Three key takeaways from India-New Zealand series
Siraj picked up 5 wickets in the series [Source: Associated Press]
India won yet another home ODI series, defeating New Zealand 3-0 on Tuesday. The home team were ruthless and outclassed a formidable opponent to go on top of the ICC rankings.
New Zealand were always going to be a tough challenge for India, but the Rohit Sharma led team were at their imperial best and the side has gained a lot of positives from the series.
Don't look for anyone else, Gill is the man
Prior to the series against Sri Lanka, there was a lot of noise that Ishan Kishan should be the opener for India alongside Rohit Sharma. The southpaw had just slammed a double ton against Bangladesh, and pundits reckoned that dropping Kishan for Shubman Gill is a big mistake made by Rohit and co.
But Gill proved his doubters wrong and slammed three centuries in his last four innings, including a mammoth double century. Opening the batting, the 23-year-old was calm and composed and barring any major hiccup, Gill has cemented his place in the ODI squad, especially with the 50-over World Cup just around the corner.
Kuldeep is back!
What a fairytale story it has been for Kuldeep Yadav. Few months back, he was down and out and fell down the pecking order. Fast forward to 2023, Kuldeep is India's go to man in the spin department. It all started with the fifer against Bangladesh in Test series. And since then, he has never looked back.
With Yuzvendra Chahal under-performing, Kuldeep was trusted by Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid and he has repaid them with wicket after wicket. Call Kuldeep Yadav if you need wickets in the middle phase.
When India needed something special in the third ODI, Rohit gave the ball to the wily spinner and he responded with wickets of Henry Nicholls, Michael Bracewell and Lockie Ferguson.
Siraj is here to rule!
So when Jasprit Bumrah got injured for an indefinite period, the biggest question was - who will fill in his boots? This is when Mohammed Siraj raised his hands and has been India's go to man in the 50-over format
Wickets in the power-play, wickets in slog overs, Siraj can do anything at the moment. He showcased his class in the first two ODI games against the Kiwis. In the first ODI, when bowlers from both the teams were taken to the cleaners, Siraj conceded just 46 runs and grabbed 4 crucial wickets.
He came back to haunt the Kiwis once again in the second ODI, picking up 10 for 1 in 6 overs.
He was duly rewarded by ICC as Siraj became the number one ranked ODI bowler in the rankings.