This is New Zealand’s 100th global match in India – only 4th visiting team to play these many matches in India after Australia (144), England (135) and West Indies (129). Today’s match will be a do or die encounter for New Zealand as a loss in Rajkot would mean India sweep both the ODI and T20 series easily.
After the retirement of veteran pacer Ashish Nehra, Kohli could now play with the four bowlers or might include wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav in the playing XI because of the conditions. A century partnership for the opening wicket got them off to the ideal start and although India’s death bowlers brought things back at the end, Munro’s century still ensured India needed to chase almost 200 to claim victory.
Munro and Guptill put up a 105-run opening partnership. “They could have their plans, they may want to express themselves without a score on the board, we’re getting to do what we want to do”, said Kohli, who personally loves chasing down totals.
Munro smashed seven sixes and seven fours ending on 109 not out off 58 balls, the only criticism may be that he could have taken more of the strike.
“We always wanted to bowl first anyway”.
The worst sufferer was debutant Mohammed Siraj, who was struck repeatedly for sixes by the southpaw and ended up giving away 53 runs for the lone wicket of rival skipper Kane Williamson. Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer then took on Boult with the latter hitting a four off the very first ball he had faced in global cricket.
Martin Guptill has already brought up the visitors’ first boundary, as he hits one through square leg. On paper, New Zealand are the higher-ranked team at number two compared to India who are at the fifth position. Munro was also let off on 79 by Chahal off Kumar to remain unconquered.