The Indian team were accorded a traditional Maori welcome at Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty region on Friday ahead of the second one-dayer against New Zealand at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.
The Indians were accorded the powhiri — a traditional welcome practised by the Maori people of New Zealand. The ceremony involves speeches, dancing, singing as well as the hongi —a ceremonial touching of noses.
India (@BCCI) have officially arrived in the @BayofPlentyNZ.
Led by Rohit Sharma, the side received a powerful Māori pōwhiri from Ngai Tukairangi and Ngati Kuku, the manawhenua for the Bay Oval area ahead of tomorrow’s sold out ODI 2. #cricketnation #NZvIND #bayoval pic.twitter.com/vkRr3q9rmb
— Bay Oval NZ (@BayOvalOfficial) January 24, 2019
"I like embracing other cultures. The Haka dance is famous in New Zealand and to watch it here, it was a totally different experience and I am very grateful that the locals came and performed the Haka here. The entire team enjoyed it, we took their blessings and we hope these blessings will work for us tomorrow," said Shikhar Dhawan.
India arrive at Tauranga on a high after a crushing eight-wicket win over the Black Caps in the first one-dayer at Napier. Kuldeep Yadav (4/39) and Mohammed Shami (3/19) were the key wicket-takers as the Indian attack ran through the New Zealand batting order, restricting them to a modest 157-run total.
In reply, Dhawan (75 not out) and Virat Kohli (45) forged a 91-run second-wicket stand to help the visitors chase the target down with eight wickets and more than 15 overs to spare.
In the process, India registered their first ODI win in New Zealand since 2009, having lost the series 0-4 the last time they were here in the 2013-14 season.
With inputs from PTI