Virat Kohli’s team India have scripted history in the Australian continent, first in Australia by winning the first ever Test series and then by a first-ever bilateral ODI series. Now, in New Zealand too, India has made another record. India has beaten New Zealand in an ODI series after a hiatus of 10 long years. And not just beaten but beaten comprehensively.
With the World Cup to be held in England just 5 months away, the Virat Kohli led side is looking to tick all the boxes. Before coming into the series, India was wary of the 3rd seamer and 4th and 5th place gap still kept the team management thinking.
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 28, 2019
But now it looks like Captain Kohli and Coach Ravi Shastri have found the right team composition to go into the World Cup 2019.
Let’s have a look at what positives worked for India in the series against New Zealand:
1.3rd Seamer Problem Solved
One thing needs to be set straight that Virat Kohli is not a spin bowlers’ captain as MS Dhoni was. He loves fast bowlers and that reflects in his team selection. Also with the World Cup to be held in England, India needed to have a third seamer with the first two positions already taken by the ever consistent Bhubaneswar Kumar and the fast bowling sensation Jasprit Bumrah.
Thank You One & All for the Support✌?, Wishes??, Prayers ??& Enduring Trust on me through thick & thin times ☀?⛈❄ as a Player & a Person.
— Mohammad Shami (@MdShami11) January 23, 2019
India tried many options – Umesh Yadav, Khaleed Ahmed, Mohammad Siraj but with Mohammad Shami’s performance, he has taken away the cake. Shami bowled exceptionally well and was rewarded with Man of the Match twice in three games.
2. 4th and 5th position :
Another concern that the team had is the 4th and 5th spot. Virat Kohli has always said that the batting order has to be flexible. He tried MS Dhoni at 4 and also Ambati Rayudu at the same position. Dinesh Karthik and Kedar Jadhav have also been tried and tested and each one of them has proven themselves.
Just going through some batting numbers of @DineshKarthik over the last 18 months and its not surprising to see that he has become one of the best finishers in the world right now. This version of DK is all that he ever wanted to be, I am very happy for him. ?#INDvsAUS
— Ashwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) January 16, 2019
With Ambati Rayadu’s bowling been suspended by the ICC, Kedar Jadhav’s magical bowling arm can provide crucial overs for the captain in the middle overs in the upcoming World Cup. Dinesh Karthik is the reserved wicketkeeper but more than that he is an able and proven finisher. India, for now, looks to have solved this problem too.
3. The All Rounder :
Hardik Pandya was to play in Australia but his injury kept him away. Later, when he was selected, his comments on the chat show Koffee with Karan wrecked havoc for him and he was called back to India for which he had to miss 4 games. Ravindra Jadeja – the spin bowling all-rounder was tried in Australia. He has given an above average performance.
Thank you ? pic.twitter.com/rzIKQX7ELx
— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) January 28, 2019
In New Zealand, a medium pace bowler and batsman Vijay Shankar was tried but he wasn’t able to prove himself but now with Hardik Pandya available, Virat Kohli has got his all-rounder spot finalised.
4. The mystery spinners
R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are not even remembered today in the limited overs matches and that is the best praise that one can give to the two young wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. Yadav and Chahal provide the captain with crucial wickets in the middle overs and not let the batsman settle and due to the wickets in the middle overs, the teams are not able to tonk the bowlers in the death overs.
#NZvIND In their two ODI defeats, the Black Caps have been unable to overcome the legspin of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, with the pair combining for 12 wickets at an average of just 14.9
— Doordarshan Sports (@ddsportschannel) January 28, 2019
Hence, restricting the totals by a considerable margin. Both the wrist spinners have been found difficult to play by the English, South African, Australian and New Zealand players which will be a huge plus point for India going in the World Cup.
5. Top order settled
— Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) January 4, 2019
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan or Virat Kohli, you need any one of these to play the long innings to help India win the game and they have done extremely well over the last couple of years. Even the backup options look fine for India. KL Rahul might have failed in the Test series but everyone knows the capability of the brilliant batsman. Prithvi Shaw, Shubnam Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Rishabh Pant are all waiting in the wings and India’s batting order looks all settled.
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