Kagiso Rabada will miss not only South Africa's one-dayers against Australia on home soil but also the upcoming tour to India due to a groin strain.

Paceman Rabada suffered the injury during the Twenty20 series with Australia, which concluded on Wednesday at Newlands in Cape Town, and underwent an MRI scan to assess the extent of the problem.

The 24-year-old will be sidelined for a month, according to a statement released by Cricket South Africa (CSA) on the eve of the first ODI in Paarl.

After hosting Australia, the Proteas travel to India for three 50-over fixtures, starting in Dharamsala on March 12.

"The significant injury means that he will take approximately four weeks to heal, which effectively rules him out of both the Australia and India ODI series," said Dr Shuaib Manjra, CSA's chief medical officer.

"The CSA medical staff will ensure his effective and expeditious recovery."

Rabada was rested for the limited-overs games against England earlier this year but returned to face Australia, picking up two wickets in his three appearances as the tourists won the T20 series by a 2-1 scoreline.

Shikha Pandey held her nerve at the last to help India become the first team into the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 semi-finals with a tense three-run victory over New Zealand.

Having held India at 133 for eight, the White Ferns would have fancied their chances in Melbourne having not failed to chase a sub-140 T20I target since October 2013.

But they were thwarted with the bat, their star-studded top-order of Sophie Devine, Rachel Priest and Suzie Bates all falling within nine overs, as Amelia’s Kerr’s stunning late cameo proved not enough to prevent defeat.

The tense Junction Oval win means India are guaranteed a spot in the last four, with the battle for the final qualifying spot in Group A heating up.

Another impressive outing from Shafali Verma (46) set India on their way but a fine spell of bowling from New Zealand’s own teenage talent Kerr stopped her from dominating, the 19-year-old leg-spinner taking the innings-changing wicket to finish with figures of two for 21.

Smriti Mandhana, who missed the win over Bangladesh due to viral fever, saw her comeback cut short as she was dismissed for 11 by Lea Tahuhu in the third over, the opener chopping onto her stumps.

But once again Verma stepped up, the 16-year-old smashing back-to-back sixes to steer India to 49 for one in the Powerplay.

Tanya Bhatia, in at three, soon followed Verma’s lead, taking India beyond 60 but she perished for 23 when Kerr caught her at point off Rosemary Mair. The same duo combined again to dismiss Jemimah Rodrigues for ten.

Verma was twice given a lifeline as chances were squandered in the field, Maddy Green dropping an opportunity at long on before Tahuhu spilled at mid-wicket.

Harmanpreet Kaur’s disappointing form continued as the India captain was caught and bowled by Leigh Kasperek for one - her third single-figure score in the tournament.

Hayley Jensen made amends for her side’s earlier errors by catching Verma at cover off Kerr for 46, before the spinner trapped Veda Krishnamurthy lbw for six.

Chasing 134, Priest’s time in the middle was short-lived as her aerial option backfired, Radha Yadav holding on at mid-wicket off Pandey to remove the opener for 12.

And the White Ferns’ start to the innings went from bad to worse when the Bates-Devine partnership fell after four overs, the former handing Deepti Sharma her 50th T20I wicket.

Before long Poonam Yadav struck with her spin, dismissing Devine after the skipper mistimed her full toss to point.

The fourth-wicket pair of Green (24) and Katey Martin (25) cautiously plodded on, putting on a 43-run partnership before the former was caught behind by Bhatia off Rajeshwari Gayakwad.

Two overs later and Martin was gone, Rodrigues with the catch on the mid-wicket boundary off Radha Yadav.

That looked to be game done and dusted but Kerr (34) defied Poonam’s heroics to set up a nerve-wracking finale, striking 18 in the penultimate over.

But she couldn’t muster a final-ball six as the White Ferns agonisingly missed out, suffering their first defeat of this Women’s T20 World Cup.

