Ultimately, the most eagerly awaited fixture at the 2019 Cricket World Cup ended in a comfortable win for favourites India against their fiercest foes Pakistan.

This – at a raucous, rowdy and sometimes rainy Old Trafford – was a triumph for cold, calm efficiency over a more impassioned, excitable approach.

Ahead of Sunday's momentous meeting in Manchester, India captain Virat Kohli faced the media and repeatedly played down the size of the occasion, insisting he and his squad would treat it no differently to any other ODI.

"In our minds, nothing changes according to the opposition," he said on Saturday. "We're only focused on playing the type of cricket we're known for, not singling out any player from the opposition or focusing more on one particular player than the other."

Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur, meanwhile, took an altogether different tack.

"It doesn't get bigger," he told his news conference. "It doesn't get more exciting. I'm telling our players in the dressing room, you could be a hero.

"Your careers are going to be defined by a moment in the game. You do something incredible, you'll be remembered forever."

One can understand Arthur's attempts to fire up his erratic side; India-Pakistan games come around all too infrequently, but Kohli sensed no such need to issue a similar rallying cry.

And those opposing attitudes were borne out when the action got under way as India set about ruthlessly compiling a total of 336-5 that Pakistan never looked likely to reach, even when Bhuvneshwar Kumar exited with a hamstring injury after he had sent down just 2.4 overs.

Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam briefly threatened to heed Arthur's words and attain hero status, but when Kuldeep Yadav accounted for both and Hardik Pandya ousted Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik from successive balls, Pakistan had lost four for 12 and eventually toiled to 212-6 following a rain break, leaving them well short of their DLS target.

Under overcast skies, Sarfraz Ahmed had opted to put Kohli's side in to bat and one could sense Pakistan's desperation to make best use of seemingly favourable conditions – such anxiety perhaps the result of having lost all six previous World Cup meetings with their neighbours.

But while Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul set about their task with quiet confidence, Pakistan grew increasingly ragged.

Rohit ought to have been run out twice in successive overs while he was still in the 30s – misses that proved decidedly costly as the opener cruised to an almost effortless century off 85 balls before perishing for 140.

Pakistan, by contrast, were looking ever more agitated. Wahab Riaz and Sarfraz were unhappy to see the left-armer warned for running on the pitch, while a number of fumbles in the outfield prompted double-teapots aplenty among the men in green as the relentless Rohit accumulated his runs.

Rohit's knock was a clinic in punishing poor bowling, and even his departure only cleared the stage for Kohli to claim a slice of history.

His fluent 77 saw him pass 11,000 ODI runs in his 222nd innings, usurping Sachin Tendulkar as the fastest man to that milestone. The Little Master needed 276.

Kohli's achievement was met with an almighty roar from the hordes of India supporters, who outnumbered their counterparts by perhaps four to one and were encouraged by their captain to become fully swept up in the occasion, in contrast to the message sent to his players.

"Look, I can't tell the fans to think of the game in a particular manner," Kohli had said. "For us, it's a professional approach to the game, which is most important.

"They [fans] should enjoy the atmosphere. They should enjoy the occasion the way they want to and the way it's been enjoyed for years, but the players obviously have to maintain the mindset we have for years approaching any kind of game."

Kohli certainly saw both of those wishes granted. The Bharat Army revelled in a resounding win over their great rivals in the stands, while on the field India's cold, calculated charge towards the World Cup semi-finals continued unchecked.

Rohit Sharma's commanding 140 put India firmly on top against Pakistan as Virat Kohli's side racked up 336-5 at a deafening Old Trafford.

Sunday's encounter between the two fierce rivals was the most eagerly anticipated of this Cricket World Cup and Rohit thrived on the grandest of stages.

After India were put in by Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed, Rohit combined in a first-wicket stand of 136 with KL Rahul, who made 57 having been promoted to open due to Shikhar Dhawan's injury-enforced absence.

Once Rahul departed, Rohit brought up his second century of the tournament – following his unbeaten 122 against South Africa – off just 85 deliveries, featuring nine fours and three sixes.

