New Zealand took a 1-0 lead at Wankhede Stadium © AFP
New Zealand took a 1-0 lead at Wankhede Stadium © AFP

After a few back-to-back one-sided contests, Virat Kohli’s  India seem to have finally found a challenger in New Zealand. Provided the fact that New Zealand are the fifth-ranked ODI side and India are flirting with the top spot, not many expected the Kiwis to stand up against the Indian challenge. However, as has always been the case throughout history, the gentlemen from the Southern Hemisphere proved to be more than the most likeable side in world cricket. They made the most of their limited resources, and on the day they turned out to be a bunch of composed individuals who gave it their all.

“Virat Kohli’s hundreds are becoming normal,” said Kane Williamson. However, the hundred at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai had many stories to tell — as did New Zealand’s spectacular win to go up 1-0.

Let us glance through the statistical highlights from this contest.

Setting benchmark as Indian captain: When Kohli reached his fifty it was his 12th fifty-plus score as Indian captain in 2017. This is now the most by an Indian captain. Kohli went past Mohammad Azharuddin (1998) and MS Dhoni (2009).

More records as captain: Kohli now has 1,318 runs at 77.52 from 24 ODIs this year. He comfortably leads the charts and there is no one in proximity. His tally of runs is the most by an Indian captain in a calendar year. He is currently at the third spot for most runs as captain in a year, after Ricky Ponting (1,424 in 2007) and Misbah-ul-Haq (1,373 in 2013). Kohli will have 5 more matches this year. The top spot overall belongs to Sachin Tendulkar (1,894 runs in 1998) followed by Sourav Ganguly (1,767 in 1999).

Special 31: Kohli’s 31st ODI hundred was one of the best of his career. It was more special because he surpassed Ponting’s tally. He is now only behind Tendulkar’s special number — 49. It needs to be mentioned that Kohli has taken 192 innings to reach the 31-mark. Tendulkar had taken 271.

Virat Kohli’s genius, his bromance with MS Dhoni and Tom Latham, other photo and video highlights from India-New Zealand 1st ODI
Virat Kohli’s genius, his bromance with MS Dhoni and Tom Latham, other photo and video highlights from India-New Zealand 1st ODI

Kohli leads a special bunch: Yuvraj Singh, Dhoni and Suresh Raina had made their 200th ODIs special by registering fifty-plus scores. Kohli became the fourth Indian to do so and he became the first Indian to register a hundred on 200thODI. In fact, the only other player to do so is AB de Villiers.

Kohli continues to lead a special bunch: Kohli’s 121 is now the highest score in any cricketer’s 200th ODI. He is followed by de Villiers (101*) and Brendon McCullum (85).

Yet another special club: Kohli now has 5 ODI centuries as captain in a calendar year. In doing so, he has joined the illustrious club of Ganguly (2000), Ponting (2003 and 2007), Graeme Smith (2005) and de Villiers (2015).

Kohli also became the 2nd Indian captain to slam a century in an ODI at Wankhede. Tendulkar’s 114 against South Africa in 1996 was the first instance.

Trivia: The only other Indian centurion at this venue is Azhar. His 108* came against Sri Lanka in 1987. Gautam Gambhir missed the mark by three runs in the 2011 World Cup final.

Most ODI centuries at home? Sachin Tendulkar leads the list with 20. Kohli has reached the No. 2 spot. He is tied on 13 alongside Ponting and Hashim Amla.

Most centuries as captain? Speaking of most international centuries by captain, Ponting comfortably leads the list with 41 in 376 innings. He is followed by Smith’s 33 in 368. Kohli is now joint-third. His 19 centuries have come from just 91 innings. Kohli is level with Michael Clarke and Brian Lara, who have batted 171 and 204 times respectively.

Kiwi hunter: Kohli became the quickest to 1,000 runs against New Zealand. He just took 17 innings to amass 1,012 runs at 72.28. He now has also slammed 4 centuries. The previous best was Dean Jones, who had taken 19 innings to reach the mark. His 1,005 came at 62.81. Sehwag had taken 21 innings.

Trivia: Sehwag also top scored in the infamous 2002-03 ODI series in New Zealand where runs were hardy to come by. In fact, with 299 runs he almost scored 33 per cent of the team’s runs in the series. The next best in the list was Stephen Fleming (157).

Top three after 200 ODIs

Players R Ave HS SR 100s 50s
Virat Kohli 8,888 55.55 183 91.5 31 45
AB de Villiers 8,621 54.56 162* 100.2 24 38
Sourav Ganguly 7,747 43.03 183 73.7 18 46 

Phew… Enough of Kohli for now

The 200-run stand: Ross Taylor and Tom Latham made the 281-run chase look ridiculously easy. This is now the highest stand by any visiting pair for any wicket in India. Earlier, Andrew Hall and Graeme Smith had put up an unbeaten 189 for the first wicket at Kolkata in 2005-06. It’s also the joint 3rd-highest stand against India while chasing and New Zealand’s highest stand in ODIs against India.

Highest partnerships against India

Pair Wicket Runs When and where
George Bailey, Steven Smith 3 242 Perth, 2016
Stuart Carlisle, Sean Ervine 4 202 Adelaide, 2004
Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Stuart Williams 1 200* Bridgetown, 1997
Ross Taylor, Tom Latham 4 200 Mumbai, 2017 


The newfound Latham:
470020. No, that is no zip code. Latham’s miserable run with bat began earlier this year and he struggled against the visiting Australians and South Africans. Then he was appointed captain for the triangular tournament in Ireland. He found form there. He didn’t find a place in the XI in the Champions Trophy. He now brought up his fourth ton in his new avatar as a wicketkeeper who bats in the middle order. Even Kohli said, “We enjoyed his batting. Credit to him.” The sequence now reads 54 104 84 103*. His batting average has now shot from high-20s to mid-30s.

Trivia: Ian Bell in 2012-13 at Dharamsala was the last batsman before Latham to score a century against India in a successful chase.

Ross Taylor’s redemption: In 2016, Taylor had become a butt of jokes following his continuous struggle against Indian spinners. He may be one of the finest New Zealand batters ever but his numbers cut a sorry figure while touring India.

Taylor, who averages over 47 in Tests, has scored at just over 25 from 8 Tests in India. Heading to the Mumbai ODI, Taylor averaged just over 28 from 13 innings. One must remember that his ODI average has always hovered in the very impressive mid-40s. His 95 is his highest in India. Taylor’s average too in India has crossed 33.

Another fun fact:

Record chase at Wankhede: “Dhoni finishes off in style,” Ravi Shastri had screamed in the commentary box when Dhoni with that blow won India the 2011 World Cup. India’s successful 275-run chase was the highest at this venue till Sunday. We are not sure if Shastri would have screamed the same from the Indian dressing-room replacing ‘Dhoni’ with ‘Nichols’; however, it is now a fact that New Zealand have now registered the highest successful chase at Wankhede.