Dominant India complete clean sweep against New Zealand to top ODI ranking

Openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill hit centuries in Indore in 90-run victory

India captain Rohit Sharma (r) and Shubman Gill both hit centuries in the final one-day international against New Zealand in Indore on January 24, 2023. AFP
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Powered by centuries from openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, India beat New Zealand by 90 runs on Tuesday to win the third one-day international and sweep the series 3-0.

Gill scored 112 runs off 78 balls and Sharma struck 101 off 85 as India piled up 385-9 in 50 overs.

“I have been batting well and just wanted to go that extra mile today," Sharma said. “The pitch was really good for batting.”

In reply, Devon Conway scored 138 off 100 but it wasn't enough as New Zealand were bowled out for 295 runs in 41.2 overs at Holkar Cricket Stadium. Shardul Thakur (3-45) and Kuldeep Yadav (3-62) did most of the damage.

India became the top-ranked ODI team with the win, while New Zealand dropped to fourth.

“In the last six games, we have done most parts right and that is the key in 50-over games,” Sharma said. “We have been consistent.”

Put in to bat, the Indian openers shared an impressive stand of 212 runs in 26.1 overs.

It was the highest first-wicket partnership in ODIs against New Zealand, exceeding 201 runs by Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir for India in 2009.

Sharma reached 100 off 83 balls, his second-quickest ODI century. India's skipper hit nine fours and six sixes for his 30th ODI hundred.

India's Shubman Gill celebrates after scoring his century. AFP

At the other end, Gill scored a third ODI hundred in four innings. He hit 13 fours and five sixes to reach the landmark off 72 balls.

Overall, Gill scored 360 runs in three innings against New Zealand. It was the joint-highest for any batsman in a bilateral three-match ODI series along with Pakistan's Babar Azam against West Indies in 2016.

Gill was named player of the series and said: “It feels nice to perform throughout. My approach didn’t change after the double hundred (208 in the first ODI). It’s all about getting a start and converting every game if possible.”

India then lost both openers in 12 deliveries, and continued losing wickets at regular intervals. From 230-2 in 28 overs, their last seven wickets added only 155 runs in 22 overs.

Hardik Pandya held anchor with a 38-ball 54 after Virat Kohli (36), Ishan Kishan (17) and Suryakumar Yadav (14) were out cheaply on a batting-friendly pitch.

Jacob Duffy took 3-100 in 10 overs, and Blair Tickner finished with 3-76.

Chasing 386, Pandya bowled Kiwi opener Finn Allen for a two-ball duck.

But Conway held his end to propel New Zealand’s innings. He scored 50 off 41 balls, and then accelerated to 100 off 71 balls, including seven fours and seven sixes.

Conway’s 138 was New Zealand’s third-highest ODI score against India. Overall, he hit 12 fours and eight sixes. Henry Nicholls scored 42 off 40 balls to put on 106 runs for the second wicket.

Thakur struck a double blow in the 26th over to remove Daryl Mitchell (24) and Tom Latham (0) off successive deliveries. He also dismissed Glenn Phillips for 5 to break New Zealand's resolve.

Contributions from Mitchell Santner (34) and Michael Bracewell (26) were not enough to trouble India’s score.

A three-match T20 series between India and New Zealand starts Friday in Ranchi.

Updated: January 24, 2023, 8:31 PM