India in New Zealand 2008-09 March 4, 2009

Ouch, that hurt

Dan then decided that our goal was to not give Harbhajan four wickets for the innings
68

We got pumped yesterday, we weren’t good enough and we felt the full strength and abilities of the Indian team. (Read on...and right at the bottom, there's a chance to bid for a couple of auctioned shirts.)

Dan lost the toss (yeah, we were quite surprised too) and we were asked to bowl first; with rain forecast for later in the day it wasn’t the worst thing to be batting second knowing what you need when disruptions and recalculations happen. It just so happens that we let them score too many runs that when the recalculations happened, the task in front of us was a pretty steep mountain to climb.

We bowled well below par yesterday. The plans that we had kept to in the two Twenty20s worked; yesterday we didn’t stick to those plans enough and gave destructive batsmen deliveries in their areas, not ours. Our plans are right, we reviewed yesterday’s game and plans, extensively, this morning with the aid of the ‘Hawk Eye’ data that showed us that when we were in the right areas the scoring was limited and when we missed, we got pumped.

There are some positives that come from last night’s hiding though. We bowled poorly and India pumped up. How is that a positive? Well, had we bowled well and got thrashed then where would we have to go? It would have required a drastic rethink. And when we did get it right we did cut their scoring shots and reduce their scoring abilities.

I felt good last night, at times, and then at other times I just couldn’t get it to the right spots when I needed to. My first over was a maiden, it wasn’t quite right, but I’ll take that first up. My run up felt smooth and it was feeling easy at the crease. I didn’t have to try too hard to let it go, the rhythm was good...which annoys me even more as I didn’t bowl well enough consistently enough.

We came off for rain and were off for quite a while, reducing the overs back to 38 for each innings. Now we really needed to come out and bowl well. Not to be! We had got through 4.3 overs before the break. It’s always the way when you take your boots off the rain clears up, but you want to keep them on so that you’re ready to get back out there as soon as possible. This was the case last night. I had kept my boots on for quite a while and went and changed into my trainers while there was a heavy shower coming down. As soon as I came back out the rain stopped. I should have just kept my boots on and the rain might have stayed and saved us a thumping!

Soon after we came back out I bowled to Sachin, he dropped to about silly mid-on and I ran through to effect a run-out. This is where things get interesting. I clipped Sehwag’s leg on the way though and tripped him up - face first into the deck. I picked up the ball and threw it at the stumps not knowing he had ended up in a crumpled mess on the floor; I thought I had just clipped him and he had kept on running. If my throw had hit I know for certain that we would have not pursued the appeal. The next ball got smashed back over my head very hard indeed. At the end of the over I went to Sehwag and gave him a pat on the back, no hard feeling pal!

At drinks, while we were fielding, a message came out to us that the Sri Lankan team’s bus had been bombed and shot at. We heard that there were injuries, and some serious, but to who was unknown. It felt weird at that point, a little like it was in Australia when the bushfires were killing families there. We’re out here playing a game we love and so many people are hurting and it’s not their fault. I had to concentrate really hard on the game from this point on not letting too many thoughts about the Sri Lankans float around.

In August we had a training camp back in NZ which I had travelled to from the UK to attend. This camp was in preparation for the Champions Trophy that was to be held in Pakistan. During this camp a team from the ICC held an ‘it’ll be safe over there, you’ll get amazing security’ presentation. Even the then Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson came with the ICC group to assure us of the safety. After we had pounded the ICC group with questions and scenarios, we were given guarantees that ‘cricket’ would never be the target! How could you ever make guarantees like that? We were accused of pontificating, when in reality we were just stating our fears. Yes, from safe little ol’ NZ, but that’s just what they were.

