Tag Archives: Napier

India gear up for New Zealand challenge – ODI series preview

India kicks off their New Zealand tour at Napier tomorrow where they play their first ODI against the hosts. India had a pretty disastrous ODI series against South Africa. The bowling completely disintegrated and the batting struggled to stand up to South African pace attack. The disappointing series could have been attributed to lack of practice prior to the ODI series but the team does not have such excuses this time.

The Indian squad has some changes for the New Zealand tour from the team which lost to South Africa earlier last month. Bowling again is going to be of great concern for the Indian team considering the small grounds and short boundaries. Let us look at the ODI squad selected for the New Zealand tour:

Squad: MS Dhoni (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Ishwar Pandey, Stuart Binny, Varun Aaron

The squad is pretty good and except for Yuvraj the batting is almost the same as the one which toured South Africa in December. The absence of Yuvraj means Rahane and Rayudu fight for a single spot. Ajinkya Rahane was one of the bright spots for India in the South African series and is also a great fielder. He will most probably play in the first ODI ahead of Rayudu. The rest of the batting is expected to remain the same. Dhawan and Rohit would want to forget the South African series in a hurry and would want to put up a better performance at the start. The middle order is almost settled with Kohli, Rahane/Rayudu and Raina. Jadeja will play as the all-rounder and it will be a tossup between Ashwin and Binny.

MS Dhoni has always been fascinated with a medium pace all-rounder, so it will be interesting to see if he will play Binny ahead of Ashwin. The New Zealand pitches will aid seamers and Binny will be a useful option. India already has Jadeja and can use Rohit Sharma and Raina as off-spinning options if needed. The other interesting selection will be the pace bowlers. Varun Aaron makes a comeback to the squad after almost 3 years and provides a quick bowling option for the Indian captain. Shami Ahmed will be a sure starter for the first ODI but it will be interesting to see who will take the new ball with him.

Ishant Sharma is in the squad but I expect Bhuvneshwar Kumar to play ahead of him. Ishant had a pretty bad tour in South Africa and India would benefit playing a completely fresh attack in New Zealand. Ishwar Pandey is another option India has to mull over ahead of the first ODI in Napier. It will be interesting to see what combination India will play in the first ODI.

This is an important tour for the young team. They are ranked number 1 in the world and they are expected to beat the 8th ranked New Zealand team comfortably. Dhoni will hope that the team can step up to the challenge and put up a good performance. It will be an interesting series and it will be great to see the young team battling out in conditions unfamiliar to them. The batting came out with flying colors at the end of the South African tour and now it is time for the bowling to step up.

India look for a series win

India leads 1-0 in the 3 test match series against New Zealand after the comprehensive win in Hamilton last week. India will take on the hosts again and this time in Napier for the second test of the series. Dhoni and Gary Kirsten would want to wrap up the series in Napier. If this happens, it will be a great achievement from the team India.

India have announced an unchanged team for the second test match and understandably so. The batting looked good in Hamilton and the bowling was persistent. Munaf Patel has for now sealed the third seamer position in the team and Harbajan with his 6 wicket haul has solved the spin problem for now. Batting for the Indians has not been a problem in this series. Daniel Vettori knows that they have to do something different in the second game to upset the Indian batting line up. Their bowling looked toothless in the first test and did not look like taking 20 wickets.

New Zealand batting also struggled against Harbajan on a flat batting track. It was a bad loss for the hosts and it seems like on a good wicket they are no match for the Indians. Vettori wanted Jacob Oram to be back for the second test but that isn’t a possibility right now. It seems for the Kiwis Jeetan Patel will be back in the squad. The Kiwis will also worry about the form of their No1 bowler Kyle Mills who has been largely ineffective in this series in all formats.

All in all this will be another interesting game and I guess the toss will be important again for the home team. Dhoni and India would want to get the series win here to cap off a wonderful series. Best of luck to the team and hopefully we will win the series in Napier.

India look for a series win

India leads 1-0 in the 3 test match series against New Zealand after the comprehensive win in Hamilton last week. India will take on the hosts again and this time in Napier for the second test of the series. Dhoni and Gary Kirsten would want to wrap up the series in Napier. If this happens, it will be a great achievement from the team India.

India have announced an unchanged team for the second test match and understandably so. The batting looked good in Hamilton and the bowling was persistent. Munaf Patel has for now sealed the third seamer position in the team and Harbajan with his 6 wicket haul has solved the spin problem for now. Batting for the Indians has not been a problem in this series. Daniel Vettori knows that they have to do something different in the second game to upset the Indian batting line up. Their bowling looked toothless in the first test and did not look like taking 20 wickets.

New Zealand batting also struggled against Harbajan on a flat batting track. It was a bad loss for the hosts and it seems like on a good wicket they are no match for the Indians. Vettori wanted Jacob Oram to be back for the second test but that isn’t a possibility right now. It seems for the Kiwis Jeetan Patel will be back in the squad. The Kiwis will also worry about the form of their No1 bowler Kyle Mills who has been largely ineffective in this series in all formats.

