New Zealand’s crushing one-day series victory over India represents a timely win for the underdog as cricket’s superpowers move to seize control of the world game, New Zealand media said yesterday.

Kiwi skipper Brendon McCullum

The Black Caps defeated India by seven wickets in Hamilton on Tuesday, sealing the five-match series with a game to spare after a string of lacklustre performances from the tourists.

The New Zealand Herald said the result showed the value of the so-called “minnow” nations, amid fears they will miss out if the wealthy trio of India, England and Australia succeed in a plan to tighten their grip on the world game.
“(It’s) a victory it’s hoped will resonate as much with the Indian board and a global game in crisis, as it will with local fans,” the daily said.

Fairfax New Zealand echoed the sentiment saying the Black Caps’ win was a triumph “for the little guys of world cricket”.
“As India sought to strengthen their already dominant position as cricket’s leviathan, minnows New Zealand sent a timely reminder that the underdogs shouldn’t be overlooked... (they) struck an on-field blow for those countries expected to be handicapped by the proposal’s plans,” it said.

India, the reigning world champions, arrived in New Zealand sitting at No 1 in the ODI rankings and were expected to steamroll the eighth-ranked Black Caps.

Instead, the New Zealanders have claimed three convincing victories under pugnacious skipper Brendon McCullum, with India’s best performance coming when they salvaged a dramatic tie in the third match of the series.

As a result, India have slipped to No 2 in the rankings behind Australia, while New Zealand have moved up a place to seventh.