Tim Southee rediscovering his rhythm and hunger against India has been a highlight of the one-day international series for New Zealand.

Returns of 3-52 and 3-40 in the two Black Caps victories mean the visitors will contest for a first away ODI series victory in five attempts against India tonight.

The right-armer recovered from a left foot ligament tear ahead of the series, but will struggle to retain his test place against Matt Henry for this summer's seven-match schedule.

Southee tends to have his biggest impact when he's pitching the ball up, regardless of format.

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In the fourth ODI he profited from the subtle execution of his slower ball.

One drew Manish Pandey into driving in the air to Tom Latham at mid-on; the next delivery struck Kedar Jadhav in front as he looked to work a ball into the legside.

Opener Rohit Sharma nibbled at a ball angling away which began the march through the Indian order.

In the second match at Delhi, Southee took a crucial wrong-footed caught-and-bowled to remove Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the hosts closed on the 243-run target.

He yorked Jasprit Bumrah in the final over to ensure a six-run win with three balls to spare.

When fans think of Southee, most will recall his domination of the 2015 World Cup pool match against England which remains the zenith of his limited overs career.

ROTORUA DAILY POST | Sport
28 Oct, 2016 8:20am
2 minutes to read

After losing the toss, Southee came out and delivered record New Zealand ODI bowling figures of seven for 33 in nine overs.

He left aficionados in awe at the precision of his wrist position as he toyed with the English batsmen. Ian Bell played inside the line, Moeen Ali and James Taylor were yorked, Jos Buttler was enticed to edge, Chris Woakes played around another outswinger and Stuart Broad and Steven Finn were caught. He was essentially unplayable.

In 15 ODIs since, Southee has taken 15 wickets at an average of 54.60, economy rate of 6.35 and strike rate of 52.

Compare that to his 103-match career record of 142 wickets at 31.84, conceding 5.35 runs per over and getting a wicket every 36 balls.

The team need Southee to replicate the confidence and control he found against England.

If they achieve an unprecedented series victory it will recalibrate the verdict on a tour which looked to be flatlining after a comprehensive 3-0 test series loss.