Back to last night’s game, huh! We were set 278 after the score was adjusted because of the break in the innings. The opening Indian bowlers did what we didn’t do. They bowled great lines and lengths and in the evening air got the ball to swing. They tied down our openers until they both fell trying to break the shackles; on other grounds in NZ, Baz [Brendon McCullum] would have had a six but not here in Napier with its long straight boundaries. A couple of medium-sized partnerships followed with Gupy, Rossco and TS, and then it started to rain again. In the rush to get as many runs before the rains set in TS was run out by a good throw from the boundary and as the third umpire was making his decision the covers were brought back onto the field. This interruption left us needing 15s for the eight overs - a tough ask. It meant we needed, almost, to go from the first ball bowled. Either way there was going to be fireworks, runs or wickets. Unfortunately it was wickets. This meant I got my first bat in ODI cricket. I joined Dan and we decided on a simple plan “see the ball, hit the ball”; I, of course, tried but without too much success. I did get a message from a mate today saying I played every shot in the book. Yeah I might have, just didn’t quite come off!

Dan then decided that our goal was to not give Harbhajan four wickets for the innings. Er, sure thing mate, but maybe it's a little easier said than done! We both ended up not out but there were no celebrations, hugs and high fives as we ran through for the run because we were not anywhere near where the target.

Back in Wellington and I’ve just got back in from the worst meal I have ever paid for. It’s fair to say I won’t be going back there! I have a radio interview at 7.50am in the morning; there goes the big sleep-in. Training tomorrow afternoon and then off to meet the prime minister. Then, Friday, the second ODI from the Cake Tin, and here’s hoping for a slightly better-behaved crowd. Just don’t throw stuff guys, it doesn’t help anyone.

Auction I support the New Zealand Foundation of the Blind as a charity; I’ve got two auctions going from now that the Foundation will prosper from, so please bid and bid large. One is my signed shirt from this Twenty20 series and the other auction is Brendon McCullum’s Man of the Match medal from last week’s match winning knock. Brendon will sign the back of it before I send it and I will send a photo with it of McCullum signing it as proof of authenticity.

Fast bowler Iain O'Brien played 22 Tests for New Zealand in the second half of the 2000s

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rajesh on March 27, 2009, 6:38 GMT

    The worst thing i have seen in new zea tour 2day. Dravid didnt make any single to keep the wicket alive i think he forget whether he wd play with night watchman his play look like selfish wanna keep his wicket only.

    indian bowlers need to learn lot of things 1. i hav seen cricket for the past 18yrs but none indian fast bowler hav bowl good bouncer balls, guys closely watch the indian bowling attack from srinath to ishant while they trying for bouncer or short pich means the ball moving towards onside it can easily played by any batsman......

    just watch other team bowlers man bounce the ball upto chest on off side its hard to hit the ball.

    2. Change the rules man if its a batting our opponent need to score more than 300 for chasing menas dont keep two silps for 7 to 10 overs its ridiculous thinking all indian captains do the same thing.

  • nick on March 27, 2009, 4:06 GMT

    Goodluck in 2nd test but its going to be draw.I guess sometimes cricketers are fogetting sportsmanship at times but you are good cricketer. Hey ball full lengths and try to make the bastmen keep guessing.

  • Abhi on March 19, 2009, 21:11 GMT

    Nice posts Iain.The play starts pretty early in the morning here in india and i have been missing mich of the action though i do catch the highlights. Reading your blogs and seeing that 1 ball that got "The Wall" i must say that you just earned urself a new fan. I don't have you in my present fantasy league team but you will get a call up from the next match for sure.

  • deb on March 8, 2009, 5:15 GMT

    Hey guys,

    If some Indian fans indicated that Iain should provide a neutral perspective, that's wrong. He is a NZ player and will write it in his own way - that's completely fine.

    Let's just all enjoy a player writing his blog -- it's so rare and refreshing.

    I really missed Iain in today's game (it's the innings break now with India 391 on the board). His replacement Tim Southee was nowhere near what Iain could have done.

    Iain, this is not intended to create some competition between you and Tim (sure you already have a healthy one), it's just my opinion. You are certainly a better bowler now.

    Best regards, deb.

