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Sunday, January 19, 2014

New Zealand Beat India In Napier ODI, Brilliant Virat Ton Goes In Vain!

Mitchell McClenaghan In Fury! 
After losing both the ODI and Test Series in South Africa Indian batsmen today in the first one-day-international (ODI) against New Zealand in Napier had a great chance to reverse their poor overseas cricket trend, but they failed miserably despite a brilliant hundred by Virat Kohli (123 in 111 balls) as New Zealand beat India by 24 runs. As is usual for Indian ovseseas cricket the Indian Tour of New Zealand started with a defeat. Again, it is more of a story of the Indian batsmen not able to negotiate short balls and bouncers with four of the top batsmen failing due to sheer pace. Even then, reduced to 129 for 4 in the 29th over chasing a daunting target of 293, Kohli and Dhoni (40 off 46 balls-the second highest individual score for India) built a fast-paced partnership bringing India within sight of victory, but a quick fall of three wickets sealed an exciting New Zealand victory. Possibly it is the same fear of the short stuff that made Indian captain MS Dhoni give New Zealand the first chance of batting on a good track after winning the toss. The contrast to Indian batting is more striking when we see that New Zealand tailenders CJ Anderson and L Ronchi put together 98 runs in just 58 balls between themselves taking New Zealand to an eventually winning total. CJ Anderson went on to take two crucial Indian wickets to prove his credentials as an emerging all-rounder. MJ McClenaghan took 4 wickets including a burst of three quick ones to take his team to a great victory.

Most of the Indian bowlers were expensive though Mohammed Shami put pressure on the hosts by taking the first two wickets pretty quick. In fact India managed to slow down New Zealand most of the times when the hosts threatened to run away with the match. However, no bowler could prevent the destructive Anderson-Ronchi duo hitting sixes and fours at will taking the score to 292/7 after fifty overs. The two Indian spinners Ashwin and Jadeja gave away more than hundred runs between themselves for just one scalp making you wonder why two spinners were actually selected for the match. The Scorecard:

New Zealand lead the five-match ODI Series 1-0 at the moment. It will take a huge effort from India to come up and fight back. Of course, there is ample time left for regrouping. After the loss MS Dhoni admitted it to be a batting failure and stressed on the need of having long partnership. Team India must also try capitalising on superlative efforts by players like Virat Kohli. It is extremely depressing that Kohli got the rare misfortune of scoring a brilliant century and his team losing which never happened in his last 12 of his 18 ODI hundreds. 
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