ANDREW CORNAGA / PHOTOSPORT
Henry Nicholls made a good fist of a limited chance as an opener for the Black Caps on Thursday.
Not everything went perfectly according to plan for New Zealand on Thursday.
While Trent Boult (5-21) and Colin the Grandhomme (3-26) tore through the Indian battering line up to surprise fans who were hungry for an ODI victory against the tourists, ironically they did not help the percussion experiment of New- Zeeland to that extent some may have liked it.
The bowling hero meant that the Black Caps only had to chase the 92 of India in Hamilton's Seddon Park – something they did in just 14.4 overs with eight wickets to save.
Trent Boult in sublime form to take five wickets while India collapsed for 92.
This meant that the court case against Henry Nicholls at the top of the Colin Munro open order was only partially implemented – albeit satisfactory – while there was no time or necessity to see what a strengthened line-up for medium / late orders could achieve.
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So it is off to Wellington for the final game of the five-match series on Sunday, with the probability coach Gary Stead will be the same XI field.
There were a number of changes on Thursday that stayed 3-0 on Monday in Mount Maunganui. With Ish Sodhi and Doug Bracewell left out of the squad for games four and five, their substitutes Todd Astle and Jimmy Neesham got their first starts of the series, just like fast bowler Matt Henry – in front of Lockie Ferguson – while Colin the Grandhomme returned and Nicholls moved from number 6 to opener.
Henry's eight overs went wicketless for 30 runs, but the Grandhomme, on first change after a disheartening return to action in game two in Mount Maunganui, did what he often does when his place is in the side in question. He got the ball to wobble and cut as he and Boult tore through an Indian side without the experience of the deceased skipper Virat Kohli and the injured wicketkeeper batsman MS Dhoni.
Astle and Neesham both had a short chance to change their respective arms and picked up the wicket of a tailor.
Guptill tried to end the game as quickly as possible, but fell fourth ball after racing to 14 of three balls, while Nicholls looked good on a tricky deck. The left-hander hit four and a six in making an unbeaten 30 of 42 balls and there must now be the temptation to see how he flies on the same spot again on Sunday.
The batting line-up of New Zealand looked the deepest, it was all series with Neesham at six, Mitchell Santner afterwards, the Grandhomme at eight, Astle a very capable nine and Henry at 10.
That would mean that Tim Southee, who has been making the first choice for years, has not played since the opening game of the series – with questions about his ranking for the World Cup this year, end of May in England and Wales.