Usman Khawaja travelled to India on Thursday after a resolution was found to the visa problem that saw him left behind when Australia Test team-mates departed.

The top-order batter had been due to fly out with Australia's players and staff across Tuesday and Wednesday amid a series of staggered flights.

That did not come to pass, with Khawaja remaining in Sydney amid issues with his visa in relation to his roots in Pakistan, the country of his birth.

Khawaja, 36, was born in Islamabad, and this was not the first time he has encountered issues in attempting to enter India to play cricket.

Yet this delay was only a short one, with Khawaja able to make the trip on Thursday.

He posted a picture of himself on board an aeroplane in Australia team leisurewear, adding the hashtags #incoming and #khawajyenroute.

Australia and India are due to contest the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in the coming weeks.

The four-match Test series begins on February 9 at Nagpur's Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, with games in Delhi, Dharamshala and Ahmedabad to follow.

Khawaja has played multiple times in India in the past, including in the Indian Premier League with Rising Pune Supergiant in 2016, and scored two centuries during an ODI tour in 2019.

In 2011, however, Khawaja was blocked from securing a visa for the T20 Champions League for New South Wales before the Indian high commission intervened.

Australia will be thankful he is available this time, given Khawaja enjoyed a remarkable 2022, earning a recall to the red-ball squad and top-scoring with 496 runs during their first tour of Pakistan since 1998.

He was named in the ICC Test Team of the Year alongside team-mates Pat Cummins, Marnus Labuschagne and Nathan Lyon.

Khawaja was also named Australia's Test Player of the Year award this week, collecting the Shane Warne Award.

A devastating performance with bat and ball saw India seal a sensational series comeback with a record 168-run victory in their third and final T20I with New Zealand.

Shubman Gill's 126 not out powered the hosts to a freewheeling 234-4 in Ahmedabad on Wednesday, before they tore through their visitors at the crease for an emphatic win.

It is the biggest margin of victory India have ever recorded in the format, and marked something of an anticlimactic end to an otherwise close-fought series.

They are unlikely to care given the nature of their euphoric blowout, though the Black Caps will be concerned after failing to reach three figures in back-to-back games.

There were few signs at first glance Gill would turn in the sort of pyrotechnic performance that saw him star in the pair's ODI series last month.

After losing opening partner Ishan Kishan for just one, however, the opener carried the bat in a gangbuster turn, with a dozen fours and seven sixes off 63 balls.

Able support from Rahul Tripathi (44) and Hardik Pandya (30) helped him motor India to their fifth-best score in T20I history, and their highest against New Zealand. 

Hopes of mounting any serious pursuit felt slim for the Black Caps even before they crumpled, with Pandya (4-16) and Arshdeep Singh (2-16) combining for a brutal opening three overs to reduce them to 7-4.

Daryl Mitchell (35) stubbornly held his ground as a succession of partners came and went, helping to drag New Zealand from 21-5 to 53-6.

But further work from Shivam Mavi and Umran Malik curtailed any resistance as the tourists were bowled all out for 66.

Gill maintains 2023 hot streak

After matching the world record for the most runs in a three-game ODI series last month against New Zealand, the batter turned on the power again when it mattered.

A quiet few matches, with scores of just seven and 11, are faded memories now after his supremely assured performance this week.

Black Caps continue to stutter

After failing to hit the 100 mark last time out, a second successive game where they petered out in double figures is a major concern for New Zealand.

Their score of 66 is the third-lowest they have recorded in T20I history, behind the twin totals of 60 they posted against Sri Lanka in 2014 and Bangladesh in 2021.

Australia batter Usman Khawaja is stranded in Sydney awaiting visa approval to join his team-mates for their Test tour in India this month.

The top-order batter was due to fly out with the rest of the squad across Tuesday and Wednesday amid a series of staggered flights.

But Khawaja remains in New South Wales amid issues with his visa in relation to his roots in Pakistan, the country of his birth.

The 36-year-old was born in Islamabad, and has had prior issues in attempting to enter India to play cricket.

In 2011, he was blocked from securing a visa for the T20 Champions League for New South Wales before the Indian high commission intervened.

