Home > News >

India look to build on new-found momentum against New Zealand in 4th ODI

India look to build on new-found momentum against New Zealand in 4th ODI
New Zealand will definitely want to bat first and once again post a big total on the board for the Indians to chase © Getty Images

By Chetan Narula

Hamilton: Jan 27, 2014

Having snatched a thrilling tie from the jaws of defeat in the last game, India would look to build on their new-found momentum and aim for their first win of the tour in order to keep the contest alive when they take on New Zealand in the fourth One-Day International (ODI) at Hamilton on Tuesday.

The series stands at 2-0 in favour of New Zealand after India lost the first two ODIs in Napier (by 24 runs) and Hamilton (by 15 runs), while the third ODI at Auckland finished in a scintillating last-ball tie on Saturday.

Even though India cannot win the series anymore, the visitors at least can level the rubber and keep their world number one ranking intact, but for that to happen they need to win Tuesday’s match at Seddon Park as well as the fifth ODI at Wellington.

India’s bowling in favourable New Zealand conditions has been a big let down for the team, but the fighting spirit and resilience of Indian batsmen took the first two ODIs close and tied the third to keep the series alive.

India, however, can take heart from its performance in the third ODI. Chasing an imposing 315, Ravindra Jadeja nearly pulled off a sensational win before the contest ended in a tie.

Jadeja smacked the Kiwi bowlers to all parts of the ground to score an unbeaten 45-ball 66 to take India close in the third ODI from a no-hope position. He was ably supported by Ravichandran Ashwin who scored a quickfire 65 off 46 balls.

Interestingly, one of the key features of this series so far has been the fact that India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has won the toss and opted to chase in all three previous games.

It is a practice that runs long back. In South Africa, Dhoni won the toss in the first two ODIs at Johannesburg and Durban, and elected to chase, thereafter losing both matches.

At home prior, in two ODIs versus Australia (Ranchi and Nagpur) and one against West Indies (Kanpur), Dhoni did the same.

The last time India batted first after winning the toss was in January 2013, against England at Kochi. In 18 ODIs since then, home or away, the Men in Blue have always preferred to chase down targets after winning the toss.

The last time India batted first abroad, after winning the toss, was against Sri Lanka at Pallekele, all the way back in August 2012.

If the sub-continent is taken out of this consideration, then the last occasion of India batting first after winning the toss was against South Africa in Johannesburg on January 15, 2011, a full three years ago.

It clearly shows that there is a high propensity for the Men in Blue to field first.

New Zealand, on the other hand, has preferred to bat first and come Tuesday, the script will be more or less similar on a pitch that will be slow and become slower in the second innings.

Taking that into consideration, New Zealand will definitely want to bat first and once again post a big total on the board for the Indians to chase.

India too didn’t give any indication that they will change their plan of chasing despite the slowness of the Hamilton pitch.

It seems the Indian think-tank believes that the pressure of a run-chase is more bearable which was clearly evident from vice-captain Virat Kohli‘s statement after the first ODI at Napier.

“Chasing allows breaking down of targets and calculations over a period of time and overs,” Kohli had said then.

There is evidence to support this theory. If that January 2011 date is taken as a marker, then until the tied ODI at Auckland, India have played 30 ODIs (across all venues) in which they have opted to field first after winning the toss and earned victorious in 18 (one no-result) of these matches.

It is no secret that the Indian batting — on whose prowess this chase-theory is based — has not fired in unison in this series so far.

The openers have squandered their starts, particularly Rohit Sharma in the last two ODIs at Hamilton and Auckland.

Ajinkya Rahane is still trying to find his feet at number four position, while Suresh Raina’s compulsive pulling — a shot he is not very good at — is proving to be his downfall.

Kohli and Dhoni are the only ones among runs, but their ability to chase down targets is hit by the batting line-up’s inconsistency.

Even so, the three ODIs here in New Zealand have been too close to call. At Napier, India fell short by only 19 runs, when Kohli, Dhoni and Jadeja fell in quick succession. At Hamilton, if the D/L method is negated for a moment, the misfiring Indian batting did conquer the Black Caps’ total of 271/1 by six runs, finishing at 277/9 with three balls to spare. And in the last game, the Indians did score 314 for nine in a start-stop stuttering fashion.

But as Dhoni pointed out later, the important thing is that the Men in Blue are still alive in this series.

This alone should be a worrisome point for New Zealand.

Brendon McCullum hasn’t been forced to make a decision at the toss, and his side has become increasingly comfortable with their well-rehearsed tactic of batting first, saving wickets in the first 30 overs and then going all out in the death with wickets in hand.

But this ploy back-fired at Eden Park, almost, as Corey Anderson was dismissed cheaply for the first time in three matches.

The thing which would definitely bother the Kiwis is that that they failed to close out the third ODI after reducing India to 146 for five at one stage.

At Auckland, for the first time in the series, the Black Caps let go off an opportunity and India pounced on it.

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

Australia perpare for 1st Test against Pakistan

Pakistan’s chances in ICC World Cup 2015 bleak: Mohammad Zahid

Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test in Dubai Preview: Motivated Pakistan look to hurt rusty Australia

MS Dhoni rested, Virat Kohli as captain, and other points of interest from squad for first 3 India vs Sri Lanka ODIs

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: MS Dhoni gets much-needed break ahead of Australia tour

A Pakistan all-time XI: A galaxy of captains

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India India vs West Indies India vs West Indies 2014 New Zealand Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa West Indies West Indies tour of India 2014 West Indies vs India 2014

West Indies cancel tour to India: ICC says it does not have power to intervene

Aditya Garhwal slams 196 in 50-over match for Rajasthan under-19 XI

Loughborough becomes latest ICC-accredited testing centre

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan’s ton takes Pakistan to 219/4 on Day 1

Shahid Afridi wins it for his team in an exhibition match for displaced at Bannu

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 highlights: Younis Khan’s ton, Mitchell Johnson’s riveting spell

Younis Khan becomes 12th batsman with a ton against each of the Test-playing nations

Steve O’Keefe and other Test cricketers with apostrophes in their surnames

Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Geoff Marsh and other Father-Son trios to have played Test cricket

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Why did Mohammad Hafeez go for a shocking review?

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here