With the World Cup a few months away, India are certainly not looking to keep their foot off the pedal as they won the first of the five-match one-day series against New Zealand by eight wickets in Napier on Wednesday.
The way India are decimating their opponents right now, there wouldn’t be a single team who would not wary of playing against Virat Kohli’s side. Top order in sublime form, middle order looking solid, and the bowling department never looked so dangerous that too in overseas, Team India certainly has the same scare factor as Windies of the 80s.
Ahead of the first ODI while New Zealand were termed as favourites, given their win-loss record against India at home, Team India just humiliated the Black Caps, bundling them out for just 157 in 38 overs on Wednesday.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson 64(81) fought the lone battle, while batsmen on the other end succumbed in quick succession to some splendid bowling from the entire bowling unit.
It was a day to relish Mohammed Shami’s exceptional spell (19/3¬), who became the fastest Indian to claim 100 ODI wickets in 56 innings surpassing Irfan Pathan’s record in 59 innings.
Shami took the first two wickets inside four overs, sending both the openers to the pavilion before Ross Taylor and Williamson started the recovery, however, the in-form Taylor was brilliantly caught and bowled by Chahal after playing 41 deliveries for his 24. At 52-3, New Zealand stuttered to 146 for 8 after 33 overs.
In reply, Shikhar Dhawan blazed his way for a fine half-century as he top-scored with 75 not out of 103 balls with India winning the matching comfortably by eight wickets.