After absorbing a humiliating five-match whitewash in the T20 series that opened India’s tour of New Zealand, the Black Caps can completely turn the tables on Tuesday, if they can finish off a sweep of the three-match, one-day international set that precedes a pair of Test matches to close out the month of February.
After slipping past the world’s No. 2-ranked ODI side by chasing down a hefty 347 with 11 balls remaining in the first ODI match of the series, New Zealand rather easily defended 273 at Auckland on Saturday — in fact, bowling out the Men in Blue with two full overs plus three balls to spare, according to a CricInfo account.
The second match saw an electric debut by Kyle Jamieson who claimed the wicket of Navdeep Saini in his very first over as a Black Caps bowler. The 25-year-old Auckland native went to take two wickets while allowing just 42 runs in his 10 overs to set the pace in the home team’s 22-run triumph — setting the stage for the potential whitewash-clincher on Tuesday at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, Tauranga.
Only veteran pacer Tim Southee was better, also taking two wickets while surrendering 41 runs in 10 overs. Of course, Southee’s day included cleanly bowling India skipper and star batsman Virat Kohli — all while battling the illness that has been sweeping the New Zealand dressing room throughout the series.
CricBuzz previews the third and final ODI match in the video below.
The illnesses that have left New Zealand shorthanded, affecting not only Southee but Scott Kuggeleijn and Mitchell Santner as well, have led the hosts to seek reinforcements. On Sunday, they called up two players from their “A” side that is currently playing an unofficial Test against India’s second-tier team, according to CricBuzz.
Legspinner Ish Sodhi and fast bowler Blair Tickner have both been pulled from the “A” team prior to Day 4 of that lower-level five-day match and will join the senior squad for the third and final ODI on Tuesday. Southee, despite turning one his best performance of the tour on Saturday, has not recovered from a gastrointestinal ailment and is likely to be held out of the 3rd ODI, as are Santner and Kuggeleijn who were both absent from the second match as well.
New Zealand are currently ranked third on the ICC ODI world table. But with India holding a lead of more than 1,700 ratings points, the standings seem unlikely to shift even in the event of a New Zealand whitewash.
The New Zealand vs. India 3rd ODI match is scheduled to get underway at 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, February 11, in New Zealand, or 7:30 a.m. India Standard Time. In the United States, where the match will be streamed live by the ESPN+ sports subscription service, that start time will be 9 p.m. EST., 6 p.m. PST on Monday evening, February 10.