 

Scores in brief

 

India beat New Zealand by three runs, Junction Oval, Melbourne

 

India 133-8, 20 overs (Shafali Verma 46; Amelia Kerr 2-21, Rosemary Mair 2-27)

New Zealand 130-6, 20 overs (Amelia Kerr 34 not out, Katey Martin 25; Shikha Pandey 1-21)

India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane says a late decision will be made over whether Ravichandran Ashwin or Ravindra Jadeja will play in the second Test against New Zealand.

Ashwin took 3-99, but twice failed with the bat as the tourists were hammered by 10 wickets in the opening match of the series at Basin Reserve. 

Jadeja was overlooked for India's first ICC World Test Championship defeat and is pushing for a recall for a second match that begins at Hagley Oval on Friday.

Rahane gave nothing away when asked which spinner will get the nod as India attempt to tie the series in Christchurch.

"We have not taken any such decisions," the batsman said. "Ashwin had bowled really well in Wellington and he is a quality bowler; Jadeja is also a quality bowler.

"Yes, it gets a bit tough when we travel as to play whom – Jaddu [Jadeja] or Ashwin.

"But I think it is a good sign for the team when we travel outside India because both are quality spinners.

"The decision will depend on the condition of the wicket and we have to see the thought process of captain and coach and what combination they have in mind for the team. But no decision on them yet."

Virat Kohli's side were bowled out for less than 200 in both innings in Wellington, but Rahane feels they may find conditions more favourable in the second Test.

"In New Zealand as a batting unit and as a bowling unit, we've got to adapt to the conditions here," said Rahane. "Pitching areas are completely different here than in India or South Africa or Australia.

"The India A guys played here and Hanuma [Vihari] was telling us this wicket plays much better. There's good pace and bounce on this wicket... we'll have to wait and see. Assess the conditions very quickly on the first day of the game and play accordingly."

Shafali Verma’s early sixes and Poonam Yadav’s latest starring role helped India secure an 18-run ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 victory over Bangladesh in Perth.

Verma smashed a 17-ball 39, including four sixes, in the Powerplay to steer India to the highest total of the competition so far with 142 for six.

Two wickets apiece for Salma Khatun and Panna Ghosh were not enough to halt momentum, nor 35 runs from top-scorer Nigar Sultana Joty as Bangladesh fell short of an upset at the WACA.

Yadav, the hero in India’s opening-night victory with four wickets against Australia, once again impressed to take her total to the tournament to seven after just two matches.

India lost Tanya Bhatia early but 16-year-old Verma once again showed her star potential by hitting two fours and four sixes in her first 15 balls to steer her country to the highest Powerplay score of the tournament so far at 54 for two.

Verma’s stint was however short-lived, Shamima Sultana juggling a catch off captain Khatun to halt the teenager’s impressive knock at 39.

Bangladesh’s third wicket was a big one as captain Harmanpreet Kaur was dismissed for eight, Rumana Ahmed with the catch at backward point for Panna’s second scalp.

Jemimah Rodrigues posted a steadying 34 off 37 before being run out by Nahida Akter as Bangladesh slowed the rate.

Deepti Sharma and Richa Ghosh put on 19 for the fifth wicket before the latter was caught at the boundary by Nahida for 14 as captain Salma doubled her tally.

Sharma was the next to depart, run-out after a mix-up in the middle with Veda Krishnamurthy (20), who swept four boundaries in her late cameo to take India to an impressive 142 in the absence of Smriti Mandhana.

In contrast, Bangladesh’s start was slow and Shamima was the first to perish when caught at extra cover off Shikha Pandey.

Murshida Khatun’s 30 off 26 got the wheels in motion but the opener was dismissed in the seventh by Arundathi Reddy, Richa Ghosh with the catch at extra cover.

Sanjida Islam (10) and Nigar Sultana (35) put on a 17-run third wicket stand until the former was caught behind by Bhatia off Yadav, before Reddy got her second wicket as Fargana Hoque fell for a duck.