All in all this will be another interesting game and I guess the toss will be important again for the home team. Dhoni and India would want to get the series win here to cap off a wonderful series. Best of luck to the team and hopefully we will win the series in Napier.

India crushes New Zealand to go 1-0 up

India hammers New Zealand to win their first test on Kiwiland after 33 years. It was a clinical performance from this Indian team as they thrashed the hosts by 10 wickets. Gautam Ghambir hit the winning runs as India reached the target of 39 runs in just 5.2 overs. Daniel Vettori and the New Zealand team will be aware that they have been beaten by the better team.

The pitch was really flat and New Zealand began the fourth day on 75/3 with Ross Taylor and Flynn at the crease. The Indian bowlers persisted hard and kept the balls in the right areas to induce false strokes from the Kiwi batsmen. Munaf removed Taylor for 4 to leave New Zealand 4 down and then it was Bajji show all the way. Harbajan demolished the Kiwi middle and lower order to leave them 199/8 with Brendon Mccullum stranded at one end with Ian O’Brien to join him.

Harbajan took his first fifer against the Kiwis and his first here in New Zealand. It was a great performance from Bajji considering that the pitch wasn’t suitable to spin bowling. The wicket was pretty flat and it was the variations which Harbajan had which caused the home batsmen to make mistakes. There was a frustrating partnership between Mccullum and O’Brien which took the Kiwis to 275 but once it was broken their innings folded up pretty quickly on 279. Mccullum was the last man out for 84 caught by Laxman of Yuvraj to leave the Indians to get 39 runs to win the game.

This was a great win by the Indians considering the pre-tour reports where it was said that the Indians would struggle in New Zealand. It seems like India will win this series if they play to their potential. Sachin Tendulkar received the man of the match award for his sublime 160 in the first innings which helped India to gain a 240 run lead over the Kiwis. It was a total team effort and rightly acknowledged by the skipper in the post match interview.

This is yet another feather in the cap for Dhoni after the T20 world cup and CB series in Australia. It will be better if India manage to win the test series. The teams meet again in a few days in Napier for the second test match and I would expect India to play an unchanged team. The Kiwis will be hoping to put up a better performance next time around as they would not want to lose this series.

India crushes New Zealand to go 1-0 up

Harbajan claims 6-63 as India crush New Zealand to win the first test by 10 wickets

Harbajan claims 6-63 as India crush New Zealand to win the first test by 10 wickets

India hammers New Zealand to win their first test on Kiwiland after 33 years. It was a clinical performance from this Indian team as they thrashed the hosts by 10 wickets. Gautam Ghambir hit the winning runs as India reached the target of 39 runs in just 5.2 overs. Daniel Vettori and the New Zealand team will be aware that they have been beaten by the better team.

The pitch was really flat and New Zealand began the fourth day on 75/3 with Ross Taylor and Flynn at the crease. The Indian bowlers persisted hard and kept the balls in the right areas to induce false strokes from the Kiwi batsmen. Munaf removed Taylor for 4 to leave New Zealand 4 down and then it was Bajji show all the way. Harbajan demolished the Kiwi middle and lower order to leave them 199/8 with Brendon Mccullum stranded at one end with Ian O’Brien to join him.

Harbajan took his first fifer against the Kiwis and his first here in New Zealand. It was a great performance from Bajji considering that the pitch wasn’t suitable to spin bowling. The wicket was pretty flat and it was the variations which Harbajan had which caused the home batsmen to make mistakes. There was a frustrating partnership between Mccullum and O’Brien which took the Kiwis to 275 but once it was broken their innings folded up pretty quickly on 279. Mccullum was the last man out for 84 caught by Laxman of Yuvraj to leave the Indians to get 39 runs to win the game.

This was a great win by the Indians considering the pre-tour reports where it was said that the Indians would struggle in New Zealand. It seems like India will win this series if they play to their potential. Sachin Tendulkar received the man of the match award for his sublime 160 in the first innings which helped India to gain a 240 run lead over the Kiwis. It was a total team effort and rightly acknowledged by the skipper in the post match interview.

This is yet another feather in the cap for Dhoni after the T20 world cup and CB series in Australia. It will be better if India manage to win the test series. The teams meet again in a few days in Napier for the second test match and I would expect India to play an unchanged team. The Kiwis will be hoping to put up a better performance next time around as they would not want to lose this series.

India look to build on the Momentum

India put behind their dissapointing twenty20 outing with a strong performance in the first ODI at Napier. Everything went according to the plan for the men in blue starting with the toss. Dhoni won the toss and decided to bat on a good batting pitch and his batsmen did not dissapoint him. Newzealand bowlers were wayward and Sehwag along with Sachin got India to a flier before the rain halted the play for the first time. India were 27/0 in the 5th over.

