New Delhi: India defeated New Zealand convincingly by 45 runs (D/L) in a rain-curtailed match to win their first warm-up match at the Kennington Oval in London on Sunday.
The Men in Blue showed their prowess in all aspects of the game as Virat Kohli's troops recorded a resounding victory to announce their intentions for the upcoming Champions Trophy campaign in England and Wales.
Cricketnext takes a look at the big talking points of the game for the defending champions -
1. Mohammed Shami Back With a Bang
Mohammed Shami is often regarded as India's best pacer and he lived upto that billing against the Kiwis. Shami hadn't featured for India in ODIs since the 2015 Cricket World Cup and even in the recently-concluded tenth edition of the IPL, the pacer didn't perform to his best for Delhi Daredevils (5 wickets in 8 matches).
However, Shami quashed any lingering doubts about his form and fitness and destroyed the New Zealand top order in superb style. Shami dismissed Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson and Neil Broom and ended the innings with figures of 3/47 in 8 overs on a brilliant batting surface.
2. Bhuvneshwar Kumar Must Replace Hardik Pandya as the New-ball Bowler
The match was perfect example of how Hardik Pandya isn't ready to share the new ball with Mohammed Shami for India at the moment. Kohli opted for Pandya in the initial overs of the innings and he was taken to the cleaners by the Kiwi batsmen. In two overs, the all-rounder gave away 23 runs, which included four boundaries.
While Shami was trying to create pressure from one end, Pandya was bowling a bit wayward to negate it. The reason why Bhuvneshwar Kumar should replace Pandya is because he is coming into this tournament on the back of a brilliant IPL where Bhuvi ended the campaign as the highest wicket-taker. And to add to that, he also picked up three wickets in the match against Kiwis on Sunday where Pandya went wicket-less. The other choice for the new-ball could also be Umesh Yadav.
3. Shikhar Dhawan Has Carried IPL Form to England
The decision to include Shikhar Dhawan into the Indian squad for the Champions Trophy didn't go down well with many as since 2016, the southpaw has been hold and cold and scored just 299 runs in 7 ODIs.
However, Dhawan roared back to life in the IPL, where he was the third highest run-getter of the tournament (479 runs in 14 matches). And now, the swashbuckling opening batsman has started his Champions Trophy sojourn with a patient 59-ball 40. This really augurs well for the team ahead of their title defence.
4. R Ashwin and R Jadeja Remain Crucial in Pacer-friendly Conditions
If a team has to do well in England, their pacers have to fire on all cylinders. However, this warm-up game clearly shows that Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja remain as crucial as ever for the Men in Blue in pacer-friendly conditions.
While Jadeja ended the innings with figures of 8/2 in four overs, Ashwin chipped in with 32/1 in six overs. The duo have shown multiple times in the past what they can do in Indian conditions and now they have started on a good note in one of the most hostile conditions for spinners.
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