He found the ropes five more times before eventually flicking Hasan Ali to short fine-leg to end his 113-ball stay, a dismissal which allowed Kohli to take centre stage.

A glanced four took the India captain to 11,000 ODI runs, reaching the milestone in his 222nd innings – 54 fewer than previous record holder Sachin Tendulkar.

Kohli made 77 off 65 - bizarrely opting to walk despite getting no top-edge to an attempted hook off Mohammad Amir - as even a late rain interruption did little to halt the momentum of India, seeking to extend their perfect World Cup record against Pakistan to seven wins from seven matches.

Australia's ODI winning streak is over. India, with the unswerving support of the boisterous Bharat Army, overwhelmed their rivals in a high-scoring contest at The Oval.

In an atmosphere more accustomed to Bangalore or Chennai than a suburb of south London, Virat Kohli's side produced an impressive performance that, if there were any doubts beforehand, underlined why they are serious contenders for glory in England.

The battle between bat and ball was as lopsided as the one in the stands, as India’s fans outnumbered their Australian counterparts to such a degree that a game of 'Spot The Aussie' would have kept you busy during the quieter periods of the contest.

"India have amazing support everywhere they go everywhere around the world," said Australia skipper Aaron Finch in something of an understatement during his post-match press conference.

"Their fans are very vocal. They're great to play in front of because they provide so much atmosphere." 

Still, in a crash-bang-wallop encounter that saw the teams combine for 668 runs, a rare seven-over period of one-day serenity that produced just 22 proved crucial in deciding the outcome.

India's opening batsmen weathered an early barrage to good effect, seeing off Australia’s twin strike force of Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc without any damage. Shikhar Dhawan did cop a blow to the hand but crucially survived the spell, allowing him to prosper once the opposition's most dangerous weapons were stood down from service.

The left-hander has a miserable Test record in England, managing a highest score of 44 in seven games. When it comes to the white ball, however, he is transformed into a different player entirely.

His knock of 117 laid solid foundations for India to attack, even if he had departed by the time the late carnage unfolded, caught in the deep when a hack at a full ball only ended up finding the fielder on the midwicket rope.

Before the ugly finish, though, he had unfurled some glorious shots to reach his fourth ODI century on English soil, where he averages 64.76. At The Oval, that number rises to a stratospheric 110.75.

"They took their time, obviously. They assessed the conditions really quickly and identified they [Cummins and Starc] were going to be the two biggest threats in the innings," Finch admitted.

"Not getting wickets was key there [at the beginning]. They played it really well and negated our biggest threats.”

Australia attempted to follow the example of their opponents in reply, building cautiously to start with in the hope of countering later on, yet they crucially lost well-set batsmen each time they had set nerves jangling among the expectant crowd.

The run out of Finch curtailed an opening stand of 61, David Warner was unusually subdued in making 56 while Steve Smith – greeted by some from the stands with chants of "Cheater! Cheater! Cheater!” as he made his way to the middle - perished for a team-high 69.

In the end, not even Alex Carey’s 25-ball fifty – his country's fastest ever at a World Cup – could make up the deficit in the closing overs, meaning Australia suffered their first defeat in 11 ODIs.

Their spell of success began back on March 8 in Ranchi, sparking a turnaround in the ODI series with India as they fought back from 2-0 to triumph. They tried hard to keep the streak alive on Sunday too, but India – inspired by a fanatical following – drummed them out in the end.

Rohit Sharma followed in Sachin Tendulkar's footsteps as India piled on the runs in their Cricket World Cup clash with Australia at The Oval.

During his innings of 57, Rohit became just the second player for India to reach 2,000 ODI runs against Australia, a feat only previously achieved by the great Tendulkar.

However, it was fellow opener Shikhar Dhawan who led the way on Sunday, the left-hander hitting 117 to help his side post a sizeable total of 352-5, their highest ever score against Australia in a World Cup fixture.

The first-wicket pair put on 127 and even when Rohit departed, caught behind by wicketkeeper Alex Carey off Nathan Coulter-Nile's bowling, Virat Kohli came out to build on the foundations laid by his two top-order colleagues.