Khawaja took to social media to poke fun at his situation shortly after his team-mates departed for India, where Australia are due to contest the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

He has played multiple times in the country in the past, including with IPL outfit Rising Pune Supergiant in 2016, and scored two centuries during an ODI tour in 2019.

Khawaja enjoyed a remarkable 2022, earning a recall to the red-ball squad where he top-scored with 496 runs during their first tour of Pakistan since 1998.

He was named in the ICC Test Team of the Year alongside team-mates Pat Cummins, Marnus Labuschagne and Nathan Lyon, as part of a leading four selections.

Australia begin their four-match Test series on February 9 at Nagpur's Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, with games in Delhi, Dharamshala and Ahmedabad to follow.

Steve Smith has backed Australia's call to skip a warm-up game ahead of their Test series in India, suggesting any match would offer insufficient preparation.

The tourists will play four matches starting in Nagpur next month, with games in Delhi, Dharamshala and Ahmedabad to follow.

But Pat Cummins' side will not play a tour game ahead of their red-ball series against their hosts, after their experiences on their last long-format visit six years ago.

On that occasion, Australia played out a draw with an India A side, but Smith feels the pitch they played on in Mumbai was too different to the rest of the tour.

"We normally have two tour games over in England. This time we don't have a tour game in India," he said in Sydney.

"The last time we went [to India], I'm pretty sure we got served up a green top [in the tour game], and it was sort of irrelevant.

"Hopefully, we get really good training facilities where the ball is likely to do what it's likely to do out in the middle, and we can get our practice in."

Australia are in pursuit of a first Test series win in India since 2004, having lost 2-1 in 2017 despite Smith posting 499 runs as top scorer.

Fresh from claiming a joint-record fourth Allan Border Medal, the former captain.hopes they can vindicate their decision to eschew a competitive warm-up.

"We'll wait and see when we hit the ground," he added. "I think we've made the right decision to not play a tour match.

"We're better off having our own nets and getting spinners in and bowling as much as they can."

The West Indies Women ended the South Africa Women’s Tri-Series without a win after suffering an eight-wicket defeat at the hands of India at Buffalo Park on Monday.

Captain Hayley Matthews made a top-score of 34 while under-19 player Zaida James made 21 not out as the Windies Women were restricted to just 94-6 off their 20 overs after India won the toss and chose to field first.

Off-spinner Deepti Sharma starred with the ball for India with 3-11 from her four overs while medium pacer Pooja Vastrakar took 2-19 from her four overs.

The Indians then needed just 13.5 overs to achieve victory, reaching 95-2 thanks to an unbeaten 53-run partnership between Jemimah Rodrigues (42 not out) and captain Harmanpreet Kaur (32 not out).

West Indies Women have now lost 10 T20 Internationals in a row. India will take on South Africa in the Tri-Series final on Thursday.

The Cricket West Indies’ (CWI) Selection Panel has called up four of the West Indies Under 19 Rising Stars players who competed at the ICC Women’s U19 World Cup to the West Indies Women’s team.

All-rounders Zaida James and Djenaba Joseph, wicketkeeper/batter Trishan Holder and fast-bowler Jannillea Glasgow have been selected as injury cover for Monday’s final Tri- Series match against India Women at Buffalo Park in East London.

Stafanie Taylor, Chinelle Henry, Shakera Selman and Chedean Nation are currently going through a return to play rehabilitation ahead of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup.

“The selection panel has included four Under 19 players for the final match of the Tri-Series as potential replacements for injured players,” said Chief Selector Ann Browne-John.

“The four have been training with the senior team in South Africa since the conclusion of the ICC Women’s U19 World Cup.

“We believe this is the perfect opportunity to utilize these four players, two of whom (Joseph and Holder) made their international debut against England last year, to reinforce the squad in the absence of injured senior players. They have been playing in South African conditions for the past three weeks so are well prepared. With final selection of the ICC T20 World Cup squad still to be done, it gives the selection panel another opportunity to see the best players available and select the best combination to participate.”

Holder and Joseph made their West Indies senior debuts against England last December, while Glasgow and James were travelling reserves with the senior team last year.