Five boundaries from Nigar Sultana upped the total but she lost her partner Fahima Khatun for 17 in the 15th over as opening-night hero Yadav took her second scalp.

The wickets kept on falling at the WACA, Nigar Sultana was the next victim as Reddy caught her off Rajeshwari Gayakwad before Jahanara Alam was dismissed for ten.

Shikha Pandey took her second wicket by bowling Ahmed in the final over, but Yadav finished the evening with the best bowling figures of three for 18 as India made it two from two in Group A.

 

Scores in brief

 

India beat Bangladesh by 18 runs, WACA Ground, Perth

India 142-6, 20 overs (Shafali Verma 39, Jemimah Rodrigues 34; Salma Khatun 2-25, Panna Ghosh 2-25)

Bangladesh 124-8, 20 overs (Nigar Sultana Joty 35, Poonam Yadav 3-18, Shikha Pandey)

Virat Kohli lamented India's uncompetitiveness with the bat in the first innings of their comprehensive Test loss to New Zealand.

The Black Caps secured their 100th Test victory on Monday, beating India by 10 wickets in Wellington in the series opener.

India were bowled out for 165 in the first innings and 191 in the second and Kohli rued their initial effort at the Basin Reserve.

"It was probably the toss that turned out to be very important, but at the same time as a batting unit I think we take a lot of pride in being competitive and we were just not competitive enough," India captain Kohli told Sky Sport.

"I don't think we put their bowlers under enough pressure in the first innings. Anything over 220-230 then you're talking a different language and even the deficit looks much lesser if you get that score on the board and you get the last three batsmen out cheaper, which wasn't the case.

"But I think that first innings really put us behind in the game already and then that lead obviously put us under a lot of pressure which was hard to come back from."

India had New Zealand at 225-7 in their first innings, only for Kyle Jamieson (44), Colin de Grandhomme (43) and Trent Boult (38) to push the hosts to 348.

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson was delighted with the victory, with Tim Southee grabbing a five-for in the second innings.

"It was an outstanding effort over the space of four days and we know how strong this Indian team is all around the world," he said.

"The efforts that went into that first innings to put the ball in the right area for long periods of time and I think that with the bat to get what was a very competitive total on a surface that I thought was a really good one that offered throughout the whole match, and the lower-order runs are really important to try and get a little bit of a lead.

"As we saw that if you did pick up a wicket you could get a couple so an outstanding all-round team effort."

The second and final Test starts in Christchurch on Saturday.

Tim Southee claimed a five-for to lead New Zealand to a 10-wicket humbling of India in the first Test on Monday.

Southee grabbed his 10th five-wicket Test haul – only two men have earned more for the Black Caps – as New Zealand wrapped up the opening Test inside four days against the ICC's top-ranked team.

Led by paceman Southee, New Zealand skittled touring India for just 191 early on day four and Tom Latham (7) and Tom Blundell (2) easily hit the winning nine runs.

It was a milestone win for New Zealand after the Black Caps registered their 100th Test victory, becoming the seventh nation to reach the century mark in the longest format of the game, while ending a three-match losing run in the unlimited-overs game.

India, who managed just 165 in the first innings as New Zealand posted 348, returned to the crease at 144-4 – still 39 runs adrift.

In a commanding position, the Black Caps put India to the sword after Virat Kohli's visitors lost 47-6 during the morning session.

New Zealand quick Trent Boult (4-39) set the tone with the dismissal of Ajinkya Rahane for 29, before Southee took centre stage at the Basin Reserve.

India were helpless to stop Southee, who knocked over Hanuma Vihari's stumps for 15 the following over and Ravichandran Ashwin (4) was the next to go after being trapped lbw.

Ishant Sharma (12) was also dismissed lbw by Colin de Grandhomme (1-28) before Southee cleaned up Rishabh Pant (25) and Jasprit Bumrah (0) within four deliveries.