India's captain posted his 50th ODI half-century as he made 82, while the decision to promote Hardik Pandya up the order paid off, the all-rounder smashing 48 from just 27 deliveries at number four after he was dropped before getting off the mark.

India and Australia will do battle in the ICC World Cup at The Oval on Sunday in the most-anticipated match of the tournament to date.

The two nations are tipped to be the biggest threat to tournament favourites England and both have started in encouraging fashion.

Australia followed up a routine win over Afghanistan with a gutsy 15-run victory over West Indies in what was a tremendously entertaining contest in Nottingham on Thursday.

Fighting back from 38-4 and 79-5, Australia reached 288, largely thanks to a surprising 92 from bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile and Steve Smith’s 73, before paceman Mitchell Starc took five wickets with the ball.

India have played just once but were far too good for winless South Africa on Wednesday, winning by six wickets.

Of the last 10 one-day internationals between the sides, both nations have won five, but Australia have claimed the last three – all in India – earlier this year.

Australia have had the edge over India in World Cup meetings, having won six of the last seven, including a 95-run triumph in Sydney in 2015.

India’s only victory in that sequence came in their home nation, in 2011, and they lost a 1999 meeting at The Oval by 77 runs.


India started their World Cup much later than other sides but Rohit Sharma (122 not out) and Yuzvendra Chahal (4-51) did not take long to find form against the Proteas.

Australia sit third in the standings after successive victories – part of a winning streak that sits at 10 - but know tougher tests are to come.


India opener Rohit Sharma: "My 122 not out at Southampton was a very special hundred. One of my best … I have to get the job done for the team. That's what matters … I want to win maximum games for my country."

Australia captain Aaron Finch: "At times in the past, we have probably let Virat [Kohli] get off to a bit of a flyer with being just a bit too straight to him or a bit too full … we know once he gets into his innings, he is so hard to stop, so you can't afford to play catch up against great players. Same for Rohit."


- India have won 12 of their last 13 games played at the ICC World Cup; however, their only defeat in that span came at the hands of Australia in the semi-finals of the 2015 tournament.

- Australia will be searching for an 11th consecutive ODI victory; 10 straight wins is their longest run in the format since they strung together 12 victories in a row between 2009 and 2010.

- Rohit Sharma needs a knock of just 20 runs to become the second batsman in ODI history to score 2,000 runs for India against Australia (Sachin Tendulkar – 3,077).

- Nathan Coulter-Nile narrowly missed out on surpassing the record for most runs scored by a number eight in an ODI innings last time out, his 92 off 60 balls against the West Indies falling just shy of the unbeaten 95 set by England’s Chris Woakes (v Sri Lanka, 2016).

Virat Kohli described the difficulty of facing "outstanding" quick Jasprit Bumrah after taking a catch off his team-mate's bowling in India's six-wicket win over South Africa.

Although Rohit Sharma would go on to make an unbeaten 122 to complete a solid chase of 228, the early India hero was Bumrah with a pair of wickets up front.

On his Cricket World Cup debut, he got Hashim Amla for six and then removed Quinton de Kock for 10 as the left-hander edged to Kohli.

The India captain, who said Bumrah was "operating at a different level", held on and explained the pain he felt as a fielder involved in the bowler's dominant spell.

"When you see a bowler bowl and you catch the ball, you understand the heaviness of the ball and the pace," Kohli said in the post-match presentation.

"I caught that ball [from De Kock] and, I promise you, for the next 15 minutes my hands were buzzing. I told him, I could feel the pain in my hands. That's how quickly he's bowling.

"The batsmen have literally no time on the ball. It's not like he's giving you any freebies. Forget it with the new ball; with the new ball, he was absolutely outstanding.

"To get Amla out like that, in one-day cricket, I haven't seen that. And then Quinny, as well, he rushed him for pace. He's just brilliant."

Kohli also reserved praise for Rohit and felt India's opening display proved they can back up a teamsheet that makes for daunting reading for opponents.