  • mukesh kunal on March 7, 2009, 13:31 GMT

    Hi Iain, I have been watching this new NewZealand team for quite sometime .The new players are giving a rocking performance in the field in all departments of the game.And this team really has the potential to give nightmares to players like sachin and sehwag.This team is still in the transition phase and a lot has to be done to reach upto the standards of Aussies and south africa.I was really impressed with the recent performance of Guptill and yours also.The approach of Guptill's batting reminds me of Nathan Astle.He has the potential to reach the top spot in world cricket.AS far as this series is concerned who ever win it doesn't but the main test will be when the test matches will start from 13 th of march .The winner in the longest format of the game is the real champion not the one winning 20-20 or the 50-50 games Well hope u that u keep performing well for NewZealand

  • Dunga on March 6, 2009, 11:07 GMT

    I still can't get my head around the fact that a New Zealand international will read this....and also, read many of the ugly comments coming through. Not targetting anyone. Don't flame me...

    But I have to ask - when a random person, half way around the world, gives you advice on bowling to a certain batsman....what goes through your head then? I mean...it would be bizzare to take the advice...but what if its valid? Then it must have been brought up, in some training session somewhere...

    Wow.....

    It must be great, huh?

  • Sameer on March 6, 2009, 9:47 GMT

    Hey Steven, I'm sure Iain is getting paid for his columns here, aren't you Iain? So he sort of knows what hes getting into while writing on cricinfo, which has a rabid Indian fan base. You could go easy on your bp out there! Iain is a big boy, I'm not sure he appreciates your nanny sitting here.

    Iain, man was He severe on you again. And God too! Boy are you in for it this series!

  • Saptarshi on March 6, 2009, 8:40 GMT

    ok Steven I hereby prohibit all Indian fans to come to this blog. This blog is only for Kiwis as is cricinfo. Anybody caught sneaking into cricinfo will be now prosecuted. Happy?

  • K10 "Surf meet the Turf" USA on March 5, 2009, 20:28 GMT

    Good Going lain with your blogs. I think both team need to watch out for non performer players especially with their timber like Yuvraj Singh and JDP Oram. I think one of will have a great day in the 2nd ODI. Just waiting for clock to hit 5 PM for some good cricket.

    Good Luck to both teams and play hard.

  • Steven on March 5, 2009, 19:27 GMT

    Hey Indian fans please ease up on Iain critisising him for not bowing down to the mighty Indian batsman will only make him stop writing his blogs they were started up for Kiwi fans not Indian, check out his blogs on the West Indian and Australia tours. If you want an Indian perspective put some pressure on your own players to start writing(or do they not care enough about their fans)and leave our boy alone, he offers us cricket fans an insight to the game that we would never otherwise get, and I for one don't want to loose that, and if it takes a day or two to get that big deal, his real job is the cricket not the blog and I'm sure he writes it when he can. Good luck for today and lets square the series up.

  • Rajesh on March 27, 2009, 6:38 GMT

    The worst thing i have seen in new zea tour 2day. Dravid didnt make any single to keep the wicket alive i think he forget whether he wd play with night watchman his play look like selfish wanna keep his wicket only.

    indian bowlers need to learn lot of things 1. i hav seen cricket for the past 18yrs but none indian fast bowler hav bowl good bouncer balls, guys closely watch the indian bowling attack from srinath to ishant while they trying for bouncer or short pich means the ball moving towards onside it can easily played by any batsman......

    just watch other team bowlers man bounce the ball upto chest on off side its hard to hit the ball.

    2. Change the rules man if its a batting our opponent need to score more than 300 for chasing menas dont keep two silps for 7 to 10 overs its ridiculous thinking all indian captains do the same thing.

  • nick on March 27, 2009, 4:06 GMT

    Goodluck in 2nd test but its going to be draw.I guess sometimes cricketers are fogetting sportsmanship at times but you are good cricketer. Hey ball full lengths and try to make the bastmen keep guessing.

  • Abhi on March 19, 2009, 21:11 GMT

    Nice posts Iain.The play starts pretty early in the morning here in india and i have been missing mich of the action though i do catch the highlights. Reading your blogs and seeing that 1 ball that got "The Wall" i must say that you just earned urself a new fan. I don't have you in my present fantasy league team but you will get a call up from the next match for sure.

  • deb on March 8, 2009, 5:15 GMT

    Hey guys,

    If some Indian fans indicated that Iain should provide a neutral perspective, that's wrong. He is a NZ player and will write it in his own way - that's completely fine.

    Let's just all enjoy a player writing his blog -- it's so rare and refreshing.

