NEW DELHI: India have played eight ODI bilateral series against New Zealand in New Zealand, with the first series being played way back in 1975/76. That was a two-match series, which the visitors lost 0-2. It was the same result in 1980/81.

India drew the next two ODI series in New Zealand – a four-match series 2-2 in 1993/94 and a five-match series 2-2 in 1998/99. The rain-interrupted 3rd ODI of that series at Wellington didn’t yield a result. India then lost the next ODI series in New Zealand 2-5 in 2002/03.

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The men in blue registered their maiden ODI series win in New Zealand in 2008/09 when Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men won a five-match series 3-1. This time it was the 2nd ODI at Wellington that ended without a result due to rain. India again ended up on the losing side going down 0-4 in the five-match series in 2013/14. The 3rd ODI in Auckland was a high-scoring match which ended in a tie. India won the five-match series 4-1 in 2018/19, under the captaincy of Virat Kohli.

With Team India very high on confidence after winning the T20- series 5-0, they will go into the ODI series, starting on Wednesday as the big favourites.

Ahead of the three-match ODI series, here’s a quick recap of the top five highest individual scores in ODI bilateral series between India and New Zealand in New Zealand:

Sachin Tendulkar: 163* in Christchurch (2009)

Sachin

It was in New Zealand that Sachin Tendulkar first opened the innings in an ODI and the Master Blaster holds the record for the top two highest scores in India vs New Zealand ODIs. The first came was scored in Hyderabad and the second in Christchurch. The two innings were ten years apart. His unbeaten 186 in Hyderabad remained his highest ODI score for more than ten years. But his unbeaten 163 (his first ODI century in New Zealand) in the third ODI of the series on March 8, 2009, was an innings of pure class and had he not retired hurt after pulling a stomach muscle after 45 overs, with India at 338/3, Tendulkar looked within striking distance of breaching the 200-run mark — a year before he actually did it. Tendulkar reached his fifty off 59 balls, his century off 101 balls and then came the onslaught, as he raced to his 150 off 127 balls. Tendulkar retired hurt after a 133-ball 163 – a knock which was studded with 16 fours and five sixes as India piled up a huge score of 392/4, but won the match only by 58 runs

Virender Sehwag: 125* in Hamilton (2009)

Sehwag

Three days after Sachin Tendulkar’s onslaught came the Virender Sehwag assault in the 4th ODI on March 11, 2009 in Hamilton. Sehwag smashed the fastest ODI hundred for India at that time (off 60 balls) as the visitors raced to a comprehensive victory to register their maiden ODI series triumph in New Zealand. Sehwag reached his century with a six and even rain interruptions couldn’t stop his scintillating strokeplay. In his unbeaten 125-run knock that came off just 74 deliveries, Sehwag slammed as many as 14 fours and six sixes as his blitzkrieg knock overshadowed his opening partner Gautam Gambhir’s 63-run knock that came off 67 balls. The Indian openers chased down the target with ridiculous ease to win the match by 84 runs (D/L method).

Rahul Dravid: 123* in Taupo (1999)

Dravid

In the first match of the series, which was also the first ODI in Taupo on January 9, 1999, India were under the pump, having lost Sachin Tendulkar for a duck. But Rahul Dravid added 113 runs with opener Sourav Ganguly (60) for the second wicket, with their 100-run stand coming off 126 balls. Dravid’s run-a-ball 123 consisted of 10 fours and a six and it was his second ODI century. Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja fell cheaply but Dravid put up a quickfire 60-run stand with Robin Singh (27) to take India to 257/5 in their 50 overs. In the New Zealand run chase, a lighting tower blew a fuse and a circuit breaker had to be replaced, delaying play for almost 50 minutes. New Zealand won by 5 wickets (D/L method), but it was Dravid who was adjudged the Man of the Match.

Virat Kohli: 123 in Napier (2014)

Virat

This was when Virat Kohli had begun piling up ODI hundreds at an incredible rate and the aura of the ‘Chase Master’ was just about taking shape. With the exception of South Africa, Kohli’s CV boasted of ODI centuries in all the nine countries he took guard in, at the age of 25. Chasing a 293-run target in the first ODI on January 19 2014, India lost Rohit Sharma early, but Kohli put up a 58-run stand with Shikhar Dhawan for the second wicket. Kohli reached his fifty off 58 balls and raced to his 18th ODI hundred off 93 deliveries. Kohli’s 95-run stand with MS Dhoni (40) for the fifth wicket kept India in the hunt. But the Indian run chase lost its way with Kohli falling in the 45th over. Kohli smashed two sixes and 11 fours in his 123-run knock that came off 111 balls. New Zealand won the match by 24 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

Chris Cairns: 115 in Christchurch (1999)

Cairns

Big-hitting New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns scored four centuries in his ODI career. Three of those hundreds — the first three of his career were scored against India. New Zealand needed to win the 5th ODI of the series on January 19 1999 to ensure that the series ended in a draw. The Kiwis were two down in the 11th over. Bryan Young and Roger Twose then put up a 62-run stand for the third wicket before Young was run out. Cairns walked in at No. 5 and went after the Indian bowlers, smashing 7 fours and 7 sixes in his blitzkrieg knock. Cairns’ 115-run knock off 80 balls powered New Zealand to 300/8 in their 50 overs. India were bowled out for 230 in 45.3 overs as they lost the match by 70 runs and failed to register a series victory.

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