That ends yet another series. India have emerged victorious but not without a scare from the Kiwis. Who would have thought that after the demolition of the Aussies? But the fun is not over yet. In fact, it promises to get even better as the T20Is come up to add spice to the tour. It is a 3-match series and that begins on Wednesday, 1st November, 2017 at 1900 local (1330 GMT) at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi. Do join us for that. Before the game though, there is some cricket being played in Zimbabwe where the home side is doing well against West Indies after a poor start in the second Test. We take your leave for now. ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
The Indian captain gets the Man Of The Series Trophy in his hand and now it is time for the big one - the Series for the team. The entire unit gets together for the photograph and haven't they made a habit? It is a good one for the team. That winning feeling.
VIRAT KOHLI is the MAN OF THE SERIES. Says that it was a pretty close game and credits New Zealand for fighting hard and pushing India to the limit. Congratulates them for a great fight and bringing out the best in his side. Says that while fielding in such tense moments, it is difficult to control one's emotions but he realizes that his bowlers know their stuff pretty well. Admits that the dew did help the ball come onto the bat nicely in the second innings and feels that in the afternoon, it was nice to bat in the first 35 overs but then the pitch slowed down tremendously and his side fell 15-20 runs short. Is happy with this win as this was like a knockout game which will help in tournament finals later on. He is delighted to get the Player of the Series award as it gives a good feeling to win the match anyways but if you contribute to the same, the feeling just gets better.
ROHIT SHARMA has been named the Man Of The Match. Says that it feels good when your team wins and you contribute. Is happy with the way India played in the series. Stresses that today was the perfect game as the home side had to be at its best throughout. Adds that they never took New Zealand lightly as they are a terrific unit in this format. Thanks the guys who helped him with his head position which wasn't still in the last few games and it turned out to be useful. Credits his bowlers for sticking to the plans in spite of the dew. On the celebration after the century, he plays it down, saying that every hundred is special. Says that he was trying to do certain things which came out pretty well and thanks the batting coach, Sanjay Bangar for his inputs.
New Zealand skipper, KANE WILLIAMSON says that it was a fantastic series. Admits that Kohli and co. were the better team eventually. Stresses that whenever you come to India, you have to be at your best. Is frustrated with the team not getting over the line today but sees plenty of positive signs in his outfit. Feels that the surfaces were good in all three games and reckons that looking back, his side missed small moments which eventually did not help. Praises Tom Latham for getting into the new role effortlessly and also has a word for Nicholls and Taylor. On his bowlers, he is proud of them to have done well in such conditions. On the question of going in with 2 spinners, he says that one needs to look at the team balance and composition and the decision is not that easy.
Just a heads up... THAT WAS NOT THE PRESENTATION. It is about to begin now.
TOM LATHAM says that it has been a great experience to bat in the middle order. Stresses that he has been part of a great series but unfortunately, his team could not cross the line. Feels that coming over here and sticking to the game is really difficult but his side gave its best in this series. Praises the Indian bowlers for bowling superbly at the death. Says the openers did well for New Zealand tonight but they probably left too much for the lower order to do in the end.
YUZVENDRA CHAHAL says that his intention was to mix his pace as the ball was spinning more when bowled slower through the air. Also, he was looking to make the left-handed batsmen drive.
JASPRIT BUMRAH says that he mostly tries to keep his head calm. Does not want to try too many things and only focuses on the execution. On the run out of Latham, he says that probably he should have run to the stumps but he thought that since Latham was beside him, it is better to throw. Says that he does not pay attention to what people think about him as that is just added pressure. On his batsman-observation, he says that most of the times he watches the batsman till the last moment and if he moves across, he changes his delivery accordingly. Feels sorry for Bhuvneshwar Kumar for his off day in this game and says that cricket is a great leveller and mentions that in the last game Bhuvi did well but had a rough game tonight. Admits that it was difficult to grip the ball due to the dew. Praises Chahal as he kept Nicholls quiet.
Not the best of nights for the Indian bowlers but this is why it is a team game. Bumrah was brilliant at the start and the end, finishing with 3/47 in his 10 overs while Chahal earned 2/47 in his 10. Axar and Jadhav went for 94 in 15 overs combined without a wicket while Bhuvi had a forgettable outing - 1/92 in his 10. Who is your Man Of The Match? Rohit? Chahal? Bumrah? Stay tuned for the presentation...
New Zealand were now favourites. But India came back and how. The ball was thrown to Bhuvneshwar Kumar who had gone for 77 in his 8 overs. Seemed like it was not his night. But he bowled an exceptional 47th over, getting rid of Nicholls and breaking the 59-run stand which had come up in just 40 balls. Bumrah then took over from there and the Kiwis struggled facing the yorkers at the death and ended up 6 short.
Now, just when one expected India to finish this off after Taylor's wicket, the Kiwis had a surprise package in Henry Nicholls. Not that he cannot bat, but his cameo of 37 from 24 balls helped Latham play his own game. All of a sudden. 35 were needed from 24 balls as Bumrah went for 15 in the 46th. India were tensed.
Munro's wicket was the time when India seized the moment. They got rid of Williamson in quick succession and kept bowling dot balls. As a result, the 79-run stand between Taylor and Latham, albeit kept the wicket-flow in check, failed to put pressure as such on the bowling side. It took 69 balls and just when it seemed like the batsmen were upping the ante, Taylor departed.
Having scored 337, India would have been confident but they would have also felt that they missed out on 15-20 runs with the bat towards the end. New Zealand started the chase confidently, especially Munro, who teed off on the very first ball he faced. Guptill fell cheaply but the 109-run stand between Munro and Williamson kept the visitors in the hunt.
Truly blessed are we that the term humdinger gets repeated time and again. Till the last over, don't think anyone could have confidently said who will win. In a day of increasing number of one-sided games, this one has just revived the interest in the sport. Definitely mine.
Jasprit Bumrah to Tim Southee
FOUR! A boundary to finish the game but INDIA WIN BY 6 RUNS and take the series 2-1. Full and outside off, Southee swings hard but gets an outside edge which flies over short third man to the boundary. The fielders are not bothered. All they care is that their team has won. End of a magnificent game of cricket. Thank you, players.
Jasprit Bumrah to Colin de Grandhomme
The game is India's. Unless Bumrah bowls extras. Full and outside off, de Grandhomme looks to go over the top but can only hit it down to long off for a single. 11 needed off the final ball...
TIM SOUTHEE walks in at number 9, with New Zealand needing 2 sixes in succession to win the game.
Jasprit Bumrah to Mitchell Santner
OUT! The ball is legal and India have another wicket! A high full toss, on middle, Santner heaves this miles in the air towards mid-wicket. He gets more height than distance and Shikhar Dhawan takes it calmly. The umpires check for the no ball. Replays show that the front foot is fine while the height of the ball is fine too. Santner has to walk back.
A catch has been taken! But is it a no ball?