New Zealand can enhance their limited overs' history tonight with a win in the final one-day international against India in Visakhapatnam (aka Vizag). The series is locked at 2-2.

No New Zealand side has won a bilateral ODI series in India in four attempts, beginning with a 4-0 defeat in 1988-89. The series in 1995 and 1999 were lost 3-2 - both were alive going into the final match - while the 2010 tourists lost 5-0.

A victory in the final match will offer respite to a tour which looked set to suffer a prolonged demise after the 3-0 loss in the tests. It would also prevent India from overtaking the Black Caps as No3 in the world rankings.

The hosts have been beaten once in five ODIs at the venue, with the West Indies chasing down 288 for victory in 2013.


"The players and management have shown a lot of character being on the road for such a long period," batsman Ross Taylor said.

"We don't often win series away on the sub-continent so it's an exciting time."

New Zealand have won five out of 21 in Asia and the Middle East since making their ODI debut in the region with a one-run win over Pakistan in Sialkot on October 16, 1977.

Again the toss will intrigue. Captain Kane Williamson called correctly for the first time in Ranchi and New Zealand won by 19 runs. Unlike the tests, the visitors have batted first every time in the ODIs with Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni mindful that evening dew can create a slippery ball which softens more quickly and reduces a bowler's armoury.

Conversely, in the second and fourth matches New Zealand established defendable totals and the pressure reverted on to the chasing hosts.

"Once ball got soft it showed how tough it was to rotate the strike," Taylor said. "We were always confident we could defend 260."

28 Oct, 2016 8:20am
2 minutes to read

New Zealand's key issue continues to be the volume of runs generated by the middle order. The lowest score made in 10 ODI innings at Vizag is Sri Lanka's 259-7 from 47 overs in a rain-shortened match in 2007. The highest was India's 356-9 in 2005.

In Ranchi, openers Tom Latham and Martin Guptill made 96 together at better than a run-a-ball during the best of the batting conditions.

The innings hinged on Williamson's dismissal. At 184-2 in the 36th over, they had built a decent platform. The skipper then edged Amit Mishra behind, and the innings dissipated in parallel with the bounce in the wicket. It's understandable New Zealand would stack their line-up with three spinners in Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi and Anton Devcich on a dry wicket but, in the absence of Corey Anderson and Luke Ronchi, their power hitting was compromised.

Still, they will be grateful not to have had their techniques challenged by spinners Ravi Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja as they were in the test series.

India, the West Indies and Australia remain the only opponents New Zealand have not defeated in away series across the 50-over format.*

In the Mike Hesson coaching era, New Zealand have had series wins in South Africa (2013), England (2013), United Arab Emirates (versus Pakistan in 2014) and Zimbabwe (2015), and a drawn series in Sri Lanka (2013). They have had less success - losing in South Africa and England - since making their maiden World Cup final.

The weather could also play a part tonight. Vizag is on India's east coast and was originally forecast to be in the path of a Cyclone Kyant. That cyclone has now been relegated to a low-pressure system which could still disrupt the match with rain.

*They have drawn two Chappell-Hadlee series and had the better of Australia 3-1 in the VB tri-series of 2001-02 with South Africa.

ODI deciders in India

November 29, 1995

Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai

New Zealand 126 (35 overs)

India 128-4 (32) to win by six wickets

November 17, 1999
Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi
New Zealand 179 (50)
India 181-3 (44) to win by seven wickets