MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli led from the front to wrest the series lead back for India and now the plan of action will be to seal the five-match one-day international rubber with victory in the 4th ODI in Ranchi. India showed their chasing skills in the third match, hauling down a strong target with considerable ease.
Ease is the feeling India will hope awaits them in Ranchi, Dhoni's home, because the team will breathe a lot easier and be able to give the rest of the squad a chance, if they make it 3-1 on Wednesday.
The great thing to come out of India's six-wicket win in Mohali was Dhoni's batting form. While Virat Kohli deservedly took the plaudits for his peerless century – Kohli scoring a century in a chase is not news anymore, it is a given, as certain as R Ashwin taking five-for in a Test match at home – Dhoni's 80, in a partnership of 151 with his vice-captain, was the really big positive.
If Dhoni finds his form with the bat at No.4, India will have a really good top four to take to the Champions Trophy in England next year.
Dhoni, undoubtedly, will test himself in that position again in Ranchi, and only a brave man will bet against the skipper not scoring big runs in front of a crowd that will be chanting his name from ball one.
New Zealand, after holding their nerve in a tense match in Delhi, did not do much wrong in the third match, with their batsmen, that middle order collapse notwithstanding, putting on a decent total on the board. The bowlers hit the right lines and lengths, and while the match might have turned had Ross Taylor hung on to a catch which would have seen Virat Kohli walk back with just six runs to his name instead of the 154 not out he ended up with, there is not much else the Kiwis could have done.
You just need to accept the fact that when someone like a Kohli and Dhoni put on a big partnership, they will take the game away from you. Move on and get ready to put in a more polished performance in Ranchi will be the plan for the Black Caps.
Kane Williamson could do with calling right at the toss for once, because it will be interesting to see how the India bowlers cope when defending a total.
4th ODI schedule: India vs New Zealand.
Date: Wednesday, October 26.
Time: 1.30pm IST, 9pm NZT, 9am BST, 4am ET.
Venue: JSCA International Stadium, Ranchi.
India: Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD1, Star Sports 3 and Star Sports HD3.
New Zealand: Sky Sport3.
UK: Sky Sports 3.
USA and Canada: Willow TV.
Middle East: OSN Sports Cricket.
Australia: Fox Sports 3.