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Monday, November 29, 2010

NZ ODIs - India strike first in a match of second-strings

NewZealand decided to make the ODI interesting by resting their two stars - Dan Vettori and Brendon McCullum - against an Indian team that had already rested five mainstream players. The Indian team lost the toss once again and it was a good chance for the Black Caps to take quick wickets.

The opening pair from India was quite good and even though they may not have scored a big one, managed to get a good start for the hosts. Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh capitalized on this and scored at a good pace. Virat has had a good start to his international career so far - taking care of all the opportunities that he has received thanks to injuries or India's rotation policy. An investment for the future, for sure - how he will fit into the playing eleven when the regulars are back is a good headache for the selectors.

Yuvraj has slipped in his own high fielding standards but seems to be making up for it by his bowling. He picked up useful wickets and looks like he will play this role frequently for India in the World Cup. Yusuf Pathan got a chance once again and thanks to missed catches, scored a brisk 29 - his bowling was not so good however. What impressed me most in this match was the bowling of the off-spinner Ashwin. The ball he bowled to Ross Taylor was one that displayed his temperament while being punished by the batsmen. Bowling a similar ball with the same flight and line, he foxed Taylor with the one that moved away. His captain was so confident about his bowling that most of the overs bowled during the Power-Play was done by Ashwin - again a player for the near future.

The Kiwis lacked the firepower in the bowling first and then the batting collapsed after the dismissal of Taylor. This is close to the team that lose to Bangladesh recently and not more is expected in this series as well. The bowlers struck regularly to bring the innings to the lower order. The token resistance from Mills was expected while the catches taken by Munaf Patel was surprising to watch!!!
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