"Rohit's innings was very special. You need the experienced guys to stand up," the skipper said. "One of the top three getting a hundred is something we bank on regularly.

"He took the responsibility beautifully. KL [Rahul] batted really well with him, showing composure with two down, and MS [Dhoni] was again very, very composed. The way Hardik [Pandya] finished, he's looking in a good head space also.

"It's one thing saying we are good on paper, but you need to go out there and be professional about the victory."

Kohli made just 18 but Rohit was happy to step up, adding: "All the batsmen in the team, it's their role to make sure that whoever is out in the middle can get the job done.

"We can't rely on one or two individuals all the time. It's been the hallmark of this team in the last few years, with somebody coming in, taking the responsibility and getting the job done for the team."

Rohit Sharma made a crucial unbeaten 122 as India claimed a patient six-wicket triumph over South Africa, whose miserable Cricket World Cup continued with a third straight defeat.

India, making their tournament bow, started slowly in a seemingly straightforward chase of 228 as Virat Kohli failed to fire, but Rohit moved through the gears to defeat a Proteas attack missing Lungi Ngidi and Dale Steyn.

It was a victory World Cup debutants Jasprit Bumrah (2-35) and Yuzvendra Chahal (4-51) deserved, too, after superb displays at the Rose Bowl restricted their opponents to 227-9.

That total was only achieved thanks to the lower-order contributions of Chris Morris (42), Andile Phehlukwayo (34) and Kagiso Rabada (31 not out) but the score always looked below par and so it proved.

Rohit – dropped in farcical fashion by David Miller late in the piece – shared in stands of 85 with KL Rahul and 74 alongside MS Dhoni, bringing up three figures off 128 balls before finishing with 13 fours and a pair of sixes in his 144-ball knock.

Although India took their time, reaching their target with only 15 deliveries remaining, there was rarely any danger of the 2011 champions failing to kick off with a win, while the Proteas are already staring elimination in the face.

After 56 games in the round-robin stage, plus an eliminator play-off and two qualifiers, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings are the last two left standing in the Indian Premier League.

Both franchises have a fine pedigree when it comes to lifting the trophy; they have combined for six titles between them, including triumphing in three of the previous four seasons.

Mumbai were victorious in 2015 and 2017 but it is Chennai who are the defending champions, MS Dhoni's side overcoming Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 2018 final at the Indians' Wankhede Stadium.

However, Rohit Sharma's side have already beaten their opponents in the play-offs this year, as a six-wicket win in the qualifier secured them a place in the final.

Ahead of Sunday's showdown in Hyderabad, we pick out some of the key IPL facts with the help of Opta.


7 – Chennai have reached the final in seven of the previous eight seasons they have featured in. They are also looking to register back-to-back titles for a second time, having previously achieved the feat in 2010 and 2011.

3 – Mumbai have been crowned champions in three of the past six seasons. They have never won in successive years, however, and were last triumphant in 2017.

8 – In the last eight meetings between the teams, Chennai have been victorious just once. That run includes three defeats to the Indians in 2019.

1 – There has been one final previously at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. Mumbai won on that occasion, beating Rising Pune Supergiant by one run in 2017.

173 – Chennai's Deepak Chahar (173) has registered more dot balls in this year's tournament than any other bowler. Of his 363 deliveries, only nine have been hit for six by opposing batsmen.

24 – Imran Tahir has claimed 24 wickets in 2019, putting him one behind fellow South Africa international Kagiso Rabada at the top of the charts.

84 - Suryakumar Yadav is a man in form with the bat for the Indians. His tally of 84 runs from flicked shots played on the leg side this term is 20 more than any other batsman.

Mumbai Indians claimed top spot in the Indian Premier League with a convincing nine-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday.

With Chennai Super Kings losing earlier in the day, Mumbai knew a home win would be enough to ensure pole position heading into the play-offs.

And, having restricted their opponents to 133-7 in the first innings, the hosts made light work of Kolkata's bowling attack.

Captain Rohit Sharma was the star, hitting an unbeaten 55, with Suryakumar Yadav (46 not out) also getting in on the act as the Indians reached their total for the loss of just one wicket. 

