That is it then! The India-New Zealand series has ended, not surprisingly, shall I say, more exciting and entertaining than the India-Australia one. Both teams were at each other throughout and it was really fascinating to see the better team win. India now get ready to host Sri Lanka for a full series from 16th of November, 2017 from Kolkata while New Zealand head back home to play the Windies. More and more cricket coming up in the coming days. So take a break, get refreshed and come back energetic! Adios! Take Care!
VIRAT KOHLI says that he was very happy to get a game eventually. Thanks the crowd for waiting so patiently. On the batting, he says that India always expected New Zealand to give a good fight and he was nervous once the first two wickets fell but then praises his bowlers for bowling well. On the tactic of bowling his best bowlers early, he says that it is not crucial to only stop runs towards the end. Sometimes a few boundaries here and there could hurt your plans. Credits Rohit and Dhoni for coming up with the suggestion and is happier that Bhuvi and Bumrah stepped up. On the last over, he says he was nervous when Hardik got hit as there was no one else to bowl and he might have had to. Thanks the crowd once again for their nice behaviour and patience.
JASPRIT BUMRAH is the Man Of The Match and the Man Of The Series. Says that India's basic plan was to bowl slower deliveries and take the pace off the wicket. Adds that the Kiwis were great with their slower balls but the Indians' slower ones were not gripping as effectively. Hence, the plan shifted to bowling back of a length. On bowling the high-pressure 7th over, Bumrah says that he was not thinking too much and only focussed on bowling every ball.
KANE WILLIAMSON smiles and credits the groundstaff for getting some cricket in. Feels that it is very tough to decide what will be a good score on a new surface which was also tricky. Is happy with the way the series panned out, going close in both formats. Praises Sodhi but also the other bowlers for not letting India get away. Also feels the home side played smart cricket and that is why one needs to be at his best to challenge the Indians. Goes to the extent of saying that India are perhaps the best team in the world because they challenge everyone. On his own team, he is proud of his bunch. It is a group of youngsters who he feels have the potential to go a long way in the future.
A word now on India's bowling. How good were they? Brilliant is an understatement. Bumrah set the tone, with 2/9 while Chahal went only for 8 in his 2. The others were not bad but these were a notch higher. Earlier, the Kiwis did well to keep India to 67 but perhaps an expensive Sodhi was the difference between the two teams tonight. Stay tuned for the presentation...
RAVI SHASTRI says that everyone was tensed in the dugout and the dressing room as one over can tilt the balance. Feels that India saved their best for the last in the field and heaps praise on Rohit and Hardik. In the innings break, he says that India were confident with the score. After losing a couple of wickets early, he says that the Indian batsmen revised their target to 65 because the ball was coming on slowly. Agrees that it was a great decision by Kohli to bowl Bhuvi upfront and even better to give Bumrah the second-last over because many times games are lost by the time we get to the last over. On Bumrah, he says that it is not just his skills but his thinking is excellent. Ends the conversation by saying this win is very sweet as it was against a very good side. Believes that this New Zealand side can go places in the table in the future.
YUZVENDRA CHAHAL feels that the wicket was suited to the bowlers as it was slow and spinning. So he stuck to bowling back of a length and outside off. Says that in shortened games, one needs to handle the pressure. Credits his experience in the Indian domestic league matches for doing well tonight. Praises his captain for going to him in any situation and says that he calculates accordingly what lengths to bowl to the batsmen.
HARDIK PANDYA says that his hand is okay now but he will feel the pain after a while. Says that he came to know in the 7th over that he would be bowling the final over as they were finding it difficult to play the fast bowlers than the spinners. So he was preparing from the 5th over itself. On the final over, he says that he just backed himself and kept his cool.
A little bit of initiation came in the fourth over when Bhuvi was hit for consecutive boundaries but in the 5th, India struck twice. With 32 needed from 18 balls, big hits were needed but those were very few. Some last-minute drama in the final over did give the Black Caps some hope but eventually the better side prevailed.
Chasing 68, the Kiwis might have targetted the Powerplay and the two 'B's - Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar. But they did not let the visitors settle down at all. Kumar removed Guptill in the first over while Bumrah provided the body blow by removing the centurion from the previous game, Munro. The Kiwis were pegged back pretty early, scoring just 11 in the Powerplay.
Great scenes all around. Let us all heave a sigh of relief. For the first 150 minutes, there were sighs of disappointment as to whether we will have a game. And then eventually, when we did have a match, it was a brilliant one.
Hardik Pandya to Mitchell Santner
INDIA WIN BY 6 RUNS! Hardik finishes it off nicely. A short ball outside off, Mitchell slashes hard but gets an outside edge over point. Only a single. A fantastic contest even though marred by rain. But it made for a good match.
That is the game then. Unless we see something very funny. A length ball around off and outside off, Santner swings but miscues it towards long on. So bad is the timing that the ball does not even carry to Virat Kohli at the fence. The batsmen come back for the second. The crowd is happy. Kohli pumps his fists. Yet another series to his name. 8 needed off the final ball now...
Hardik Pandya to Colin de Grandhomme
Just what India needed. CdG can only pull this to deep mid-wicket for a single which means Santner has to take New Zealand home now.
WIDE! A slower ball gone wrong now! It is a deliberate short ball outside off, thinking that it will be slapped but a smart Colin lets it go. 10 from 3 now...
SIX! BANG! That has gone into orbit! A short ball, around off, de Grandhomme pulls this miles over mid-wicket! 11 needed from 3 now!
Trouble! Has Hardik hurt himself? The physio has come and now he is going as well. Pandya is fit to bowl. The crowd roars.
DROPPED! But has he hurt his finger? Full and outside off, de Grandhomme smashes it straight back. Hardik puts out his hand for the catch as an act of reflex but the ball bursts through his hand. A single taken. Hardik is in pain.
Action replay of the previous delivery. A slower ball, outside off, Santner swings but misses. They take the bye, MS misses his shy.
HARDIK PANDYA to bowl the last over of the innings, match and series. On whom is the pressure?