Virender Sehwag’s 125, the highlight as we look at the top knocks by Indian batsmen against New Zealand in ODIs in New Zealand.
New Zealand as an opponent may not send strong vibes like Australia, but buoy, they are one of the fierce opponents when at home. One of the strong reasons for that is the nature of their home pitches, which are generally condu8cive to pace and swing, and New Zealand have produced some extraordinary swing bowlers.
India has been touring New Zealand for the past 43 years now, but in all these years, Indian batsmen have collectively scored only six centuries to date. Such has been the situation of Indian batsmen under these playing conditions.
While there aren’t too many outstanding innings to admire compared to innings from other places, we have tried to identify the top 3 knocks by Indian batsmen in ODIs in New Zealand.
To leave out the biases and perception, we have kept things simple with our methodology by comparing the performance points of different innings based on the following calculation.
To calculate the performance points, we have considered the overall aspect of the game such as runs scored, strike rate, number of fours, number of sixes, and man of the match points.
#3: 123 by Virat Kohli
During India’s last tour of New Zealand in 2014, India started their campaign poorly as they usually do in most of the away tours.
After asked to bat first, New Zealand had a shaky start as they lost Jessy Ryder in only the fourth over and Martin Guptill in the eighth over. However, a solid middle-order show from New Zealand helped them put a fighting total of 292/7 in 50 overs.
Chasing 293, India had a horror start as Rohit Sharma played a silly shot to get dismissed in sixth over after scoring a dreadful 3 of 23 balls. Kohli, however, looked flawless since the beginning as he kept losing wickets at one hand, but he kept scoring runs at the other end.
At the end of 28 overs, India were 132 for 4 and Virat Kohli, who was playing at 61* was joined by the then captain, MS Dhoni. The duo built a solid partnership for India as they kept India in the game. However, after Virat Kohli got to his 18th ODI century, the game took a turn as Kohli lost Dhoni and Jadeja successively at the other end in the 43rd over.
As the hopes entirely rested on Kohli’s shoulders, he too didn’t last long as he perished for a score of 123 off 111 balls, and India lost the match by 24 runs. He may not have guided India to a victory, but his one-man-knock of substance would always be remembered.
Virat Kohli gets a total of 200 performance points for his innings.
#2: 125* by Virender Sehwag
‘SWAG’ would be the right word to describe Virender Sehwag’s blistering knock of 125 at Hamilton as India grabbed a famous series victory on New Zealand soil.
After giving India a fighting total of 271 to chase, Virender Sehwag went blazing from the start. He just kept hitting fours after fours against the Kiwi bowling. As he reached his fifty off just 31 balls, India were cruising along at a score of 75 at the end of just 10 overs.
Virender Sehwag didn’t stop there as he kept torturing the Kiwi bowling. Such was the class of his innings that he got to his century of just 60 balls, which also happened to be the fastest century by an Indian at that time. In the end, India were awarded a win due to the Duckworth Lewis method as they reached 201 at the end of just 23.3 overs.
Virender Sehwag gets a total of 252 performance points for his innings.
#1: 163 by Sachin Tendulkar
Just three days before Virender Sehwag got to his fastest century, Sachin Tendulkar played a gem of an unforgettable Innings.
Batting first, India lost Virender Sehwag quickly in only the third over. It felt as if Sachin Tendulkar had different plans as the duo of Tendulkar and Yuvraj gave India a rocking partnership for the third wicket. Team India kept scoring at more than 7 runs per over until the 30th over.
Sachin reached his 43rd ODI century in the 36th over. However, he switched gears after that as he scored 63 runs off his next 32 balls before he decided to walk-off from the pitch owing to a muscle pull. In the end, India reached a mammoth score of 392 in 50 overs.
New Zealand tried their best to chase the target, but in the end, fell 58 runs of their target.
Sachin Tendulkar gets a total of 269 performance points for his innings.
Thanks for reading! What innings did you like the most? Please, let’s know in the comments.
Adesh Kothari is the founder of AK4Tsay1 Cricalytics.
Cricket to him is like what ‘Football is to Lionel Messi’, ‘Singing is to Lata Mangeshkar’, ‘Dancing is to Michael Jackson’, and what ‘Acting is to Clint Eastwood’.
Besides his effervescent love for Cricket, Adesh is an MBA by qualification.