    I really missed Iain in today's game (it's the innings break now with India 391 on the board). His replacement Tim Southee was nowhere near what Iain could have done.

    Iain, this is not intended to create some competition between you and Tim (sure you already have a healthy one), it's just my opinion. You are certainly a better bowler now.

    Best regards, deb.

  • mukesh kunal on March 7, 2009, 13:31 GMT

    Hi Iain, I have been watching this new NewZealand team for quite sometime .The new players are giving a rocking performance in the field in all departments of the game.And this team really has the potential to give nightmares to players like sachin and sehwag.This team is still in the transition phase and a lot has to be done to reach upto the standards of Aussies and south africa.I was really impressed with the recent performance of Guptill and yours also.The approach of Guptill's batting reminds me of Nathan Astle.He has the potential to reach the top spot in world cricket.AS far as this series is concerned who ever win it doesn't but the main test will be when the test matches will start from 13 th of march .The winner in the longest format of the game is the real champion not the one winning 20-20 or the 50-50 games Well hope u that u keep performing well for NewZealand

  • Dunga on March 6, 2009, 11:07 GMT

    I still can't get my head around the fact that a New Zealand international will read this....and also, read many of the ugly comments coming through. Not targetting anyone. Don't flame me...

    But I have to ask - when a random person, half way around the world, gives you advice on bowling to a certain batsman....what goes through your head then? I mean...it would be bizzare to take the advice...but what if its valid? Then it must have been brought up, in some training session somewhere...

    Wow.....

    It must be great, huh?

  • Sameer on March 6, 2009, 9:47 GMT

    Hey Steven, I'm sure Iain is getting paid for his columns here, aren't you Iain? So he sort of knows what hes getting into while writing on cricinfo, which has a rabid Indian fan base. You could go easy on your bp out there! Iain is a big boy, I'm not sure he appreciates your nanny sitting here.

    Iain, man was He severe on you again. And God too! Boy are you in for it this series!

  • Saptarshi on March 6, 2009, 8:40 GMT

    ok Steven I hereby prohibit all Indian fans to come to this blog. This blog is only for Kiwis as is cricinfo. Anybody caught sneaking into cricinfo will be now prosecuted. Happy?

  • K10 "Surf meet the Turf" USA on March 5, 2009, 20:28 GMT

    Good Going lain with your blogs. I think both team need to watch out for non performer players especially with their timber like Yuvraj Singh and JDP Oram. I think one of will have a great day in the 2nd ODI. Just waiting for clock to hit 5 PM for some good cricket.

    Good Luck to both teams and play hard.

  • Steven on March 5, 2009, 19:27 GMT

    Hey Indian fans please ease up on Iain critisising him for not bowing down to the mighty Indian batsman will only make him stop writing his blogs they were started up for Kiwi fans not Indian, check out his blogs on the West Indian and Australia tours. If you want an Indian perspective put some pressure on your own players to start writing(or do they not care enough about their fans)and leave our boy alone, he offers us cricket fans an insight to the game that we would never otherwise get, and I for one don't want to loose that, and if it takes a day or two to get that big deal, his real job is the cricket not the blog and I'm sure he writes it when he can. Good luck for today and lets square the series up.

  • redstar on March 5, 2009, 18:16 GMT

    Hi Iain, good to know about your thought process about the sehwag incident, that's the spirit !

    In a time like this, we need people like you! Good to see the good relations among all cricket teams except the aussies who behave a bunch of arrogant rednecks. cheers !

  • carl on March 5, 2009, 17:30 GMT

    india got the best batting conditions, and then when the sun went down they got the best bowling conditions. but in saying that their execution was perfect. india are a brilliant team but so are the blackcaps in nz. this series is far from over time to fire up boys, get sehwag get india. hope you're not complacent india GO BLACKCAPS!

  • Rads on March 5, 2009, 15:33 GMT

    Nice blog, just wondering if you ever come back and read all the comments (Would totally understand if you didn't, comeon half of these support the team you are playing against!) Looking forward to the next game and hope its an interesting close match and may the better team (on the day) win!

  • Ganesh on March 5, 2009, 12:40 GMT

    First of all, very nice blog site - this is the first time I’m reading your blog & I immensely enjoyed it - will add it to my book mark for sure.