During the ICC Women’s U19 World Cup, James struck two half-centuries and had a four-wicket haul, whilst Joseph struck an unbeaten 44 not out in their Super6s match against England. Holder had a well-compiled 34 not out off 14 balls against Indonesia and Glasgow was the spearhead of the bowling attack.

The West Indies Women play India Women on Monday 30 January in the final preliminary match at 3pm local time (9am Eastern Caribbean/8am Jamaica time).

Full squad: Hayley Matthews (Captain), Aaliyah Alleyne, Shanika Bruce, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Afy Fletcher, Shabika Gajnabi, Jannillea Glasgow (U19), Sheneta Grimmond, Trishan Holder (U19), Zaida James (U19), Djenaba Joseph (U19), Karishma Ramharack, Kaysia Schultz and Rashada Williams.

Match schedule:

16 January: warm-up match vs South Africa XI at Beacon Bay- South Africa won by 4 wickets.

 T20I Tri-Series Match Schedule

 (all matches to be played at Buffalo Park, East London)

 21 January: vs South Africa – South Africa won by 44 runs

 23 January: vs India – India won by 56 runs

 25 January: vs South Africa – South Africa won by 10 wickets

 30 January: vs India, 3pm local time (9am Eastern Caribbean/8am Jamaica)

 2 February: Tri-Series Final, 3pm local time (9am Eastern Caribbean/8am Jamaica

India's stand-in captain Hardik Pandya lamented a "shocker" of a pitch at Ekana Stadium and called for better surfaces after a slender T20I victory over New Zealand.

The hosts edged past the Black Caps with one ball remaining in Lucknow, winning by six wickets in a low-scoring thriller to level the three-match T20I series.

New Zealand only managed 99-8 from their 20-over allocation on a difficult wicket but made India wait until the final over for victory as Suryakumar Yadav saw his side over the line with a vital 26 not out.

Pandya, captaining in the absence of white-ball veteran Rohit Sharma, was alongside Suryakumar at the end unbeaten on 15 but expressed his disappointment with the surface at home.

"I always believed we will finish the game," Pandya said. "It went quite deep, but that is how it is. In these kinds of games, it is important to not panic.

"Rather than taking risks, we rotated the strike. Having said that, this is a shocker of a pitch. We need to make sure we have better pitches. Even 120 would have been a winning total here.

"We kept to our plans, we made sure they did not rotate the strike, and the wickets kept falling. Dew didn't play much of a role because if you see they were able to spin the ball more than us.

"It was a shocker of a wicket. The ball was flying for even the fast bowlers."

The in-form Suryakumar continues to rise his stock within white-ball cricket, though his 31-ball 26 was a far cry from his usual flamboyance and aggressive shot-making.

Having blasted 112 and 51 in his two previous T20I appearances against Sri Lanka earlier in January, Suryakumar acknowledged an alternate approach was required on Sunday.

"A different version of [Suryakumar] today," he said after receiving the Player of the Match award. "Adapting to the situation was very important. After losing [Washington Sundar], I had to make sure I batted until the end.

"[Sundar's run out] was my mistake, I didn't see where the ball went. Of course, it was a challenging wicket, but you have to be able to adapt.

"We just needed one hit in the end, and it was very important to calm ourselves down.

"Before I got the winning runs, Hardik came up to me and told me you will hit the winning runs this ball. That gave me a lot of confidence."

With an ODI series victory already secured, India will look for a white-ball double over New Zealand in Wednesday's T20I decider in Ahmedabad.

India thrillingly came out on top with one ball remaining to level their three-match T20I series with New Zealand after a remarkably tight second match on Sunday.

The hosts won by six wickets at Ekana Stadium but only just managed to reach the low target set by New Zealand during what seemed a poor innings that saw them finish on 99-8.

It was the first time the Black Caps had failed to reach 100 runs in a T20I against India, though it was not as bad as it first seemed on a difficult pitch.

Finn Allen's (11) reverse sweep attempt from Yuzvendra Chahal's (1-4) delivery saw him knock the ball on to himself and then the stumps for India's breakthrough, and Devon Conway (11) soon followed when caught behind by Ishan Kishan off Washington Sundar (1-17).

