File photo of Ambati Rayudu. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
Rayudu along with Vijay Shankar revived Indian innings after the visitors lost four wickets for just 18 runs in the fifth and final ODI against New Zealand.
India's Ambati Rayudu slammed a crucial half-century to lift India after early strikes jolted the visitors on Saturday.
Rayudu along with Vijay Shankar revived Indian innings after the visitors lost four wickets for just 18 runs in the fifth and final ODI against New Zealand. The partnership, however, ended after Shankar was run-out for 45.
Opting to bat, India lost both its openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan early. The two departed for 2 and 6 runs respectively.
Relying on former Indian skipper MS Dhoni, who returned to the squad after missing two ODIs due to injury, didn't prove worthy as he was clean bowled. He faced a total of six balls and made just one run.
Meanwhile, India's Test sensation Shubman Gill once again failed to score big for his side and got caught off Matt Henry after making just seven runs.
While Matt Henry accounted for Rohit and Gill, Trent Boult dismissed Dhawan and Dhoni.
Earlier, Martin Guptill was ruled out with a back injury and has been replaced by Colin Munro, who was dropped for the fourth ODI, which New Zealand won, after a string of failures.
India lead the five-match ODI series 3-1. The inclusion of Munro is the only change in the New Zealand side with swing bowler Tim Southee again unwanted.
India have MS Dhoni back behind the stumps after the master finisher missed the previous two matches because of a hamstring twinge, and they have also brought back quick bowler Mohammed Shami.
"The average score here is around 230-240, but if you bat well you can get 300," Rohit Sharma said.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said he was happy with the toss outcome because he wanted to bowl first "to see if we can get a bit out of the pitch early on".