Blazing centuries from skipper Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill took India to a 3-0 series against New Zealand and topped the international one-day rankings on Tuesday.
The hosts hammered the Kiwis by 90 runs in match three at Indore after Rohit (101) and Gill (112) put on 212 for the opening wicket to guide the hosts to 385-9 at Indore.
In reply Devon Conway’s 138 was in vain as India bowled out New Zealand for 295 in 41.2 overs for a second successive whitewash.
The victory lifts India to the top of the ODI table ahead of World Cup holders England and New Zealand, who slip from second to fourth place behind Australia.
However, qualifying for the World Cup in India later in the year is not affected, as the New Zealanders have already qualified.
But Rohit, who recorded his maiden ODI century since January 2020, and Gill excelled in the highest opening partnership by any side against the Kiwis in the 50-over format, surpassing the 201-run stand of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir in the 2009.
“We’ve done most things right in the ODIs in the last six matches,” said Rohit, whose side whitewashed Sri Lanka in three matches before this one.
“We are consistent in our approach to bat and ball.”
The fast bowler Shardul Thakur was named man of the match for his three wickets and crucial 25 runs which beat the order.
“Shardul has been doing it for a while,” Rohit said. People call him a wizard on the team and he’s come and delivered.
The New Zealand bowlers fought back after the pair’s departure as India slipped to 293-5 before Hardik Pandya took the lead, increasing the total with a 54 from 38 balls.
It all started with Gill beating Lockie Ferguson for four fours and a six in a 22-run eighth over and Rohit joined the party with some big hits over the fence.
Gill recorded his third score of over 100 in his last four ODI innings, taking off his helmet and basking in the applause from the stands as he reached the finish.
Michael Bracewell bowled Rohit and Blair Tickner bowled Gill back in the next over and India soon lost their regular wickets, despite a spirited 36 from Virat Kohli.
Southpaw Ishan Kishan was run out after a mess with Kohli, which soon fell to Jacob Duffy.
Pandya put on 54 for the seventh wicket with Thakur.
Watch out for the World Cup
In reply New Zealand lost Finn Allen on the second delivery of their chase after Pandya bowled the opener for nothing.
Conway stood firm in adding 106 for the second wicket with Henry Nicholls, who scored 42, and 78 for the third with Daryl Mitchell (24).
Left-hander Conway fought hard as wickets fell the other way as he lifted his third ODI hundred off a six spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.
Thakur dented New Zealand’s chase when he struck twice with successive deliveries, Mitchell fell behind and then skipper Tom Latham caught mid-race.
Conway, who hit 12 fours and eight sixes in his 100-ball blitz, looked unstoppable until the speedy Umran Malik caught the batsman at mid-wicket.
Bracewell, who made 26, and Mitchell Santner, who made 34, attempted to continue the fight, but Bracewell’s wicket off Kuldeep Yadav, who picked three wickets, spelled the end for the Black Caps.
Latham, a wicketkeeper batsman, said the experience would help them in the World Cup.
“It’s our last experience in India before the World Cup, so the boys are exposed to these conditions over the three games and hopefully it will be useful in October,” said Latham.
The two teams will now play three Twenty20 internationals starting Friday in Ranchi.
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