It left New Zealand chasing just nine runs and the home team cruised to a massive victory, snapping India's seven-match winning streak in Tests.

Tim Southee pointed to Rishabh Pant's run out as the moment New Zealand took control of the first Test against India at Basin Reserve.

Pant signalled his intent with a six in the first over of the second day, but a dreadful mix-up with Ajinkya Rahane left him high and dry, albeit a superb direct hit from Ajax Patel played its part.

India lost five wickets for just 43 runs to crumble to 165 all out before lunch, and Kane Williamson's 89 was influential in New Zealand posting 216-5 at the close of day two for a lead of 51.

"I think the run out of Pant was a big play this morning," said Southee, who was bowling at the time and finished with 4-49.

"With him being such a dangerous player, especially leading into the second new ball, he could score really quickly along with Jinks [Rahane].

"We knew that once we could open up an end and face the bowlers, Jinks would look to play a bit more aggressively and that brings you into a play a bit more.

"I think the way we bowled this morning was pretty good."

Williamson fell short of what would have been a welcome century after a difficult time in the 3-0 series defeat to Australia.

But the captain's stand of 93 with Ross Taylor (44) – playing his 100th Test – put the Black Caps in a promising position that Southee hopes the hosts can build on.

"You always want your best players to be at the crease. They [Williamson and Taylor] put on a great partnership, both looking nice for a long period of time," he added. 

"If we can carry on and keep chipping away with the guys to come then it will set us up."

India fought back late in the day with three wickets in the final session and Ishant Sharma's (3-31) performance was particularly important.

Sharma arrived late in New Zealand due to his recovery from a torn ankle ligament and he has been coping with jet lag.

Southee paid tribute to the right-arm quick, saying: "He's been a word class bowler for a long time.

"When you're slightly underdone in terms of preparation and having an injury coming into the series, you can call on previous experience.

"He has played 90-odd Test matches and he knows what he needs to do to get himself right for a Test match, and when the preparation isn't ideal, he is able to find ways to perform like he has."

Kane Williamson fell short of a century as New Zealand earned a 51-run lead but India struck back with late wickets on day two of the opening Test.

New Zealand captain Williamson scored 89 runs to help the Black Caps to 216-5 against touring India at stumps in Wellington on Saturday.

But India claimed three wickets during the final session – including the scalp of Williamson – to regain some ground before bad light stopped play after New Zealand threatened to surge clear.

The opening day at Basin Reserve was ended by rain on Friday, with India reduced to 122-5 through just 55 overs due to wet weather.

New Zealand debutant Kyle Jamieson (4-39) starred on day one and he was among the wickets again as India were bowled out for 165 before lunch on Saturday – Virat Kohli's visitors losing 43-5.

Rishabh Pant (19) and Ajinkya Rahane (46) returned to the crease attempting to revive India's flagging innings but an awful mix-up and a stunning piece of fielding from Ajax Patel sparked the Black Caps.

Pant was left high and dry following Patel's direct hit and the wickets kept tumbling for India as New Zealand paceman Tim Southee took centre stage with figures of 4-49.

Southee dismissed Ravichandran Ashwin (0) first ball and then secured the prized wicket of Rahane before sending Mohammed Shami back to the pavilion for 21, while Jamieson had Ishant Sharma (5) caught behind.

The Black Caps navigated a tricky period prior to lunch with the bat, but opener Tom Latham (11) soon fell victim to Sharma (3-31) and the latter then skittled Tom Blundell (30) to leave New Zealand 73-2.

Williamson and Ross Taylor, however, combined for a valuable 93-run partnership to lead the hosts to 166-3 before Sharma removed Taylor just six runs shy of a half-century.

Black Caps skipper Williamson, who posted his 32nd Test fifty, was 11 runs short of another ton after slicing a Shami (1-61) delivery to substitute fielder Ravindra Jadeja.

