Virat Kohli produced another breathtaking effort as his superbly crafted unbeaten 154 enabled India to cruise to an easy seven-wicket victory in the third ODI against New Zealand in Mohali tonight.
He added,"But I know I should still look for the big shots". Total: (for 3 wkts, in 48.2 overs) 289.
The visitors would be hoping to avoid the batting collapse like it happened in Delhi.
Both men passed notable landmarks in the partnership, Dhoni scoring his 9,000th ODI run, while Kohli passed 3,000th runs in the format.
But, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma couldn't extract any benefit out of it as Rahane went for a half-hearted drive off an out-swinger and perished to Matt Henry for 5. MS Dhoni, as he so often does, wasted no time in getting the bails off. Dhoni's task was just a little harder in Mishra's next over, though, when he spun another legbreak past a groping batsman. "I've done that and Brendon (McCullum) got 300 in Wellington", Kohli said referring to the drop catch when the batsman was on six.
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Amit Mishra and Kedar Jadhav had started the slide in the middle overs with some fine bowling and after a flurry of wickets, at 199 for 8, India would have really wanted to fold up the New Zealand innings quickly. The pressure of performing was more on Dhoni and captain cool went about his business in signature style. Part-time spinner Jadhav then spun into action to have skipper Kane Williamson lbw for 22. But Neesham and Henry kept the game alive with their partnership. Pandey, who has been touted to fill the big shoes of MSD as the next potential finisher, provided impetus to the partnersship as India ambled towards the target. "You want to catch them all but it doesn't work out that way", Williamson said. As though to make amends for letting down the fans three days ago in Delhi, Dhoni played an innings in keeping with his reputation of old.
"To lose those wickets and end up on 280, we were pleased". "You have to dismiss them, Kohli and Dhoni put on 150 and took the game away".
Dhoni can take some heart from the fact that he scored an unbeaten 139 in the ODI he played at this venue three years back, but then that has so far remained his last century as well. Mixing caution with aggression, they plundered boundaries at regular intervals to ease the run rate pressure. "There are other guys who can play at 4 too but we need to think about grooming batsmen to bat five, six and seven".
In his last global match at this ground on March 27, Kohli had famously hammered 82 off 51 balls against Australia to singlehandedly take India into the World T20 semifinals.