After missing the chance to score a hundred in the first ODI against New Zealand, KL Rahul on Tuesday scored his fourth ton as India fight to avoid a series whitewash for the first time in
more than three decades.
The wicketkeeper-batsman in the process became the first Indian to score an ODI century batting at No. 5 or lower since Mahendra Singh Dhoni's tone in Cuttack against England in 2017. In that match, Dhoni, batting in the same position, had scored 134 to help India post 381/6.
Asked to bat first, India got off to a horrendous start losing Mayank Agarwal and skipper Virat Kohli inside the seventh over. But Shreyas Iyer and Rahul, who reached the three-figure mark in 104 balls at Mount Maunganui, helped the visitors post a good total of 296/7 in the third and final ODI.
Batting at three down, after a cautious start, the right-handed batsman scored 112 off 113 balls with the help of nine fours two sixes. He also became only the second Indian after
Suresh Raina in 2015 to hit an ODI hundred in New Zealand when batting at No. 5 for lower.
Batting for the 31st time in ODIs, Rahul surpassed Virat Kohli, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir to become the second-fastest batsman to bring up four hundreds in the format. Shikhar Dhawan (24) is the fastest Indian. Rahul also joined the elite company of Rahul Dravid by becoming the second Indian 'wicket-keeper' to score an ODI century outside Asia.
India lost the first two matches to concede the three-match series. They won the T20I series 5-0. The tour will conclude with a two-match Test series, which is a part of the ICC Test Championship.