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Posts Tagged ‘Wellington

Dhoni would want to win the series 2-0

Dhoni would want to win the series 2-0

India escaped with a draw in the second test against the kiwis at Napier through the batting of Ghambir, Laxman and Dravid. India batted out 2 and a half days to save the game which was a great effort but considering that it was a follow up to a thumping win just a week ago was a little disappointing for me. The Indian fielding was mediocre to say the least in New Zealand first innings where they kept dropping catches to let NZ score 619 after reducing them to 23/3 on day 1.

Nothing should be taken away from Taylor and Ryder though; they batted beautifully to get NZ innings on track. Indian batting also was woeful in the first innings. The top order kept playing atrocious strokes to throw their wickets away. It seemed like Sehwag and co thought that they will get to the Kiwi total in 20 overs. India fell 314 runs behind the Kiwi total after the first innings. But resilient batting from Ghambir and the rest of the top order saved India from the blushes.

India now travels to Wellington to play the final test of the series and they will know that this will determine the success of this tour for the team. Dhoni will for sure come back into the side and the rest of the team will remain the same barring any injuries. Dhoni will know that the conditions will be tough in the windy city and the temperatures really low. The pitch for sure will have something in it for the pacers and Dhoni will be hoping to win the toss and bowl first.

If India manage to win or draw this test this will be their first series victory in NZ for 40+ years and it will be a great achievement for the team. The victory will be sweet for the seniors who were humiliated in their previous tour here. Daniel Vettori and NZ will be hoping to stop just that. They would want to carry the confidence of the Napier game and try to go one step better and win the game to square the series.

Let’s hope that we get yet another uninterrupted game and cricket is of the highest standard.

Sachin on his way to 61 in the second ODI at the westpac stadium

Sachin on his way to 61 in the second ODI at the westpac stadium

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.

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.

Rohit Sharma fails to latch on to a skier of the last ball of the second T20 International at Wellington on Friday as Indian went down by 5 wickets

Rohit Sharma fails to latch on to a skier of the last ball of the second T20 International at Wellington on Friday as Indian went down by 5 wickets

The Indians lost both the Twenty20 games to start the series against the Kiwis on a familiar note on an overseas tour. The Indian batsmen did not show the required application on the NewZealand pitches in spite of being in great form. Most of the batsmen got off to a good starts only to throw away the same due to rash strokes. But nothing should be taken away from the kiwis as they kept a level head in chasing two modest totals set by the visitors without much trouble.

The Indian bowlers though tried hard in vain to defend the targets set by their batters. This is the worst possible start for an important series like this for the Indian team and Dhoni would be aware of the same. He knows that India have to get back to winning ways soon as a bad performance in this series will be a huge setback for their quest to become the best team in the world.

Dhoni and Kirsten will at least be happy with the fact that the batsmen dont look out of form but their lack of application is which cost the team both the games. Dhoni said that he is looking at the positive side of the things after these losses but if this continues it will be difficult for him to keep doing the same.

I am sure that the coach and the captain will have some hard things to say to the batters and get them performing consistantly in the upcoming one day series. The one-day side will be slightly different to the Twenty20 team which played at wellington and Christchurch as Sachin Tendulkar will be back in the equation.

In all probability Sachin will open with Sehwag with Ghambir dropping down to number 3 in the batting order. Yuvraj, Raina and Rohit Sharma will form the middle order and I guess Munaf will return to join Zaheer and Ishant. The One-day series will be exciting and India would want to get back to winning ways.


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