Mumbai, who finish top courtesy of a better net run rate, will meet second-place Chennai in the first qualifier at Chepauk, while Kolkata's defeat means Sunrisers Hyderabad clinch the last available play-off spot.


After losing the toss, Kolkata were put into bat, and an impressive 38 from Chris Lynn had them 49-0 at the end of the first powerplay.

But all-rounder Hardik Pandya stepped up, claiming Lynn's fellow opener Shubman Gill with his first ball.

While his brother Krunal kept it tight with an impressive 0-14, Hardik Pandya took Lynn's wicket in the eighth over, setting the stage for Sri Lanka international Lasith Malinga (3-35) and Jasprit Bumrah (2-31) to sweep up.


Defending just 133, Kolkata's slim hopes were dealt a further blow in the first over – Quinton de Kock slamming Sandeep Warrier for six in the third ball of the first over.

Matters were made worse in the fourth over, Andre Russell going for 21 in six balls, with Rohit cutting for a four before De Kock hit successive sixes.

De Kock's knock came to an end when Dinesh Karthik pulled off a brilliant catch, but that was all the visitors could muster.

Rohit had settled well and made his way to a measured 50 while Yadav ran riot, striking five fours and two sixes – the latter of which was a huge maximum down mid-wicket – to wrap up the win in style.

Chennai Super Kings slipped to a rare home IPL defeat as they missed the chance to book a play-off place against Mumbai Indians.

The Super Kings lead the standings this season but struggled badly with the bat on Friday, coming up 46 runs short in a chase that never truly fired.

Rohit Sharma's 67 had helped the Indians to 155-4 and it quickly became apparent that it would be enough to see off the hosts, who lost in front of their own fans for the first time in 2019.

Murali Vijay top-scored for Chennai with 38, while Mitchell Santner built on an impressive bowling show with a late 22, but they reached a measly 109 before being bowled out in 17.4 overs.



The Super Kings were well on top for much of the Indians' innings, with their spin bowlers enjoying economical days.

Harbhajan Singh allowed just 23 runs from his four overs, while New Zealand international Santner produced the most eye-catching figures for Chennai, taking the wickets of Rohit and Evin Lewis (32) for just 13 runs.

Santner's intervention was particularly crucial with Rohit and Lewis having threatened to take control, combining for 75 runs as the former hit a trio of sixes and six fours.


Mumbai were in a tricky spot after 19 overs, on just 138-4, but 17 runs from the final six balls saw Hardik Pandya (23 not out) and Kieron Pollard (13no) end on a crucial unbroken partnership worth 33.

Vijay dug in as the Super Kings began their reply, yet his team-mates were not so stubborn as wickets tumbled early and often.

Lasith Malinga, Hardik and Krunal Pandya took a wicket apiece as Shane Watson, Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu departed, leaving Chennai 34-3 early on.


Without captain MS Dhoni and Faf du Plessis, the Super Kings lacked a leader to rescue them from a tricky situation and Mumbai instead continued to make inroads.

Opener Vijay offered some resistance but finally went, while Malinga claimed a return catch to dismiss Dwayne Bravo for 20 as Chennai struggled to strike a balance between chasing their target and keeping wickets in hand.

The hosts still needed 53 runs from the final three overs but did not even make it to the end of the innings as Santner, hunting boundaries, picked out Pollard to see Malinga finish with 4-37.

Stand-in captain Kieron Pollard led from the front in the Indian Premier League on Wednesday, helping Mumbai Indians make it three wins in a row with victory over Kings XI Punjab.

With Rohit Sharma rested due to a tight leg muscle, Pollard was charged with leading Mumbai and he did so with aplomb, hitting a stunning 83 to help secure a dramatic three-wicket triumph.

Pollard crushed a massive 10 sixes is in his 31-ball innings, but a loose hook to deep midwicket left Mumbai needing four to win off as many balls.

Rahul Chahar and Alzarri Joseph reduced that equation down to two off the final delivery and the latter produced the winning blow, a straight drive allowing the pair to scamper through and seal victory.