    India had a great start & finish yesterday – in between, I thought you guys did real well to restrict the run rate. To be honest, it was Raina’s knock which changed the complexion of the match. Dan was awesome – he is one of the best spinners in the world as of now – he is right up there with Murali’s & Warne’s of the world.

    The critical piece for India in this tour is going to be the contribution from Gautam, Yuvraj & Dhoni. Though Dhoni scored in this game, I thought he is still not very comfortable. Gambhir needs to come in early & should stop playing those cheap glides & focus more on hitting the ball down the wicket – which he is very good at. It will be interesting to see NewZealand’s tactics when India is firing from all cylinders!!

    I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s game – hope we get 100 Overs of cricket.

  • Pavan on March 5, 2009, 12:28 GMT

    Hi Iain, Nice to read a blog written by someone who actually played. Good luck for next game tomorrow.

  • tamilran on March 5, 2009, 11:42 GMT

    well done Iain, i would like to see you getting 5 wickets haul and india winning the match, I am an Indian and great fan of Iain

  • Bala on March 5, 2009, 11:38 GMT

    Nice Post, I like the way you write.

  • Sam on March 5, 2009, 11:33 GMT

    I support the Black Caps, you guys have some great players and just need to believe in yourselves because we do! NZ in a fw years should be no.1 cricket team, due to the massive talent currently plus caption fantastic!

  • Rahul Gupta on March 5, 2009, 11:30 GMT

    hey nice article bro it feels as if ur part of d match hhhm i toltaly agre wit u,hw u guys wuld hav felt hearing abt d atacks on srilankan players i was in d gym ealry morning watchin d match wen sundely 1 of d instructor askd us to put on a news chanel v were shocked n in complete disbelief never expected cricket 2 b the target ... hats of to u guys dat u stil continued playing coz i dnt knw abt others bt i culdnt do nething in d gym aftr dat n also my complete day in d office went watching news n reading abt d lastest updates al of us were evry tensed abt d players.... now shifting a bit of our atention to cricekt hands down to suresh raina the match was stil 50-50 aftr yuvi got out raina jst dint giv u guys a chance to control d game den aftr but i loved the way guptil bated he is an awsome player i wonder y wasnt he a part of nz team for years now taylor guptil ryder McCullum u hav a grt top order i wuld mis mcCulum if hes nt playing the nxt match al d best to u 4 d match ...

  • vijay on March 5, 2009, 11:25 GMT

    I think the best way for NZ to come back in the series is to get Shewag and yuvi early.. Once these guys get goin it become easier for player like dhoni and Raina to play...Get veru early and match is ur ..u have seen that in T20..

  • Ashwin on March 5, 2009, 11:23 GMT

    Good Post Iain... Just yesterday I was wondering why you had a shy at the stumps after you tripped Viru and was wishing someone would clear that up... Its great that you did!

    I have been a visitor to cricinfo for over 2 years now and this is my first post ...just to say that the Kiwis are the best when it comes to the spirit of the game... We(India) might(...and probably will ;-) ) win the series but Kiwis will always be the best sportsmen!!!!!!!!!!!

  • anuj panchal on March 5, 2009, 11:10 GMT

    hey guys how many of u think that dhoni came at no 3 to anchor the inning??

    What i felt was,he came at 3 to rediscover his hitting form but obviously his present batting technique dosent allow him to do so,seems he is hitting each ball with a closed bat face. seeing the way sehwag was hittin dhoni got bogged down and started playin his new found natural game ie takin 1 n 2. However the way our players r hiting the ball specially sehwag,raina,yuvi,u pathan ,,dhoni needs not to worry abt his power hitting. Hey ian ,i really believe that p.kumar is a great bowler specially outside subcontinent,,i mentioned it on ur last post as well that pk should hv been played insted of i.pathan. The best way to play him is not try to hit him specially in the starting few overs. Talkin abt ur team ,u hv got some real talent out there...ryder,oram,taylor ,mccllum..if all goes well u will be the team to beat in future.