The game began after a 2 hr 20 minute break as a 38 over a side contest. Sehwag and Sachin began positively putting on 69 for the first wicket of just 10 overs. Sachin was out trying to run Ian Butler to third man and much to the surprise of everyone the Indian captain walked out to the middle instead of Gautam Ghambir. I am sure that this was not something the Kiwis were expecting. Dhoni formed the anchor at one end allowing Sehwag followed by Raina and Pathan to play freely. After Sehwag departed for 77 there was a small dip in the scoring rate and with Yuvraj runout for 3 Newzealand would have felt they had a chance of restricting the score.

Raina walked in to join the captain in the middle and what happened for next twelve overs put Newzealand completely on the back foot. Raina played a brilliant innings. When he came on to bat the game was still in balance and India needed a good partnership. Dhoni and Raina added 110 in just 74 balls to put the Kiwis out of the game. Raina was out after scoring 69 of just 39 deliveries. It seems like Raina is at last fulfilling the potential he displayed when made his debut few years back.

278 to win of 38 overs was always going to be tough for the home team. They lost 4 wickets for just over a hundred when the rain stopped play for the second time. When the players came out the batting team needed an impossible 105 of 46 deliveries. Few overs later NZ found themselves 9 down with just 132 on the board when harbajan struck thrice in four balls. Daniel Vettori with Ian O’ Brian made sure that the home team arent bowled out. NZ finished on 162 for the loss of 9 wickets going down to the visitors by 53 runs.

India yet again turned in a clinical performance with both the batting and the bowling clicking well for them. Praveen Kumar swung the ball consistantly and troubled both the openers and Zaheer as always was consistant. Munaf Patel needs to step up in the absence of Ishant Sharma. Ishant will be out again for the second game in the westpac stadium at Wellington giving Munaf another opportunity to prove himself. India would most probably go with an unchanged team barring any injuries. NZ though have an injury scare with Brendon Mccullum and may think of playing Tim Southee in the place of Kyle Mills as the latter had a horrible first game. The hosts have a great record at the Westpac stadium and have won their last 5 ODI’s played here.

Daniel Vettori would want a better performance from his bowlers and would hope that they can draw level in Wellington. Dhoni and India though would want to take a 2-0 lead to put more pressure on the Kiwis.

India look to build on the Momentum

Sehwag executes a pull during his 56 ball 77 in the first game in Napier

Sehwag executes a pull during his 56 ball 77 in the first game in Napier

India put behind their dissapointing twenty20 outing with a strong performance in the first ODI at Napier. Everything went according to the plan for the men in blue starting with the toss. Dhoni won the toss and decided to bat on a good batting pitch and his batsmen did not dissapoint him. Newzealand bowlers were wayward and Sehwag along with Sachin got India to a flier before the rain halted the play for the first time. India were 27/0 in the 5th over.

The game began after a 2 hr 20 minute break as a 38 over a side contest. Sehwag and Sachin began positively putting on 69 for the first wicket of just 10 overs. Sachin was out trying to run Ian Butler to third man and much to the surprise of everyone the Indian captain walked out to the middle instead of Gautam Ghambir. I am sure that this was not something the Kiwis were expecting. Dhoni formed the anchor at one end allowing Sehwag followed by Raina and Pathan to play freely. After Sehwag departed for 77 there was a small dip in the scoring rate and with Yuvraj runout for 3 Newzealand would have felt they had a chance of restricting the score.

Raina walked in to join the captain in the middle and what happened for next twelve overs put Newzealand completely on the back foot. Raina played a brilliant innings. When he came on to bat the game was still in balance and India needed a good partnership. Dhoni and Raina added 110 in just 74 balls to put the Kiwis out of the game. Raina was out after scoring 69 of just 39 deliveries. It seems like Raina is at last fulfilling the potential he displayed when made his debut few years back.

278 to win of 38 overs was always going to be tough for the home team. They lost 4 wickets for just over a hundred when the rain stopped play for the second time. When the players came out the batting team needed an impossible 105 of 46 deliveries. Few overs later NZ found themselves 9 down with just 132 on the board when harbajan struck thrice in four balls. Daniel Vettori with Ian O’ Brian made sure that the home team arent bowled out. NZ finished on 162 for the loss of 9 wickets going down to the visitors by 53 runs.

India yet again turned in a clinical performance with both the batting and the bowling clicking well for them. Praveen Kumar swung the ball consistantly and troubled both the openers and Zaheer as always was consistant. Munaf Patel needs to step up in the absence of Ishant Sharma. Ishant will be out again for the second game in the westpac stadium at Wellington giving Munaf another opportunity to prove himself. India would most probably go with an unchanged team barring any injuries. NZ though have an injury scare with Brendon Mccullum and may think of playing Tim Southee in the place of Kyle Mills as the latter had a horrible first game. The hosts have a great record at the Westpac stadium and have won their last 5 ODI’s played here.

Daniel Vettori would want a better performance from his bowlers and would hope that they can draw level in Wellington. Dhoni and India though would want to take a 2-0 lead to put more pressure on the Kiwis.