The series stands at 2-0 in favour of New Zealand after India lost the first two ODIs in Napier (by 24 runs) and Hamilton (by 15 runs), while the third ODI at Auckland finished in a scintillating last-ball tie on Saturday.
Even though India cannot win the series anymore, the visitors at least can level the rubber and keep their world number one ranking intact, but for that to happen they need need to win tomorrow’s match at Seddon Park as well as the fifth ODI at Wellington.
India’s bowling in favourable New Zealand conditions has been a big let down for the team, but the fighting spirit and resilience of Indian batsmen took the first two ODIs close and tied the third to keep the series alive.
India, however, can take heart from its performance in the third ODI. Chasing an imposing 315, Ravindra Jadeja nearly pulled off a sensational win before the contest ended in a tie.
Jadeja smacked the Kiwi bowlers to all parts of the ground to scored an unbeaten 45-ball 66 to take India close in the third ODI from a no-hope position. He was ably supported by Ravichandran Ashwin who scored a quickfire 65 off 46 balls.
Interestingly, one of the key features of this series so far has been the fact that India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has won the toss and opted to chase in all three previous games.
It is a practice that runs long back. In South Africa, Dhoni won the toss in the first two ODIs at Johannesburg and Durban, and elected to chase, thereafter losing both matches.
At home prior, in two ODIs versus Australia (Ranchi and Nagpur) and one against West Indies (Kanpur), Dhoni did the same.