Former skipper MS Dhoni once again produced magic behind the stumps as he shown incredible game sense and instincts during the fifth and final ODI between India and New Zealand at the Westpac in Wellington. Dhoni effected a brilliant run-out of Kiwi all-rounder James Neesham, who was playing a blinder for the hosts in tricky chase of 253 on a slow track. It is a well-known fact that Dhoni’s lightning reflexes are something all opposition batsmen are wary of.
However, there is only so much they can do to counter that. In the fifth ODI, Dhoni picked James Neesham’s wicket through run-out in what was a display of his sheer presence of mind. Neesham was going all-guns-blazing with the bat and this wicked proved to be a very crucial one. The Blackcaps all-rounder knocked 44 and was taking the game away from India when Dhoni struck-just in time to rescue the Men in Blue.
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Earlier, the Indian top-order struggled again in testing conditions before Ambati Rayudu and Vijay Shankar bailed the visitors out of deep trouble. India’s middle-order, which has been under scrutiny, delivered under pressure after the visitors were left gasping at 18 for four.
Rayudu (90 off 113) and Vijay Shankar (45 off 64) shared a 98-run stand for the fifth wicket to lead India’s recovery before a spectacular cameo from Hardik Pandya (45 off 22) pushed India past 250. Pacer Matt Henry was the standout bowler for the hosts, taking four wickets for 35 runs while Trent Boult picked up three for 39.
After a ‘humiliating’ loss in the fourth ODI in which India were shot out for 92, captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and took the challenge of batting first on a surface aiding the fast bowlers.
India made three changes in the playing eleven. A fit-again Mahendra Singh Dhoni was back in the team in place of Dinesh Karthik while Mohammad Shami and Shankar replaced Khaleel Ahmed and Kuldeep Yadav. The chinaman bowler was rested from the game