Southee savours ruthless edge to one-day wins

16:00, Jan 23 2014
Black Caps v India ODI series
Ishant Sharma, right, celebrates with teammates Virat Kohli, centre, and Suresh Raina after taking the wicket of Jesse Ryder.
Black Caps v India ODI series
Jesse Ryder of New Zealand bats during the ODI at Seddon Park.
Black Caps v India ODI series
An Indian fan looks the part at the ODI between NZ and India.
Black Caps v India ODI series
Martin Guptill bats for the Black Caps at Seddon Park.
Black Caps v India ODI series
Bhuvneshwar Kumar of India bowls as Martin Guptill looks on.
Black Caps v India ODI series
Kane Williamson of New Zealand bats as MS Dhoni of India looks on.
Black Caps v India ODI series
Jatinda Singh with the $100k cheque from DB Breweries for his one-handed catch.
Black Caps v India ODI series
Tim Southee of New Zealand celebrates after taking the wicket of Rohit Sharma.
Black Caps v India ODI series
Virat Kohli celebrates his half century as Nathan McCullum looks on.
Black Caps v India ODI series
Mitchell McClenaghan, right, celebrates with Ross Taylor after taking the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane.
Black Caps v India ODI series
Martin Guptill of New Zealand misses a catch.
Black Caps
Wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi congratulates Mitchell McClenaghan (right) and Brendon McCullum after dismissing India's Ajinkya Rahane.
Corey Anderson gallery
Corey Anderson launches into a big shot in the third ODI at Eden Park.
Corey Anderson gallery
Martin Guptill acknowledges the crowd after scoring a century in the third ODI at Eden Park.
Corey Anderson gallery
Luke Ronchi lofts the ball down the ground in the third ODI at Eden Park.
Black Caps gallery
Ross Taylor (left) and Martin Guptill celebrate a wicket in the third ODI.
Black Caps gallery
Luke Ronchi (left) and Corey Anderson celebrate a wicket in the third ODI.
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A shot from MS Dhoni beats the field in the third ODI.
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Ravindra Jadeja led India to the brink of a miraculous win in the third ODI at Eden Park.
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Brendon McCullum leads the New Zealand team from the field at the conclusion of the third ODI at Eden Park.
MS Dhoni gallery
MS Dhoni launches into a big shot in the fourth ODI in Hamilton.
Kyle Mills gallery
Kyle Mills bowls during the first innings of the fourth ODI against India in Hamilton.
Ross Taylor gallery
Ross Taylor his century in the fourth ODI against India at Seddon Park in Hamilton.

Tim Southee struggles to recall two more complete performances than those which have New Zealand on the brink of a one-day cricket series victory over India.

Having gone back-to-back, the big challenge now is to unveil a ruthless streak and finish the job at Auckland's Eden Park tomorrow with two matches to spare.

Southee became the 15th New Zealand bowler to reach 100 ODI wickets when he snared 4-72 in India's innings of 277-9, as the tourists fell 15 runs short on Duckworth-Lewis in Hamilton.

The 25-year-old debuted against England in 2008 and in 76 ODIs has seen a few decent Black Caps victories, but most of them have been in isolation before the Napier-Hamilton double this past week.

"That's two of the best team performances we've had a for a long time and to back it up game after game is what good sides do, they perform consistently and that's where we're aiming to be," Southee said.

If New Zealand wrap up the series against India they'll finally climb past West Indies to seventh on the world rankings.

In the past year, Brendon McCullum's ODI side have beaten South Africa and England in away series, but Southee believed this set a new benchmark.

"I think back to watching South Africa, the guys played outstandingly and that started the ball rolling. We won that series, then we competed well against England here then we won a series over in England," Southee said.

"We've showed glimpses in the past but we needed consistency. It's not just individuals standing up, it's everyone standing up at different times. That's the sign of a good side, not relying on the same people every game."

It used to be that Ross Taylor and McCullum were the big two hopes for New Zealand's batting. Now with the blueprint firmly in place, Jesse Ryder has licence to blaze away at the top then Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson - Wednesday's man of the match for his 77 off 87 balls - anchor the innings with Taylor taking them into the power play with wickets in hand in the final 15 overs.

Power hitters Corey Anderson, McCullum, Luke Ronchi and Nathan McCullum get to swing freely, and in both Napier and Hamilton the batting totals were just out of India's reach. Anderson's added the x-factor with a combined 112 off 57 balls including nine sixes.

The bowlers get licence to attack, led by the aggressive Mitchell McClenaghan. Runs might leak, but with a big total on the board they've been able to hunt wickets. Anderson chimed in with some crucial late strikes on Wednesday and Southee snared the key wicket of Virat Kohli. McCullum felt the fielding could have been sharper but it didn't cost them.

McCullum hinted strongly that paceman Hamish Bennett would get his chance on the quickest pitch of the series at Eden Park where India can expect another short-pitched examination.

"They [India] are not going to come out and roll over. We know they will be harder again and will be getting used to the conditions. We'll have to be better again and keep improving," Southee said.

Ryder was given the all-clear yesterday after he left the field with an injured finger when trying to catch a guided missile off Kohli's bat. No x-rays were required and Ryder is expected to train today.

Kohli, with scores of 123 and 78, remains a headache for New Zealand as any target looks gettable with him at the crease.

Taylor issued the following Twitter plea yesterday: "Anyone got any ideas on how to get Kohli out before he gets to 50?"

Southee enticed Kohli into a false pull shot when on the charge in Hamilton and demanded better from the bowlers.

"He's one of the best, if not the best one-day player going around. In the first two games he adapted to conditions quickly and we know we've got our work cut out. We've got plans in place and I think we can be better at those plans when he first comes out."

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