    And please try to bring The nemesis of australia shane BOND back in the team

  • kirtyanand on March 5, 2009, 11:08 GMT

    i agree with what ian has to say but this indian team is unstoppable....cheers to dhoni

  • Akash on March 5, 2009, 11:06 GMT

    Hi Ian, I am a great fan of you though I am a Indian. You are a great cricketer.

  • sibs (Sibashish Mohapatro) on March 5, 2009, 10:58 GMT

    Without commenting on this specific blog by Ian, I simply feel "closer to the players" when i read Ian's blog about his thoughts, actions and reactions on the field. Great idea cricinfo, hopefully you shall get few other players as well (not much i hope).... 1st ODI was nice and India simply blitzkrieged through the Kiwis... Ending on a social note, feel sorry for the black tuesday of Cricket due to the shootout.

  • Sathish Madavan on March 5, 2009, 9:54 GMT

    Good job Iain. If u add a little bit more about what your mates think as well, will make it more interesting!

  • cristio on March 5, 2009, 9:26 GMT

    hey it was good...and u india have g8 team now ..and g8 captain...so ur team has to be careful about the toss..wen ever dhoni won the toss ..he won that game...so keep a plan for that also ...dont look only sehwag..just look sachin ..if he bats till 15 overs ..u cant get the game in ur hand ..he will build the team score fast...and other players are agressive now a dayz ...dats it(a big fan of sachin)i realy love him

  • Dunga on March 5, 2009, 9:01 GMT

    Hey Iain

    I really love reading the blogs of players, especially when they talk about matches. When I was a lot younger, and then again a couple of years ago, and still now, cricketers weren't human. They were some kind of demi-god. Reading these doesn't tarnish that reputation I hold of international cricketers...the respect and admiration, and all of that. But reading these blogs gives me a way to know...how it is to be an international cricketer. I dream that someday I'll be a high level cricketer myself and I must thank you for posting these blogs, giving people an insight into your mind.

  • Bala on March 5, 2009, 9:01 GMT

    Iain O'Brien, I am impressed by your writing skills. Very interesting, talk more seriouslu and analytically about the game and you will be promoted from being a blog writer to first class cricket writer!!

    This Indian team has enormous capabilities, and it pains the Indian fan when they lose matches bcoz of lack of professionalism (like when dhoni says, that all the batsmen got carried away into playing like shewag ... 1st T20!!!).

    Very Stupid and Painful.

  • Max on March 5, 2009, 8:58 GMT

    Nice blog. I think im the only NZer to post on it though :P

  • gc on March 5, 2009, 8:40 GMT

    Hi Iain, I am a big NZ fan living in Oz. I think you guys will knock the Indians off their perch. You have the batting talent these days with Rossco and big Jesse. The bowling is looking good also with yourself, young Southee and Dan ruling the roust. I would try a few shorter balls to Raina, he doesn'nt seem to like the ones into the chest area. Sachin is a great player, but still trying to find his feet in NZ conditions, so won't be easy. Good luck Iain, keep up the good work.

  • Ravi on March 5, 2009, 8:38 GMT

    Hi Iain, It is not that you bowled means all your bowlers bowled a wrong line they made you to bowl wrong line. Please accept that you were unable to bowl right line under pressure. Even if there is no rain you are not in a position to win. That is the truth but little bit bitter to accept for you.

  • rohan jadhav on March 5, 2009, 8:28 GMT

    Iam b4 this tour i didnt evn knw who u r....bt now defi am a big fam of urs ....like ur bowling style....ur articles every thing...its really amazing when u here it frm the players perspective....really thanks mate... good luck.

  • KAURA on March 5, 2009, 8:11 GMT

    hey Ian..wats the update on scott styris ? will he be joining you guys in the ODI or the test series ? hope to find an answer in your next blog.. Gud luk for the next match mate!

  • KAURA on March 5, 2009, 8:09 GMT

    hey Ian..wats the update on scott styris ? will he be joining you guys in the ODI or the test series ? hope to find an answer in your next blog.. Gud luk for the next match mate!

  • Jag Rawat on March 5, 2009, 7:47 GMT

    Hi Lain,

    I live in Australia and really enjoyed your recent tour (ODI's), sadly did,nt get the result at the end after a smashing start to the series.

