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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

New Zealand Seal ODI Series At 3-0, India Suffer Second Consecutive Overseas Drubbing!


Ross Taylor

Overseas woes drown India as New Zealand won the one-day international (ODI) cricket Series overpowering a hapless Team India in the 4th ODI match by 7 wickets with 11 balls to spare in Hamilton today.  The Kiwis take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match Series reducing the last match to be played in Wellington on 31st January to only an academic interest. Team India managed to do absolutely nothing so far in its Tour of New Zealand except for that inexplicable tie in the third ODI in Auckland on 25th January. That match did not fit into the category of an epic encounter, because surprising lapses and worrisome attitudes somehow took the match to a tie. The Kiwis should have won the Series with ease then and there, and when India finally needed two runs off the last ball Ravindra Jadeja just did not seem to be interested in taking the second run. For India there was a record in Indian ODI cricketing history as their 6th , 7th and 8th (Dhoni-Jadeja-Ashwin) batsmen scored a half century each. Today Dhoni completed his third consecutive half century and Jadeja his second. Unfortunately, Ashwin did not have a chance to bat. After a very poor and sluggish start India finally managed 278/5, virtually wasting five batsmen who could not come out to bat. With consistent centuries from the Kiwi batsmen in every match, today Ross Taylor played the match winning innings of 112 not out and was declared the deserving player of the match.  If that weird tie kept the Series still alive today’s match killed it all—India meekly surrendering the chance of fighting back and leveling the Series. 

Team India seemed to have lost all sanity. After continuing toss wins Dhoni today finally decided to bat first, but at the same time dropped their best attacking opener Shikhar Dhawan who showed some promise in the last encounter and also the best attacking middle-order batsmen Suresh Raina who could have proved his worth in the first positive gesture by his captain even after a series on non-effective scores. Besides, these two batsmen were part of the team that at least saved the last match. Dhoni made a positive decision, but robbed his team of getting benefited from that. His tactics were also questionable as he took off both his spinners at a crucial juncture and allowed New Zealand to plunder runs in gay abandon. Virat Kohli has been terrific in this Series, but he was never an opener. All customary positions of all Indian batsmen were disturbed by the captain’s whims and fancies. The Scorecard: 

In South Africa 2-0 defeat, in New Zealand 3-0 defeat so far. Imagine, a team that started its overseas venture with six consecutive ODI Series triumphs lost it all for all the obvious reasons which tormented the team over decades. The two-match Test Series starts on 6th February. Maybe with its five-day specialists Team India still has a chance which is corroborated by the fact that they nearly won the first Test against South Africa before surrendering.
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