Tom Latham’s sensational century and captain Kane Williamson’s unbeaten 94 helped New Zealand script a comfortable seven-wicket win against India in Auckland on Friday in the opening match of the three-match series. The pair stitched an unbeaten 221-run stand as New Zealand chased down 307 with 17 balls of spare. India’s loss however was singled down to one reason which most veterans and experts pointed out moments after the loss. Former head coach Ravi Shastri was among them as he sent a stern message to captain Shikhar Dhawan and head coach VVS Laxman for the second ODI.

New Zealand did not have the best of starts on Friday. They went three down for 88 runs in 20 overs with debutant Umran Malik picking two wickets. Latham, who opens the innings for New Zealand, batted at No.5 for the team in the series opener and was troubled by Malik early on. But then combined with the skipper to put on a sensational show. He finished with an unbeaten 145 off 104.

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While the pair was hailed for their act, India were criticised for playing with a bowler short. And Shastri feels that Dhawan and Laxman needs to reconsider their plan when they return for the second ODI in Hamilton on Sunday.

Speaking on air, during Prime Video’s broadcast of the 1st ODI, former India cricketer Anjum Chopra asked Shastri, “In hindsight, now that the game is over, when you look back at the start of the match, you look at the team from both the side, would you have had another bowler, a sixth-bowling option, in this Indian line-up?”

Shastri replied saying, “I think seriously they will have to think of it. They will have to think of it.”

The five bowlers India featured in the opening game were – Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal. They have three more bowling options left in the bench – Deepak Hooda, Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav. India might be tempted to bring in Hooda for the second game to provide both bowling and batting depth.

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