Shikhar Dhawan-led side failed to kick start their white-ball campaign in New Zealand on high as the host registered a comprehensive victory in the first game of three-match ODI series, on November 25 (Friday), in Auckland.
While Indian skipper Shikhar Dhawan delivered yet another clinical performance with his 72-run knock, former Indian coach, Ravi Shastri believes that the top-order batter has been underrated and does not get the accolades he deserves. "He is vastly experienced and talented. Most of the spotlight is on Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. But when you look at his one-day cricket records, you look at some of the innings he has played against top teams in big games. It's an outstanding record."
Shastri further claimed that a left-hander at the top makes a lot of difference. "He is a natural stroke player; he has all the shots to countertop class fast bowling, the pull, the cut, and the drive. He likes it when the ball comes onto the bat; his experience will be handy here. Despite the presence of so many youngsters, I believe Dhawan's expertise will be helpful," Ravi Shastri said.
Speaking of the match, Team India put up a clinical performance with bat as the openers - Shikhar Dhawan (72 off 77) and Shubman Gill (50 off 55) - added brilliant 124-1 for the first wicket. Meanwhile, India’s middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer too played a valiant knock as he contributed with 80 runs in just 76 deliveries.
Despite India posting 306-7 in the first innings, England batters chased down the target with utmost ease as New Zealand's middle-order batter Tom Latham smashed the seventh century in his ODI career by scoring 145 off 104 deliveries and got much-needed assistance from skipper Kane Williamson, who remained unbeaten on 94 off 98 balls. Eventually, host notched up seven wickets win over Team India.