One more wicket fell as stumps approached, Henry Nicholls sent packing by Ashwin (1-60) as BJ Watling (14 not out) and Colin de Grandhomme (4 not out) ended the day unbeaten in the middle.

New Zealand dominated the start of the first Test against India before the opening day was ended by rain in Wellington.

On debut, Kyle Jamieson (3-38) starred after the Black Caps decided to bowl first at Basin Reserve on Friday.

Virat Kohli (2) was among the 25-year-old paceman's scalps as India were reduced to 122-5 before rain led to an early stumps with just 55 overs bowled.

Ajinkya Rahane (38 not out) top-scored for India and was unbeaten alongside Rishabh Pant (10) as the tourists were left with work to do.

New Zealand needed just five overs to capitalise on the bowler-friendly conditions.

Tim Southee (1-27) got some movement away, hitting Prithvi Shaw's off-stump to dismiss the opener for 16.

The Black Caps continued to cause problems before Jamieson claimed his first Test wicket, Cheteshwar Pujara (11) edging through to BJ Watling.

Jamieson then struck a huge blow by removing Kohli, Ross Taylor – playing his 100th Test – taking a catch at first slip to leave India at 40-3.

Mayank Agarwal and Rahane managed to steady India heading into lunch, but they were slowed by the Black Caps after the break.

Trent Boult (1-44) dropped a return chance off Agarwal before getting his first wicket two balls later, Jamieson taking a catch at long leg.

Jamieson's incredible day continued as Hanuma Vihari (7) edged behind to Watling to leave India at 101-5.

Rahane and Pant got to tea before the rain arrived, ending a strong day for New Zealand.

Shane Bond has hailed the "incredible" Ross Taylor as a New Zealand great ahead of his 100th Test and believes the Black Caps will secure a series win over India.

Taylor will become the first player to make 100 appearances for his country in all formats when he faces Virat Kohli's side in a first Test that gets under way at Basin Reserve on Friday.

The prolific batsman has established himself as one of the best batsmen in the world since making his international debut back in 2006 and was man of the series in a 3-0 ODI whitewash of India this month.

Bond was a team-mate of Taylor's when he made his Test, ODI and Twenty20 International debuts and the paceman has also been part of the Black Caps coaching staff after retiring in 2010.

The former quick says Taylor, who turns 36 next month, will go down as one of the best players New Zealand have ever produced.

He told Omnisport: "I've known Rosco for a long time, he's a ripping bloke and he's been a sensational player for New Zealand. He's definitely one of our greatest players.

"I didn't think he'd achieve what he has done in Test cricket, I think he's redefined himself. At the start he was a dynamic white-ball player, he could score all around the wicket a rate of knots.

"He's changed his player to also be an incredible Test player. He's changed the way he plays in one-day cricket to clearly be one of the best in the world, but now T20 as well.

"That's the sign of a great player is to continue to reinvent himself, continue to develop his game and I think what he has done has been remarkable, he's been such a stalwart for New Zealand and has been a massive part of some strong performances at major tournaments."

Bond says Taylor has plenty more runs in him yet at the highest level and can feature in the 2023 Cricket World Cup.

"It's great to see what he has achieved and hopefully he'll be going for a few more years, because I know he's motivated to keep going and he's enjoying his cricket," he added.

"I think the way he's playing, in one-day cricket he's our best player form-wise. He's talked about the next World Cup and players are going on for longer in the modern game, so I certainly wouldn't count that out as long as he's hungry and churning out runs he can be in there as long as he wants."

India have won all seven games in the ICC World Test Championship and top the rankings, but Bond thinks New Zealand can bring them back down to earth.

Asked if he is confident of a series win, he replied: "Yeah I think so, we won the last series here against them when they had a really good team.

"I think the Indian bowling attack has improved; Ishant [Sharma], [Jasprit ] Bumrah, [Mohammed] Shami is a quality line-up. You need that here.

