Trent Boult’s sensational spell of 5/21 in the Hamilton ODI destroyed India to 92 all out, their lowest total in New Zealand and Kane Williamson’s side chased the target down with 212 balls to spare and by eight wickets to register a consolation win. The loss was hard to digest for Rohit Sharma and the Indian cricket team, considering they had put in a clinical performance in the Napier and Bay Oval ODIs. In Hamilton, India was missing the services of Virat Kohli who was rested and MS Dhoni who had still not recovered from a hamstring injury he sustained in the second ODI at Mount Maunganui. Speaking after the end of the match, skipper Rohit said the collapse was not expected.
“One of our worst performances with the bat for a long time. Something we didn't expect. You got to give credit to the New Zealand bowlers. It was a magnificent effort by them. Something to learn for us. At times, you need to absorb pressure (when asked about how to bat in swinging conditions). We need to blame ourselves for it. Things were looking good at one stage. It was about applying ourselves,” Rohit said.
Rohit praised the effort of the New Zealand bowlers in utilising the conditions, with Boult picking up his fifth five-wicket haul in ODIs but he also blamed poor shot selection for the loss. “Once you get in, things will start to look easier. We played some bad shots as well. It's always challenging when the ball is swinging. We have been enjoying a good run in the limited formats for a number of series. Everyone knows what went wrong. There will be times when it swings and we need to deal with it. Good teams usually keep ticking the boxes and today we didn't tick the right boxes,” Rohit said.
The win has given plenty of confidence for Kane Williamson, the New Zealand skipper who said the team wanted to target the Indian team with swing. However, he admitted that he did not expect this score from a powerful Indian line-up. “We didn't expect the surface to behave like this. Nice to restrict them to a 90-odd total. It stood up a little bit and nipped a bit. It spun as well. One of those days, things went well. It was swinging, that was a weapon we wanted to use because we were able to put India under pressure,” Williamson said.
The fifth ODI will be played in Wellington and New Zealand would be aiming to build momentum with a win at the Cake Tin.