Three centuries in a row in the Test series against England, a match-winning knock in the T20 World Cup 2021 semi-final and a superb run in the ODIs in 2023 – is Daryl Mitchell the best all-format batter in the world currently. That might be debatable but the New Zealand batting all-rounder has surely brought his outstanding form into the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup and the knock on Sunday (October 22) against India was a prime example of how well Mitchell is playing currently.
After New Zealand lost two early wickets, Mitchell blended caution with aggression like he does and did a sensational rescue job alongside Rachin Ravindra as the duo stitched a 159-run stand after the Kiwis were 19/2. Ravindra got out after scoring 75 but Mitchell carried on to get his career-best 130. Mitchell kept going until the final over despite all the wickets falling around him.
Mitchell’s century was the first by a New Zealand batter in the World Cup against India since Glenn Turner’s knock in the inaugural edition in 1975. Not only did Mitchell become the second Kiwi batter to achieve the feat, he also scored his fourth ODI century of the year. He equalled Martin Guptill (2015), Ross Taylor (2015) and Devon Conway (2023) to become the fourth New Zealand batter to achieve a huge record.
Mitchell’s starring role helped New Zealand get to 273, a total which they would have been disappointed with as they were on course to get 300-310 but Mohammed Shami came to India’s rescue amid a flailing fielding display and some ordinary spin bowling.
The chase was smooth and calculated for the most part with skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli being the lead scorers once again. Rohit helped India get off to yet another flier before Kohli provided the control with his 95-run knock as India notched up their fifth win of the tournament.