Pollard strode to the crease with his side 56-2 and in need of an injection of pace, and he duly delivered with a destructive display that saw Sam Curran take much of the punishment.

Hardik Pandya (19) offered him some support but poor decision-making from the Kings XI bowlers allowed Pollard to keep the home crowd believing.

Mumbai's successful run chase came after KL Rahul had reminded everyone of his batting talent with a first IPL century at the top of the order.

Rahul, as well as India team-mate Pandya, had been called before a Board of Control for Cricket in India ombudsman to explain controversial comments made on a television show.

Any possible disciplinary action did not weigh on his shoulders, though, as he hit an unbeaten 64-ball hundred to help Kings XI reach 197-4 from their 20 overs – ably assisted by Chris Gayle.

However, their 116-run opening stand was not enough as Kings XI slipped to a third defeat of the campaign.


Curran had claimed an IPL hat-trick earlier in the competition but there were no heroics this time for the England all-rounder as Pollard targeted him.

The West Indian launched six maximums off Curran's bowling and added two fours to make it 44 runs in boundaries off the 20-year-old.

Curran – who was announced as one of Wisden's cricketers of the year earlier on Wednesday – finished with figures of 1-54 from his four overs – his worst of the campaign to date.


If Pollard's brutal display of hitting helped finish the game in style, Gayle's equally impressive knock had kicked things off beautifully.

While Rahul carefully picked the gaps, left-hander Gayle bludgeoned the Mumbai bowling like only he can.

His 36-ball 63 included seven maximums and looked like being another match-winning display until Pollard’s second-innings fireworks.

Virat Kohli slammed the Indian Premier League umpires after a no ball was missed as Royal Challengers Bangalore fell to a six-run defeat against Mumbai Indians.

Having been set a target of 188 to win by Mumbai, RCB were grateful to Kohli and AB de Villiers for guiding their run chase towards victory.

Kohli departed for 46 but De Villiers ploughed on and with one over to play as Bangalore needed 17 to win on Thursday.

Lasith Malinga's first delivery was sailing over the long-off boundary by Shivam Dube and after four singles RCB needed a maximum off the last ball to force a Super Over.

Dube was unable to make any contact to seemingly end RCB's challenge, however replays showed Malinga had overstepped in his delivery stride and it should have been called a no ball.

It was not and Mumbai were able to celebrate victory, but Kohli was fuming at the decision, given it would have presented his side a chance of winning the match.

"We are playing at IPL level, not club cricket," Kohli said at the post-match presentation.

"That's just a ridiculous call off the last ball. The umpires should have their eyes open, it was a no-ball by an inch.

"It's a completely different game altogether [if there was the extra delivery]. So if it's a game of margins, I don't know what's happening.

"They should have been more sharp and more careful out there."

Kohli's ire was echoed by opposing captain Rohit Sharma, who felt there had been a few questionable calls in the RCB innings.

"These kinds of mistakes are not good for the game of cricket," he said. "The over before that, [Jasprit] Bumrah bowled a ball which wasn't a wide ball [which was given wide].

"They have to watch what is happening. The players can't do much about it. Just walk off and shake hands. It is disappointing to see that, but I hope they can rectify their mistakes like we do."

At his post-match press conference Rohit added: "I seriously don't know what is the solution. ICC, BCCI... whoever makes these decisions have to take a call on that.

"I say it because eventually it's not good for the game. Whatever is not good for the game, I'm not going to stand for it. It's pretty simple, those decisions can cost you games. We prepare too much to win this tournament, to win games, and those kind of mistakes are not acceptable."

Rohit Sharma blasted a brutal half-century after Krunal Pandya starred with the ball as India beat New Zealand by seven wickets at Eden Park to set up a Twenty20 series decider.

The tourists were hammered by 80 runs in the first match of the series in Wellington but responded impressively in Auckland on Friday.

Pandya (3-28) struck three times in quick succession to reduce the Black Caps to 50-4, but Colin de Grandhomme (50 off 28 balls) and Ross Taylor got Kane Williamson's side up to 158-8.

