitors. Their partnership resulted in an unexpected target of 191 runs for the Indian Team.

Chasing a total of 191 was not a big deal for the Indian batsmen as the newly found finisher, Virat Kohli took the team to a win. MS Dhoni was seen playing after a long time and the pressure of performing after a couple of months was evident in his play. He was playing a composed innings as the target was nothing to be worried about, but got run out due to a miscommunication with Virat Kohli while stealing a run. He got out on 21 and the viewer’s expectation to see a match finishing stroke by Dhoni was not fulfilled.

Virat Kohli steered the innings towards victory by hitting a six on the final ball. This took the Indian team to a lead of 1-0 and Dhoni became the second most successful captain in ODIs with 108 wins, Ricky Ponting being at the top.

The man of the hour was Hardik Pandya as he took 3 wickets while giving 31 runs in his seven over spell and it seems that India has finally found an all rounder in Pandya. This is how he enjoyed his three-wicket-haul on his ODI debut.

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17 October 2016
Rohan Jaitly

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