Cricket of Whitewashes: New Zealand Hammer India 2-1!

Photo: latestly.com

The cricket mandarins of India, if as short sighted as the shorter formats, might as well gloat over India’s 5-0 whitewash over New Zealand in the shortest format that is the T20I Series, and might as well reason that the process of experimentation has finally given a team for the T20I World Cup coming up in October this year. However, the said team is yet a team of probables only, and the IPL starting later this month might as well throw up again a plethora of new ‘talents’ for the ‘choices’ of the worthy Indian selectors; therefore, the experimentation is far from over yet.  In the second test match played in Christchurch New Zealand has beaten India by 7 wickets in just the third day today thus achieving the third whitewash of the tour of 2-0—the second whitewash being the Kiwis’ triumph of 3-0 in the shorter that is the ODI Series. New Zealand had earlier won the Wellington test by 10 wickets. India had had their chances though in both the Tests—in the first in Wellington the Indian bowlers failed India come back into the match while in the second after the bowlers ensured even a lead for India, though the slenderest, the batsmen failed miserably to drive home the advantage. In totality, India just couldn’t cope with the three-pronged and then the four-pronged pace-attack of the Kiwis on their home turf with fast-bowler Kyle Jamieson towering above all.

Why Team India, on top as far as Test matches are concerned in the last few years, did so miserably having the advantage of batting first on both occasions? The reasons are not far to seek. The ‘inducted’ veterans couldn’t perform as instantly as the team management wanted, you know, putting them up on green pitches suddenly out of the wilderness. Second, the consistent failures of Captain Virat Kohli contributed majorly for the batting blues. Third, injury to Rohit Sharma and the new openers not quite up to the task, particularly Mayank Agarwal, contributed to the consistent batting collapses. Fourth, India failed to have a proper pace battery to match green pitches (Jasprit Bumrah not in top form yet) and still going for the spinners who, obviously, just proved to be ornamental. And lastly, again, the selection blues: even God wouldn’t have an idea as to why the top-form KL Rahul was not considered for the Tests whereas he had proved his worthiness in Tests too earlier; why Wriddhiman Saha was not preferred as the wicket-keeper over Rishabh Pant in whose case, of course, no logic applies as far as selection (perhaps the greatest cricket talent of the millennium) is concerned.

This tour doesn’t augur well the for the away series that India is set play in the near future with even day-and-night or Pink Test matches being planned in Australia. The worthy selectors must justify their ‘endless experimentation’ saga with players rested at will, dropped at will and the seasoned campaigners not even considered most of the times. But for the looming IPL, a veritable T20 bonanza of cricket, glamour and cash, the team management would’ve learnt a few precious lessons from India Tour of New Zealand-2019/20 to prepare for the T20 World Cup-2020 which, on the earlier occasion too, they couldn’t realize in time, again thanks to IPL, to prepare well for the one-day World Cup-2019. Alas!

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