That was not enough to seal the series, though, as captain Rohit (50 from 29) produced a fierce onslaught to become the leading run-scorer in T20 internationals and Rishabh Pant (40 not out) hit the winning runs with seven balls to spare.

Tim Seifert - who made 84 in Wellington - was unable to repeat his heroics from the first match of the series, edging Bhuvneshwar Kumar behind to fall for only 12 before Pandya came to the party.

The spinner removed Colin Munro and Daryl Mitchell followed in controversial fashion in the same over, given out leg before following a review when there appeared to be an inside edge.

Pandya also trapped captain Williamson leg before, but De Grandhomme flexed his muscles as he and Taylor put on 77 for the fifth wicket - the all-rounder striking four sixes in a powerful knock.

De Grandhomme took 16 off three balls from Yuzvendra Chahal and struck Pandya for back-to-back sixes before falling to younger brother Hardik Pandya, then Taylor (42) was run out as New Zealand lost momentum.

Rohit took no time to get his eye in under the lights when India began their run chase, smashing Lockie Ferguson's first ball over the deep midwicket boundary before also setting about Scott Kuggeleijn.

The India skipper moved to 50 from only 28 balls but fell in the next over when he pulled a short ball from Ish Sodhi straight to Tim Southee at deep midwicket.

India were 88-2 when Shikhar Dhawan (30) was bounced out by Ferguson, but Pant - who struck a six and found the ropes four times - and MS Dhoni (20no) saw them home with ease, setting up a winner-takes-all showdown in Hamilton on Sunday.

Virat Kohli will play no part in the tour of New Zealand beyond the third ODI next week as India opt to rest their captain.

Kohli made 45 from 59 balls to help the visitors to a resounding eight-wicket win in the opening ODI in Napier on Wednesday, but he will only be available for the second and third instalments in Mount Maunganui.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced that the skipper will be rested from the fourth and fifth matches of the series, as well as the three Twenty20 contests that follow.

"Considering his workload in the last few months, the team management and senior selection committee is of the view that it would be ideal for him to get adequate rest ahead of the home series against Australia," read a BCCI statement. 

"There will be no replacement for Mr. Kohli in the squad for the New Zealand series. Rohit Sharma will captain the side in the final two ODIs and T20I series."

On Tuesday, Kohli completed a clean sweep in being named ICC Cricketer of the Year to go alongside his awards in the Test and 50-over formats.

Rohit Sharma believes MS Dhoni should bat at number four for India, differing with captain Virat Kohli's preference for Ambati Rayudu.

Opener Rohit scored 133 runs off 129 balls in the first ODI against Australia at the SCG on Saturday and produced a 137-run stand for the fourth wicket alongside Dhoni.

The duo helped lift the tourists after an abysmal start saw them reduced to 4-3, but the dismissal of Dhoni - who made his first ODI half-century since December 2017 - sapped their momentum and India fell to a 34-run loss.

Kohli expressed his contentment with having the "intelligent" Rayudu at the contentious position of four when West Indies toured India in October, but Rohit thinks a tweak might be needed ahead of the Cricket World Cup.

"Personally, I always feel that Dhoni batting at number four will be ideal for the team," said Rohit. "But we have got Ambati Rayudu who has done really well now at number four.

"It totally depends on what the captain and coach think about it. Personally, I would be happy if Dhoni bats at four.

"It is pretty simple with him and he does not complicate things. We spoke about building a partnership because it was crucial at that point.

"It was great to see him come and bat at number five. We lost three wickets, but he is keen to get those runs as well.

"Over the years, he has shown he is ready to bat anywhere for the team and score runs."

Rayudu wastefully used India's sole review when he was trapped leg before for a two-ball duck, meaning Dhoni was unable to challenge after he was given lbw to a Jason Behrendorff delivery that pitched well outside leg.

"It's always tricky, when to take it and when not. Rayudu thought the ball was drifting down leg and I thought the same. These things happen," said Rohit.

"You can't always be right. But it is important to use the DRS well and we've spoken a lot about it. It's such a split-second decision. We might have a chat in Adelaide but what's done is done."

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