India won the ODI series against New Zealand with ease thanks to Indian bowlers who reigned supreme in Raipur.
Not only is this the first time that an international match is being held in Raipur, it is also the 50th venue for ODIs in India, another milestone for Indian cricket. Another special feature is that the green lawn gives a red carpet welcome to the fast bowlers and feeds their balls! Rohit, who won the toss, kept silent for a while and confused everyone but chose to field because of the above reasons.
Not all grounds support bowlers. Even in cases where white balls are given, the batsmen who face them often get bowled over. If the field and the bowlers can use the environment in their favor and bowl the balls they want to bowl perfectly, then their individuality will take place on that day. The second ODI between India and New Zealand was one such match.
New Zealand were bowled out in 35 overs as the Indian pacers got off to a brilliant start and the spinners finished well. New Zealand’s top order and middle order didn’t do much in the first match. After Finn Allen’s opening, Bracewell’s death-defying action and his partnership with Santner, it is clear that their batting line-up has lost. This tournament was also a warning sign for New Zealand.
The balls swung and the pitch also showed some movement. Along with this, Shami’s upright seam balls worked magic to show mercy to the new ball.
Just like a Test match, Shami took wickets by setting up. In the first over, Finn followed Allen to set up outside the off-stump, then poked an inswinger in like a poisoned blade only to see the ball smash the inside edge of the stumps by an unsuspecting Allen. If the God and Bowl against Mitchell was amazing, the comeback against Bracewell was amazing. First ball low full Tasaki to see the boundary line, another slow yorker attempted on the next ball which is also a low full Tasaki boundary. An unexpected killer bouncer from the very next ball sent AV Bracewell to the pavilion. Although Shami has painstakingly put his plans into motion in many matches, luck does not usually favor him. This competition changed that.
Shami’s maiden wicket in the first over was a shock that spread throughout the match. However, sending in Siraj Nicholls, armed with his unpredictable Wobble Seam, threatened the New Zealanders from the other end.
If they can continue to make the same impact, and if Bumrah also comes in, the holes that were seen in Indian fast bowling will be closed and the whole team will recover.
Although he has been a part-time fast bowler in recent times, Pandya has dominated as the main bowler of the team. In this match too, he bowled the first over and showed his strength by taking a wicket.
Conway tries to drive the ball on the back off length, but he gets out with a very difficult catch. A slow delivery of Santner, who was giving New Zealand hope at the end, was also a brilliant performance. The positive aspect for India is that Pandya, who struggled to bowl even four overs in T20Is earlier, is fit enough to bowl in ODIs.
The Indian bowlers bowled well and the pitch was kind, but there was no fight from New Zealand either. They surrendered altogether. Usually in ODIs, teams that falter in the beginning will gradually recover. The time is here and the line-up of the overs will create an opportunity for that. But there was no responsible performance from the New Zealand batsmen in this match. It doesn’t look like they tried to get back up at all. They took wickets like hell. Few left in a hurry without trying to predict the field.
Eight of the 11 were out in single digits. Only Phillips crossed 30 runs.
Only the Phillips-Santner alliance held out a little. After nearly 12 overs, Audi moved the score from 56/6 to three figures. Santner’s wicket fell on 103 and New Zealand lost all three wickets before adding five more runs. Courtesy – Indian Cycling. It was spinner Sundar, who was used to taking wickets in powerplay overs during his RCB days, who got Phillips and Ferguson out with a final attack.
Tickner was also out on Kuldeep’s leg break to ensure that no one in the bowlers’ line-up left empty-handed. The match was completely under the control of the Indian bowlers from the beginning to the end of the first half. Even till the 17th over the run rate was cruising below 2.5. A few full-length balls turned into runs and the fast bowlers controlled the run spill and took wickets. So the match moved into a one-sided match from one over. The Indian bowlers swept away the disappointment of the first match.
As it was a simple target, the only expectation for the second half was how quickly India could reach it. The question arose as to whether it can be achieved by ten wickets with a difference of ten wickets to challenge their own batting. New Zealand’s opening overs somewhat stifled the Indian openers. But then India’s hand began to waver. Some of the shots like Rohit’s hook shot for a six and Gill’s square drive were a feast for the eyes. Rohit’s shots in particular took the spoils. However, the Indian team’s 41-ball dot ball in the first ten overs was a minor drawback.
Although Rohit crossed his half-century, 40 of his 51 runs came from 7 fours and 2 sixes before his dismissal. That means 78 percent of the runs were in that category.
So most of the 50 balls faced are wasted without the strike being rotated. While this may not be a major risk as it is a lesser target, this can backfire on the team when chasing a bigger target. India should also focus on this in future.
India finally won by eight wickets in 20.1 overs with Gill’s winning shot traveling over mid-on for a boundary. This has captured yet another bilateral series.
India have won 28 of the 37 ODIs they have played against New Zealand at home, losing only eight. A match did not reach a conclusion. India has won 7 out of 7 series. So India’s dominance continues. This should extend to the World Cup, not just bilateral series. And the desire of the fans is that every trophy should be the foundation for that big stadium.