Glenn Phillips (5) was the third to fall victim to a botched reverse sweep, and Daryl Mitchell (8) also failed to reach double digits, with that pair removed either side of Mark Chapman (14) being run out.

Michael Bracewell (14) and Mitchell Santner (19 not out) formed one of only two stands to yield 20 runs, before New Zealand's innings petered out with only five in the final over.

India's response was not emphatic – they also failed to register a single six.

Shubman Gill (11) gave Allen an easy catch with a top edge off Bracewell (1-13) for an early boost, before Kishan (19) was run out and Rahul Tripathi (13) was caught at deep midwicket.

Suryakumar Yadav (26 not out) – aided ably by captain Hardik Pandya (15 not out) – ultimately dragged India over the line, getting just enough power on the penultimate ball to reach the boundary and take India to 101-4.

Suryakumar decisive when it counts

Having managed at least 47 runs in each of his previous three T20Is, Suryakumar is not used to struggling to amass significant totals.

Much like everyone else on Sunday, he could not quite find momentum with his 26 coming off 31 balls, but the fact he had the nous to be the only batter to break the 20-runs barrier should not be overlooked.

New Zealand bowlers give them a fighting chance

The batsmen should not take too much blame – pretty much all of them from both sides struggled on a wicket that Hardik criticised afterwards – but the Black Caps bowlers had plenty of work to do here.

The wickets did not tumble with quite the same regularity as when they were in bat, but with the ball they ensured the match remained tight – the fact they took it to the final over is commendable in itself.

Daryl Mitchell bludgeoned a rapid unbeaten half-century before New Zealand's brilliant spinners consigned India to a 21-run defeat in the first T20I of a three-match series.

India condemned the Black Caps to a 3-0 ODI whitewash this week, but the tourists claimed their first victory of the tour in impressive fashion at JSCA International Stadium Complex on Friday.

Conway (52 from 35 balls) and Finn Allen (35 from 23) got New Zealand off to a flying start after they were put in by Hardik Pandya in Ranchi.

Washington Sundar (2-22) and Kuldeep Yadav (1-20) contained the Black Caps, but Mitchell provided the fireworks to get them up to 176-6 by scoring 59 not out from only 30 deliveries.

He took 27 off a nightmare final over from Arshdeep Singh, hitting three consecutive sixes to silence an expectant crowd.

India were in deep trouble on 15-3 in the fourth over of the run chase, Ishan Kishan bowled by a peach of a delivery from Michael Bracewell before Rahul Tripathi and the in-form Shubman Gill fell cheaply.

Newly crowned ICC T20I player of the year Suryakumar Yadav gave India hope with a classy 47, but he was on his way after holing out to Allen when trying to launch Ish Sodhi into the stands.

Stand-in captain Mitchell Santner (2-11) and Bracewell (2-31) bowled beautifully, while Lockie Ferguson (2-33) and Jacob Duffy (1-27) also made their mark as a maiden T20I half-century from Sundar (50no off 28) was in vain with India restricted to 155-9.

It was just a second win in 12 matches against India in the shortest format, giving New Zealand – without the likes of Kane Williamson, Tim Southee and Trent Boult – a 1-0 lead in the series.

 

Consistent Conway and Mitchell give Black Caps upper hand

Conway has been a revelation in all formats for the Blacks Caps since making his debut in 2020, and he continues to churn out the runs.

He laid the foundations for an imposing total with a ninth T20I half-century, finding the rope seven times and clearing it once before being dismissed by Arshdeep in the 18th over.

Mitchell then took centre stage, taking Arshdeep's bowling apart with final-over fireworks as he hit five sixes in all to register a fourth T20I half-century and give New Zealand the momentum.

New Zealand spin in to win it

The New Zealand spinners were outstanding, generating sharp turn and giving little away.

Bracewell set the standard, cleaning up Kishan with a brilliant delivery that pitched around middle and struck the left-hander's off stump.

Skipper Santner bowled 18 dot balls, while he saw the back of Gill – superb in the ODI series – and had Deepak Hooda stumped before running out Shivam Mavi with a direct hit.

Hardik Pandya warned India must be at the peak of their powers to secure a T20l series win over New Zealand after a dominant ODI clean sweep.

