India were 188/4 in 28.4 overs when the rain stopped play for the final time in the second one day international in Wellington. There were three stoppages of play within the 28.4 overs bowled by the Kiwis. The game began as a 50 overs contest, reduced to 44 after the first break and then to 34 after the second before being called off.
The Indians were really well placed to set a difficult target to the Kiwis. The visitors were scoring at 6.55 runs/over when the rain halted the play with the captain Dhoni and Raina at the crease. The Indians once again started briskly with Sehwag and Sachin putting on 76 for the first wicket. Sehwag was out after making a whirlwind 52. Gautam Ghambir Joined Sachin at the crease.
Once Sehwag was out Sachin cut loose and India were motoring along at 7 runs/over when the rain halted the play for the first time. The score during the first interruption was 130/1 in 19 overs. The hosts pulled things back after the resumption with the wickets of Sachin for 61, Ghambir for 20 and yuvraj for 0. But the problem for the Kiwis was that the Indians were still scoring way over 6 runs/over.
It seems to be the strategy of the Indian think tank that they keep the run rate up all the time and one of the two batsmen at the crease always goes for it and the other forms the anchor. Since all the ODI games seem to get interrupted by rain the strategy seems worth the try and for now seems to be working for the Indians.
New Zealand bowling except for their captain again seemed to lack in direction and consistency and Vettori will not be happy with the same. This is the second game in the running they have allowed to get the Indians of to a flier. The Indian batting line up is aggressive and is not dependent on Sachin as they used to be few years back.The only way to contain the Indian batting line up is getting wickets at regular intervals and getting rid of Sehwag early.
Dhoni will be really disappointed as this might have been another huge chase for the hosts and could have been a victory for the Indians. Now they have to wait for the third game to try taking the lead to make is 2-0 which will make sure that the Indians cannot lose the series. The Kiwis need to find a way to restrict or get rid of Sehwag early to have a chance at keeping the target to manageable proportions.
The rain has been really frustrating and it seems like the players have to play all the games with the Duckworth Lewis in the mind all the time. Hopefully we can see at least one full 50 over contest in the coming three games.