For a team that had hammered Australia in their own backyard and then took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series in New Zealand, high-flying Team India was shot to the ground by the Kiwis in the fourth ODI at the Seddon Park in Hamilton on 31st January.
Amid the impactful absence of Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, India's so-called strong batting line-up collapsed like a pack of cards against a rampant bowling attack of New Zealand. Team India was given a reality check by New Zealand's swing sensation Trent Boult. Recording sensational figures of 5-21, the 29-year-old ran through the Indian batting order to ensure they were bundled out for a paltry total of 92 runs.
It all began in the sixth over when Boult trapped Shikhar Dhawan (13) in front of the stumps to hand the visitors an early blow. In his next over, Boult sent Dhawan's opening partner Rohit Sharma (7) back into the hut with a caught and bowled effort. While Boult was breathing fire at one end - hitting young Shubman on the head once, Colin de Grandhomme struck twice - dismissing Ambati Rayudu (0) and Dinesh Karthik (0) - in his first over.
ð¨ RECORD ALERT ð¨
Trent Boult picks up his fifth five-wicket haul for New Zealand in ODIs, equalling the legendary Richard Hadlee's record.
Follow #NZvIND live ðhttps://t.co/goloMnOKex pic.twitter.com/smJ3GbGVLG
But, Boult wasn't done as he struck again to dismiss Shubman with his second caught and bowled effort to push India on the backfoot at 33/5 in 12 overs. Kedar Jadhav (1) became his next victim after a steaming in-swinger had the Indian batsman in trouble right in front of the stumps. Hardik Pandya (16) tried to hold fort for his side, but he couldn't stop a rampant Boult from bagging a five-for when the left-arm seamer forced an edge off the Indian batsman through to the wicket-keeper.
Only four Indian batsmen managed to score in double digits, while the remaining seven couldn't even score 10. Two of the Indian batsmen failed to open their account. And, the fact that Yuzvendra Chahal (18*) emerged as the top-scorer pretty much sums up India's outing with the willow.
In reply, New Zealand lost two wickets early in their innings, but a mediocre target of 93 runs was never going to be a problem for the hosts. Riding on the back of an unbeaten 54-run partnership between Ross Taylor (37*) and Henry Nicholls (30*) for the third wicket, the Kiwis romped their way to victory with eight wickets and 212 balls to spare.
While the victory gave the home fans something to cheer for, it once again brought Team India's middle-order woes to the fore. Clearly, the Indian fans weren't happy as they took to the social media to express their disappointment and rue the absence of Kohli and Dhoni.January 31, 2019 January 31, 2019 January 31, 2019
Pic 1 : Indian batting with Kohli and Dhoni
Pic 2 : Indian batting without them pic.twitter.com/LuNU2KN1Lh
India's lowest score at the fall of 6th wicket in ODIs:
28 vs SL in 2017 (No Kohli)
35 vs NZ in 2019 (No Kohli)*