India head into the first of three T20Is at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on Friday on the back of a 3-0 whitewash of the Black Caps in the 50-over format.

New Zealand have won just one of their past 11 completed against India in the short format, with that victory coming in the 2021 T20 World Cup in Dubai.

The tourists are yet to win a multi-game T20I bilateral series in India and they will be without the likes of Kane Williamson, Tim Southee and Tom Latham, with Mitchell Santner taking over as captain.

Pandya will lead India in the absence of Rohit Sharma, while Virat Kohli will not feature and Ruturaj Gaikwad misses out with a wrist injury.

All-rounder Pandya said: "We will try to win obviously. New Zealand is a good team both in T20Is and ODIs.

"They always challenge you. We will have to be at their best to beat them."

Shubman Gill comes into the series in the form of his life, scoring a sublime 208 in the first ODI and a century in the third match.

Gill is set to open the batting with Ishan Kishan, so Prithvi Shaw will have to bide his time.

Pandya said: "Shubman has done well and will start the series. The way he is batting and he was already in the team."

India and New Zealand were beaten semi-finalists in last year's T20 World Cup in Australia, although many of the players involved in the tournament will not be featuring this time around.

 

Suryakumar on top of the world

Suryakumar Yadav is another player New Zealand will be eager to see the back of before he gets set.

He was named the ICC Men's T20I Player of the Year for 2022 this week and is the top-ranked T20I batter in the world.

Suryakumar made a decisive 112 in his last T20I innings against Sri Lanka, his third century in six months in this format.

Baptism of fire for uncapped New Zealand bowlers

Uncapped duo Ben Lister and Henry Shipley are poised to make their debuts against a formidable batting line-up.

Lister will provide an alternative left-arm seam option with no Trent Boult for Santner to call upon.

Paceman Shipley will also be looking to make his mark on the T20I stage after making his ODI debut against Pakistan and facing India twice.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam has been named the ICC Men's Cricketer of the Year, while Ben Stokes landed the Test Cricketer of the Year award.

Babar was outstanding with the bat in 2022, scoring 2,598 runs in 44 matches at an average of 54.12 and raking up eight centuries.

The prolific right-hander was the only player to reach the 2,000 landmark in the calendar year across all formats and led his side to the T20 World Cup final, which they lost against England at the MCG in November.

It was the most successful year of Babar's career, earning him the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy. Babar was also named the Men's ODI Cricketer of the Year.

Stokes also enjoyed a year that he will never forget, making a huge impact after being appointed as England Test captain.

The all-rounder could not have wished for a better start to a new era with him as skipper and Brendon McCullum head coach, turning England's fortunes around with an incredible transformation in a short space of time.

England had won only one of 17 Tests when Joe Root stepped down, but secured series wins over New Zealand and South Africa, beat India in a rearranged Test and celebrated an unprecedented 3-0 whitewash of Pakistan away from home.

Stokes led the side brilliantly as an aggressive brand of cricket paid dividends, while the all-rounder produced another match-winning innings to seal a victory over Pakistan in the T20 World Cup final.

He scored 870 runs at an average of 36.25 last year and took 26 wickets at an average of 31.19.

India run machine Suryakumar Yadav is the Men's T20I Cricketer of the Year, having scored 1,164 runs in 31 matches at an average of 46.56 and a strike-rate of 187.43.

Nat Sciver also starred for England in 2022 and was on Thursday named as the winner of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for the ICC Women's Cricketer of the Year.

All-rounder Sciver scored 1,346 runs and claimed 22 wickets from 33 international matches, starring as England were runners-up in the Women's Cricket World Cup 2022,

Sciver made a magnificent unbeaten 148 from only 121 in a defeat against Australia in the final.

Shubman Gill matched an ODI record after cracking another mesmerising century for India and revealed how his rapid accumulation of the "big ones" has come about.

The 23-year-old has begun 2023 with 70, 21 and 116 against Sri Lanka, followed by 208, 40 not out and 112 against New Zealand.

Before the turn of the year, he had one century in 15 ODIs, but all of a sudden he has rattled off three in 10 days.