"It's going to be challenging for New Zealand, but we are tough to beat in our own conditions and the toss is important, because the wickets tend to do a bit then just flatten out and don't turn - especially Wellington and Christchurch.

"New Zealand will miss [Neil] Wagner in the first Test, but it's an attritional game here and because New Zealand are a very fit team, they have worn teams down. I think it'll be incredibly close and because it doesn't turn, that probably takes away some of the weapons India have."

Jamaica 2011 World Champion Yohan Blake is expected to enjoy a change of pace when he appears for a West Indies legends team at the Road Safety World Series next month.

The tournament will include five nations: India, West Indies, South Africa, Australia, and Sri Lanka.  The competition will feature 11 matches, which will be held at the Wankhede Stadium, DY Stadium, MCA Stadium, CCI Ground, and the Brabourne Stadium. The finals will be played at the Brabourne Stadium on the 22nd of March.

The sprinter, an avid cricket fan, will rub shoulders with the likes of Windies legends Brian Lara and Shivnarine Chanderpaul.  The other teams will also have some of their legends on display.  The India squad will be led by the Sachin Tendulkar and include Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh.  Brett Lee will captain the Australian Legends side. Jonty Rhodes will be the leader of the South African Legends, and Tillakaratne Dilshan will represent the Sri Lanka Legends.

Blake, more known for his exploits on the track, has run the second-fastest times ever recorded over the 100m and 200m and won silver medals in both events at the London 2012 Olympic Games behind more celebrated compatriot Usain Bolt.

The tournament is geared towards bringing attention to road safety, a major issue that affects the country.

 

Schedule

Match 1: March 7, 2020

India Legends vs West Indies Legends

Wankhede (Mumbai)

 

Match 2: March 8, 2020

Australia Legends vs Sri Lanka Legends

Wankhede (Mumbai)

 

Match 3: March 10, 2020

India Legends vs Sri Lanka Legends

DY Patil (Navi Mumbai)

 

Match 4: March 11, 2020

West Indies Legends vs South Africa Legends

DY Patil (Navi Mumbai)

 

Match 5: March 13, 2020

South Africa Legends vs Sri Lanka Legends

DY Patil (Navi Mumbai)

 

Match 6: March 14, 2020

India Legends vs South Africa Legends

MCA Stadium (Pune)

 

Match 7: March 16, 2020

Australia Legends vs West Indies Legends

MCA Stadium (Pune)

 

Match 8: March 17, 2020

West Indies Legends vs Sri Lanka Legends

MCA Stadium (Pune)

 

Match 9: March 19, 2020

Australia Legends vs South Africa Legends

DY Patil (Navi Mumbai)

 

Match 10: March 20, 2020

India Legends vs Australia Legends

MCA Stadium (Pune)

 

Match 11: March 22, 2020

FINAL (TBC vs TBC)

Brabourne Stadium (CCI, Mumbai)

Matt Henry has been called up to the New Zealand squad as cover for Neil Wagner ahead of the first Test against India starting on Friday.

Wagner and his wife are awaiting the birth of their first child and the paceman could miss the series opener in Wellington.

The Black Caps confirmed on Wednesday that Henry had been called up as cover for the left-armer.

"Matt Henry has been called into the Black Caps Test squad as cover for Neil Wagner who is awaiting the birth of his child," they wrote on Twitter.

"Henry will arrive in Wellington this evening. #NZvIND."

New Zealand go into the two-Test series on the back of a 3-0 ODI series victory following a 5-0 T20 loss.

India have been given a major boost ahead of the Test series against New Zealand after Ishant Sharma was passed fit to return from an ankle injury.

The paceman has been out of action since hurting his right ankle while appealing for an lbw decision in Delhi's Ranji Trophy victory over Vidarbha last month.

It was feared Ishant would miss a two-match series against Kane Williamson's side after an MRI scan showed he had suffered muscle damage.

However, Ishant on Saturday revealed he had passed a fitness test and expressed his gratitude to Ashish Kaushik, head physio at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore, six days before the first Test starts in Wellington.

