Before the start of the India series, New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor’s scores in the last 10 ODIs read 1, 113,10,181*,80,86*,54,90,137. The right-hander was in magnificent form, having scored six consecutive fifty-plus scores and he was in good touch in the Napier ODI against India. After Mohammed Shami dismissed Martin Guptill (5) and Colin Munro (8), Taylor joined Williamson to keep the New Zealand innings afloat. The partnership between these two players was looking steady and it looked like New Zealand would stage a revival. However, on 24, Taylor chipped a flighted delivery from legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal to depart for 24. Virat Kohli’s Indian side had denied Taylor the chance to create history.
Taylor’s quest for a seventh consecutive-score of 50-plus was denied and he will end on six scores, along with the likes of Gordon Greenidge, Andrew Jones, Mark Waugh, Mohammad Yousuf and Williamson. The record for the most consecutive fifty-plus scores is Pakistan legendary cricketer Javed Miandad, who blasted nine consecutive fifty-plus scores in 1987.
In the previous series between the two sides in 2014, Taylor was the stand-out performer along with Williamson as New Zealand trounced India 4-0 in the five-match ODI series. The right-hander smashed 55,57,17,112* and 105 and he was given great company by Williamson, who smashed five consecutive half-centuries to give total stability to the middle order.
In the last one year, Taylor has averaged over 85 in ODIs, which is the second most to Virat Kohli who has an average of 112 and over 1000 runs. Although Taylor was dismissed cheaply, the right-hander will be aiming to make amends in the upcoming games as both sides aim to build momentum for the World Cup in 2019 which will be held in England.
Virat Kohli’s side won a bilateral ODI series for the first time in Australia and they will be gunning for revenge against New Zealand, who thrashed them 4-0 in their last ODI series in 2014. In that series, India were led by MS Dhoni and they ended the tour without a single win, having lost even the Test series 1-0, losing the first Test in Auckland by 40 runs and denied a win in Wellington thanks to Brendon McCullum’s triple century, the first by a New Zealand player.