India vs New Zealand 2016 4th ODI Report
Dhoni & Co Flop Chasing 261 As Kiwis Draw Level
Brief Scores :- New Zealand 260 for 7 (Guptill 72, Williamson 41, Mishra 2-42) beat India 241 (Rahane 57, Southee 3-40) by 19 runs
It was not MS Dhoni’s day and like so many times in the recent past, his failure spelt India’s doom. Wednesday’s fourth ODI at JSCA International Stadium showed once again that Dhoni, the finisher, is gone and his successor is yet to emerge. It is Virat Kohli who has to lead as well as finish a chase if India are to win.Needing 261 on a pitch getting slower, lower and aiding spinners, India fell 19 runs short of the Black Caps’ total despite a good-looking half-century from Ajinkya Rahane, and a fluent 45 by Kohli up the order.
With Mitchell Santner at his economical best and defying the dew, and his fellow pacers using the cross-seam delivery to good effect, what India needed was another batsman who could rotate the strike and hit the odd boundary .
Kohli did that as long as he was around but after he became a lucky break for Ish Sodhi, Dhoni failed to get going and the young ones following him were not up to the task.
The match started to slip out of India’s hands when Dhoni once again found it difficult to rotate the strike, let alone hitting his trademark shots. He could seldom find the middle of the bat. His 31-ball stay was painstaking at best.
The pressure told on Rahane and he perished trying to play Neesham’s straight ball past fine leg. Neesham got through the defence of the captain in his next over. Heartbroken Ranchiites got the hint and the stadium was halfempty in no time.
The next few overs proved that though Pandey can play a couple of mind-blowing shots and Pandya can be India’s future, they are not finished products, or finishers, yet.
Neither is Kedar Jadhav who tried to play across the line off the first ball on this kind of a wicket and was caught plumb in front. All this leaves the successful experiment of promoting Axar Patel as a footnote.
For New Zealand, most things went right. First, Kane Williamson won his first toss on this tour in this must-win match. Although many found it surprising that he chose to bat first given the dew factor and the presence of three spinners in his side, the result justified his decision. There was enough dew to slow the outfield down, not to make his spinners useless. They did not pick up a bagful of wickets but kept things tight.
The Kiwi top-order finally scored crucial runs even though they could not finish their innings with the flourish they would have liked.
Tom Latham and Man of the Match Martin Guptill (72 off 84 balls) gave the team a rollicking start. They were 80 without loss at the end of the first Powerplay, and in the end that proved to be the clincher.
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