The 31-year-old quick tweeted: "It was a roller coaster ride for me after the injury on my ankle on the 20th January but with the help of Ashish Kaushik I managed to pull it off! Scans were a little scary, but today I am happy that I am fit! Thanks Ashish Kaushik."

Ishant will be just two shy of the 100-Test landmark if he plays in both matches against the Black Caps.

Meanwhile, India were 59 without loss at stumps on day two of a three-day tour match in Hamilton, leading a New Zealand XI by 87 runs after bowling them out for 235.

Mohammed Shami took 3-17, while there were two apiece for Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini.

West Indies all-rounder Nyeem Young and paceman Jayden Seales have made the ICC’s U19 Cricket World Cup Team of the Tournament.

The young West Indies finished fifth in the competition won by Bangladesh, who were claiming their maiden world title.

Despite not making it to the semi-final, the West Indies did have some impressive performances with both bat and ball.

Young, for instance, became the first West Indian to take a five-for (5-45) and score a half century (66) in an under-19 match when he helped the side to a dominant victory over England in the first round. His 61 was also instrumental in helping the West Indies get past Australia.

Young would end the tournament with an average of 28 with the bat and eight wickets from six games at an average of 26.75.

For his performances, Young makes the side as the designated number six batsman.

Understandably, further down the order lies Seales, who is an out-and-out strike bowler, having taken 10 wickets with a best of 4-19 against Australia at an impressive average of 18.3. He was also miserly when not taking wickets, ending the tournament with an economy rate of 3.89 runs per over.

Only India and Bangladesh have more players in the team of the tournament with Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ravi Bishnoi and Kartik Tyagi, making the cut.

Tournament winners Bangladesh have Mahmudul Hasan Joy and Shahadat Hossain making the team as batsmen, with Akbar Ali chosen to keep wicket.

Afghanistan, like the West Indies, have two players in the side with Ibrahim Zadran and Shafiqullah Ghafari making the cut.

Canada’s Akil Kumar is the team’s 12th man.

Kane Williamson praised the way New Zealand handled the pressure after his depleted side completed an ODI series sweep over India with a five-wicket win at the Bay Oval.

The Black Caps' attack – minus Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson, as well as Matt Henry and Adam Milne – restricted India to 296-7 in the third and final game, despite a century from KL Rahul.

Martin Guptill (66) and Henry Nicholls (80) gave the hosts a sound platform in their reply, sharing an opening stand of 106, and despite a mid-innings wobble, Colin de Grandhomme smashed an unbeaten 58 to see his team home with 17 balls to spare.

Captain Williamson was particularly pleased with the way New Zealand fought hard with the ball, Hamish Bennett claiming 4-64, to restrict their opponents, India having at one stage reached 162-3 during the 31st over.

"As you know on some of these surfaces with some short boundaries, the job of the bowlers is so important," Williamson said during the post-match press conference. "They also operated nicely in partnerships and we were able to hold our nerve in key moments.

"Today was a great example. Once again, we were put under pressure by India, but we were able to have a really good death phase, which helped us keep India to about a par total.

"A lot of positives in different areas, so it's an opportunity to build on this series and keep moving forward as an ODI side."

Opposite number Virat Kohli admitted India had been second best throughout the 50-over games, a dramatic reversal after they had won 5-0 in the Twenty20 series.

"With the ball we were not able to make enough breakthroughs. And in the field as well, we were not good at all," Kohli said at the presentation ceremony.

"We didn't deserve to be on the winning side at all in the series. [We] haven't played so badly, but if you don't grab your chances at this level then teams are going to hurt you."

The focus for both nations now turns to Test cricket, with a two-match series beginning at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on February 21.

Williamson was able to provide a positive update on injured duo Boult and Ferguson, saying: "[I'm] Expecting all of those guys to be fit for the first Test and they're all tracking nicely."

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