India Clinch Clean Sweep Over New Zealand
Indore: India completed a clean sweep after a 90-run win over New Zealand with the stellar performance of Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill in the third match in Indore on Tuesday. Sharma scored his first ODI hundred in three years while Gill continued his domination with another sublime ton.
Batters from both sides lit up the dead rubber as 680 runs were scored at the Holkar Stadium. Rohit (101 off 85 balls) got to the three-figure mark for the first time since January 2020 while Gill (112 off 78) scored his fourth ODI hundred to take India to 385 for nine.
Following twin failures, the New Zealand top-order put up a much better show. Devon Conway (138) stitched crucial partnerships but Shardul Thakur (3/45) and Kuldeep Yadav (3/62) regularly struck to bowl out the Balck Caps for 295 in 41.2 overs. It was India’s second consecutive clean sweep, having beaten Sri Lanka last week.
After Hardik Pandya (1/37) got rid of Finn Allen (0), Conway shared 106 runs with Henry Nicholls and 78 runs with Daryl Mitchell (24). In the absence of Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj, the Indian bowlers struggled initially, leaking runs as Conway tonked the ball all around the park.
Shardul, however, managed to turn the game, as he took back-to-back wickets of Mitchell and Tom Latham (0) in the 26th over. In his next over, Thakur sent Glenn Phillips (5) packing with a cross-seamed delivery.
Umran Malik (1/52) then got Conway as the centurion pulled awkwardly with Rohit doing the rest at midwicket as the match seemed to slip out of New Zealand’s grasp. The spin duo of Kuldeep and Yuzvendra Chahal (2/43) then cleaned up the tail. Earlier, Rohit and Gill put up a belligerent 212-run opening stand, sharing 22 fours and 11 sixes between them.
Rahul Dravid joked on the eve of the match that bowlers don’t want to bowl as soon as they land in Indore because of the batter-friendly conditions. The batting great had a point, and the New Zealanders rolling over their arms during the first 25 overs would have shared Dravid’s sentiment. At one point every ball that Rohit and Gill’s bat touched was either flying to the boundary or over it.
Gill hit four fours and a six to plunder 22 runs off Lockie Ferguson in the eighth over, symbolising the kind of form the 23-year-old has been in lately. The youngster didn’t have to even time the ball for it to run to the boundary. After three fours, he launched the short ball for an upper-cut six.
With the outfield quick and the wicket flat, the rather inexperienced New Zealand bowling unit had no answers to the Indian openers’ carnage. The 26th over saw both Rohit and Gill getting their centuries. Rohit pulled away to deep square to get to his mark and, three balls later, Gill got to the triple-figure mark, his third in four innings.