The difference has been a slight adjustment in focus, with Gill saying: "I don't think I've changed much of my approach when I'm batting out there. It's all about once you get the start, how often you can work those starts into big ones, and that's what I'm trying to learn.

"As soon as I get a start, [I look for] every opportunity that I get to be able to express myself and work all the starts I get into big ones.

"I think it's all about playing according to the situation, not looking at your runs, just looking at conditions and looking at the bowler, and how you can score against this particular bowler, just looking to score all the time."

Gill was speaking after his 78-ball 112 against New Zealand helped to pave the way for a 90-run victory and 3-0 series clean sweep.

It also took him to 360 runs for the series, matching the record for most runs by a batter in a men's three-match ODI series, and equalling the total of Pakistan's Babar Azam against West Indies in 2016.

"It feels nice, this was a really good wicket to bat on," Gill said.

India captain Rohit Sharma made 101 as both openers scorched to three figures in an India total of 385-9 at the Holkar Cricket Stadium.

Rohit paid tribute to his young batting partner for showing such strong form, saying it was a tribute to his attitude that he was performing so well.

Gill was player of the series, and Rohit said: "His approach is quite similar. He doesn't change too much and wants to come out and start afresh.

"As a young player just coming into the team, having that kind of attitude is so important, not to sit on your laurels. He could have taken it lightly but doesn't seem to be that way."

Speaking at the post-match presentation, as India went above England at the top of the ICC rankings, Rohit said his own century, his 30th in ODIs, was a cause for great satisfaction.

It was his first hundred in an ODI since January 2020.

"It means a lot. I've been batting well, and it's about going that extra mile," Rohit said.

"Today the wicket was good, and we knew we needed runs on the board, and it was important for me to carry on and bat for as long as possible."

Shubman Gill and captain Rohit Sharma led the way with explosive centuries as India beat New Zealand by 90 runs to clinch a 3-0 ODI series clean sweep.

After racking up 385-9 at the Holkar Cricket Stadium, India bowled out their opponents for 295, and Tuesday's victory lifts them above England to the top of the ICC ODI team rankings.

Gill, who hit a double hundred in the first match, shared in a stand of 212 with Rohit for the first wicket on Tuesday, the fifth-largest ODI partnership by an India opening pair.

After setting the tone for the contest as both openers reached three figures, Rohit was bowled by Michael Bracewell for 101 from 85 balls at the start of the 27th over, while Gill went soon after for a 78-ball 112 when he got a leading edge to present Blair Tickner (3-76) with the first of his three wickets.

Gill totalled 360 runs across the three games, matching Babar Azam's record for the most scored in a three-match bilateral men's ODI series.

Virat Kohli added 36 and Hardik Pandya weighed in with 54 before becoming the third victim of Jacob Duffy, the New Zealand paceman who returned conspicuous figures of 3-100.

Devon Conway's heroics in New Zealand's reply were in vain, as he cracked 138 from 100 balls before being caught by Rohit at midwicket when looking to pull Umran Malik away to the boundary.

Conway blazed eight sixes in his terrific counter-attack but lacked support. Once he became the sixth Black Caps batter to be dismissed, with the score on 230, the tourists' hopes were all but over, and the innings inevitably petered out.

Holkar a happy home for India

India preserved their 100 per cent record in ODIs at the stadium in Indore, which was staging such a match for just the sixth time. This is the most matches they have won at any venue in ODIs without losing, beating the five wins and one tie they have had at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

This India team are in a rich vein of ODI form, wherever they play, having won all six of their matches in 2023, with this success improving what was already their best winning run to begin a calendar year.

Duffy's sorry century

Duffy's figures of 3-100 made him just the third New Zealand bowler to concede 100 or more runs in a men's ODI, after Martin Snedden (2-105 vs England in 1983) and Tim Southee (0-105 vs India in 2009). Duffy's three wickets, however, gave him the most victims of any bowler to have conceded a century of runs in such a match.

Shubman Gill's memorable double century inspired India to a thrilling 12-run win over New Zealand in their ODI series opener on Wednesday.

Gill's massive knock of 208 proved crucial despite Michael Bracewell (140) leading a superb New Zealand fightback attempt at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.

