Coming into bat at four Shreyas Iyer scored his maiden ODI century but it went in vain as India failed to defend 347 against New Zealand in the first ODI. While Ross Taylor’s century at the same position helped the Kiwis win the opener of the three-match series at the Seddon Park in Hamilton.
Both the centurions, though, joined hands to create a unique record on Wednesday. This is only the third time in the history of ODI cricket that the number four batsman of both the teams have scored a hundred.
The first time it happened was back in 2007 in a match between Zimbabwe and South Africa when Tatenda Taibu and AB de Villiers scored 107 each in Harare.
The second time it took place was in 2017 between India and England in Cuttack. While Yuvraj Singh scored the ton for the Men in Blue, English skipper Eoin Morgan repeated the same for his team at number four.
Iyer has been the perfect solution to India’s number-four debacle that was bothering the team management for a prolonged period. But since the 25-year-old was given the responsibility, he has almost owned the position and his maiden ton further establishes his case.
About the first ODI against New Zealand, Taylor anchored the Kiwi chase with his 84-ball knock of 109 runs. His stay at the crease was graced by 11 boundaries and one six. He also got able support from opener Henry Nicholls (78) and stand-in skipper Tom Latham (69).
Coming into bat at four, the veteran batsman shared a 62-run stand with Nicholls before the opener departed. Joining the hands of his skipper, Taylor then manoeuvered one his best innings of recent times. He and Latham added 138 runs in 79 balls to take the game out of India’s bound.
Earlier on the day, Latham’s decision to bowl first was proven right as India were reduced to 54/2. However, skipper Virat Kohli (51) joined hands with Shreyas Iyer to stitch 102 runs for the third wicket. Iyer joined hands with KL Rahul to add another 136 runs en route to his 107-run innings off 107 deliveries.