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Mar 16

TACTICAL REVIEW Ind vs Nz: Indian Batsmen Fail On A Turning Track

With a 0-4 head-to-head disadvantage against New Zealand, India had a point to prove at home. The pre-tournament favorites were humbled at Nagpur.

 

1st Innings:

With Harsha Bhogle and VVS Laxman, jibber jabbering about how good a batting wicket the Nagpur track might turn out to be, Raina , produced a top class T-20 part time spinner performance. The ploy to bring Raina into the attack, ahead of Jadeja , Yuvraj and Pandeya, was a master stroke from Dhoni, given that Corey Anderson, the lefty , was trying to anchor the innings on a pitch , where even Kumble could have turned the ball.

 

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A typically disciplined bowling attack from this formidable Indian team, backed by some great fielding, restricted the Kiwis from breaking free during most parts of the game. In hindsight, probably Luke Ronchi’s late flourish of 12 runs from the last three balls off Nehra, were invaluable.

 

2nd Innings:

“We failed to adapt to the conditions” said Dhoni.

India boasts of the “best batting line-up” in the world, but a world beating batting lineup, typically consists of batsmen who can adapt to varying conditions and perform under pressure.

 

Top-order failure :

Shikhar Dhawan : What was he thinking when was playing across the line to a flat offspinner like Nathan McCullum, in the first over ? India had to chase 127, not 180. Dhawan is NOT world class.

Rohit Sharma : My coach used to say, however confident you might be, give a “new” bowler his due respect before taking on him. Stepping out to Santner in his first over and playing across the line was bad shot selection. Chasing a modest target, with Shikhar out early, Rohit had to build a partnership with Kohli, which he failed to do.

 

All-rounders Failing:

Pandeya might not get many more opportunities to prove his worth as a batsman at this level, if he continues to fail. He was supposed to play second fiddle to the captain, which he couldn’t. Ashwin played that role better than anybody. Jadeja’s failure again, raises serious doubts about the batting abilities of our bowling-allrounders.

By the way, Bhumra seems to be a better batsman than Nehra.

 

New Zealand’s bowling :

Setting a target and trying to defend it as a unit, on such a turning track, was a task that New Zealand accomplished with finesse and discipline. Santner and Sodhi were the standout bowlers.

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Santner : Some great spin bowling was on display from the left arm spinner. He reminded me of Daniel Vettori, albeit the variations were not as subtle as the veteran. He used the conditions to his advantage. Apart from one short ball to Dhoni, Santner displayed great accuracy and understandably was open to flighting the ball. He beautifully out-foxed Rohit with flight. 4-14 is a remarkable return, in the first match of a world cup against the pre-tournament favorites.

 

Sodhi : It’s a refreshing sight to watch any leg spinner dominate the bat. Sodhi showed exceptional composure and control to produce a top class bowling performance. He also has a googlee and seems to be an interesting prospect . He might have a bigger role to play as the tournament progresses.

 

Key Takeaways:

With many more such pitches anticipated and with spinners winning the match for the Kiwis, the New Zealand squad can now start believing that they can go the distance in the world cup.

Indian bowling and fielding was upto the mark, while the batsmen were way off mark. They have to kick-start against Pakistan and put in a performance worthy of the favorites tag.

I predict India to perform better and yet lose against Pakistan. I hope I’m not being anti-national here.

 

About the author

vijay vikram

I love sport, cricket and football in particular. Gunner. Big fan of Koscielny. Sachin,Dada,Dhoni,punter,team india and cricket australia. Follow me @vijayvikram290.

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