Indore: Outstanding centuries from openers Rohit Sharma and opener Shubman Gill guided India to post a massive 385/9, despite a middle-order collapse in Tuesday’s third and final ODI against New Zealand.
Rohit (101) and Gill (112) crafted a formidable 212 runs partnership for the first wicket to lay the foundation for others to capitalise on. A total of 420 runs was for the taking, but New Zealand staged a strong comeback.
The visitors scalped six wickets for 101 runs, using the old ball intelligently, which resulted in pressure totally shifting back on India. But a resolute Hardik Pandya (54 off 38 3x4s 3x6s) captained the ship out of the troubled waters.
Shardul Thakur (25) gave Pandya the support and both put a quickfire 54 runs stand for 7th wicket, lifting the spirits of Indian players.
Earlier, Rohit and Gill started the innings on a sedate note before they went hammer and tongs after assessing the pitch.
Gill, a double centurion in ODI format, hammered Lockie Ferguson for four boundaries and a six, plundering 22 runs in 8th over, and Rohit also did not lag behind as he dealt mighty blows over the ropes.
The duo’s double-century opening partnership is the highest by any team against the Blackcaps in ODIs, breaking the 201 runs stand etched by Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir in 2009.
Gill registered his third century in the last four ODI innings, and Rohit smashed his first since January 2019.
Michael Bracewell (1/15) and Blair Tickner (3/76) scalped Rohit and Gill’s wickets, respectively in the next over, which opened the floodgates for New Zealand bowlers to pull off an heist. They engineered a middle-order collapse, despite Virat Kohli’s brisk 36.