Bracewell's heroics were not enough, however, with India finally ending his resistance in the last over.

Generally, it proved a tricky track for batting, with Rohit Sharma the hosts' second-highest scorer on just 34.

But this was all about Gill, whose aggression ensured India's momentum rarely waned even as wickets tumbled around him, the team reaching 349-8.

He got lucky just before reaching 50 as an outside edge off Bracewell was dropped by Tom Latham, but he powered on and tallied his century off just 86 balls.

It was Gill's ruthless approach in the final three overs that was ultimately decisive. Two sixes in the 48th and then a hat-trick of maximums in the 49th saw him surpass 200, before eventually falling to a brilliant Glenn Phillips catch in the last.

It took a while for New Zealand to look capable of threatening India's total, finding themselves in deep trouble at 131-6 in the 29th over.

With the Black Caps floundering, Bracewell had nothing to lose and made a mockery of the India attack.

His 140 off just 78, hitting an astonishing 10 sixes and 12 fours, ensured New Zealand were still in contention in the final over, requiring 13 runs off five balls.

But Shardul Thakur's yorker snared Bracewell lbw, just clipping his heel for the final wicket, leaving India rather relieved with New Zealand 337 all out.
 

Gill goes into the record books

With his exquisite knock, Gill became the only Indian batter to score a double century against New Zealand in the 50-over format.

He is the fifth batter from India to hit 200 or more in an ODI, while he is the joint-second fastest player to reach 1,000 ODI runs, alongside Pakistan's Iman-ul-Haq (19 innings).

Gill had nine sixes and a further 19 fours in his memorable 149-ball knock.

Siraj sharp with the ball

Mohammed Siraj was the only bowler to take more than two wickets on the day, ending with figures of 4-46.

He could not remove Bracewell, with Shardul eventually claiming that honour, but Siraj undoubtedly played a key role here, with the dangerous Mitchell Santner (57) and captain Latham (24) among his scalps.

Rohit Sharma has urged India to focus on themselves rather than top-ranked New Zealand ahead of another ODI series against the Black Caps.

The first of three matches takes place on Wednesday at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, with India coming off a 3-0 series victory over Sri Lanka, and New Zealand having just earned a 2-1 success against Pakistan.

India contested a weather-spoiled series in New Zealand in November, with only one of three matches producing a result and the home side taking a 1-0 win.

Now they will hope for three full contests, with New Zealand having to cope without the rested Kane Williamson and Tim Southee, while Trent Boult is unavailable due to T20 commitments in the United Arab Emirates.

India suffered a blow on the eve of the opening match as batter Shreyas Iyer was ruled out of the series with a back injury. Rajat Patidar was named as his replacement in the squad, while Rohit announced Ishan Kishan would come into the middle order.

KL Rahul is another notable absentee, with his wedding to Bollywood star Athiya Shetty widely reported as being scheduled for the coming days.

Captain Rohit said: "New Zealand are a very good team. They're coming off a good series against Pakistan and obviously they're playing good cricket, so it will be challenging for us to come out and execute what we want to execute.

"We just want to continue from where we left off against Sri Lanka.

"We are not going to concentrate too much on the opposition. We will focus on what we want to achieve and what we want to do as a team. The last series was the perfect example of that. We just went out there, played some fearless cricket and take on the opposition."

India's series sweep against Sri Lanka was completed with a record 317-run victory on Sunday in the third game, after posting 390 and bowling out their tourists for 73.

Now they take on the team who sit at the top of the ICC rankings for the 50-over format, with the Hyderabad match followed by games in Raipur and Indore, prior to a three-game T20I series.

Good omens for the hosts

India have won their last two men's ODIs against New Zealand at home, as many as they had won across their five previous such fixtures (W2, L3).

They have also triumphed in their last three men's ODIs at the Hyderabad venue.

Landmark in sight for Gill

Shubman Gill is 106 away from reaching 1,000 runs for India in ODIs. Should he achieve the milestone with a century in this match, his 19th ODI, it would make him the joint-second fastest man to reach the mark, alongside Pakistan's Imam-ul-Haq.

Gill made 116 last time out, in the third ODI romp against Sri Lanka.

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