    Anyway, you guys played great, and I really think that this NZ team is going to be one of the best in coming times.

    Re the current series ....let the best team take the crown.

    Good luck

  • Manoj Sharma on March 5, 2009, 7:33 GMT

    Its nice to hear stuff from the players themselves.....makes one feel a part of the dressing room. The Kiwis, as rightly pointed out by Steven Fleming, have been the biggest losers because of ICL & IPL. Even then, they have managed to built a very good squad. I personally feel that if the Kiwis tour SA and other nations more often, their skills would be 'super honed'. Just look at how McCullum has blazed away ever since he palyed the first (& best) innings of IPL 1st edition....similarly many other players have benefitted just by being side by side with the greats guns of the game. Recent terror attacks are worrisome and the players should put in place their guidelines/safeguards which they ought to follow before visiting a country. Watch out for Sachin in the next match Kiwis, as i feel that the maestro is itching to score a big one in Kiwiland.....Cheers

  • Sriram on March 5, 2009, 7:25 GMT

    Dear IAN ,Very interesting writer you are. Keep writing and am sure , you guys will give a tough fight to the world champions in the 2nd ODI. i wanted to see a good fighting cricket from you guys by True Cricket indian fan

  • Glyptothek on March 5, 2009, 7:24 GMT

    Hi Lain, It is always a nice treat to see NZ performing. You are only team in the world which rose to occasion whenever the then mighty Aussies stepped in. I love the spirit of Kiwi players, from The Greatbatch to The Crowe to The Harris to The Vettori, you guys are real warriors. Though i am an Indian and a die hard fan of Aussies, i salute NZ Team for its approach in the field especially on the home turf. Also, i would like to congratulate you for the Sehwag incident. That was a true sportsmanship. Times may change but the Kiwis would never become arrogant. Thanks for that. Since Blues are not playing Oz, they have my back up and still i hope NZ gets a fair share of credit for the series. Baz must stay a little longer and Rosco must stay clam. They can do a lot more damage when not going berserk. Dont worry about Yuvraj, he is a flat track bully but try to get Sehwag and Dhoni out early and defend against Praveen in his opening spell. Goodluck for the Series. All the Best.

  • RAM on March 5, 2009, 7:21 GMT

    Hi Ian,

    What it with the new look BlackCaps, you fire if Mccullum fires..else you are gone in the wind. I think the team deserves a better support act for Mccullum..post your thoughts.

  • Rabbit on March 5, 2009, 7:18 GMT

    I really thought the NZ team would be a pushover but after seeing you guys at work, I am not so sure anymore. India does have a tough series ahead, and being an indian fan I just hope Sehwag comes true every time. NZ does have a good team building up though, and who knows in a couple of years you guys could well be contending for one of the top 3 slots in ICC rankings.

    MS if you are reading this, dont push gambhir that late down the order, hes not a powerful hitter like sehwag or pathan, and sending him way down the order is just a waste of enormous talent. Better to take ravindar jadeja instead and keep gautam out of the match in that case.

  • Vijayendra on March 5, 2009, 7:04 GMT

    Good to see you write your own take on the match. However, I'd like you to be considerate towards the Indian team that they simply played better cricket. I believe you have plans for every batsmen who walks in, but the plans went haywire when you saw MS Dhoni walk in at No 3. Whats worse you thought he was a pinch-hitter, but he maneuvered the ball, hit the occasional four/six and stayed till the end. I bet this must have really caught you off-guard.

    The thing with this Indian team is someone somewhere will raise a hand, and stand up. It is not responsible only on Sachin or Sehwag or someone else. The other thing is the surprises it will give you from time to time. Get ready to face a No 3 in some other game, or the occasional bowling change or something else.

    What I noticed is New Zealand did not have Plan B in place. The plans which were chalked for T20 change drastically for a 50 over ODI game. I wonder if big Oram is adding any value to the current line-up if he is not bowling

  • harpal on March 5, 2009, 7:01 GMT

    now a days toss playing very important role in the outcome of the game, people become more analitical. i dont know how many of you agree with me?

  • Suresh on March 5, 2009, 7:00 GMT

    Good writeup. I have been a fan of NZ cricket team for a long time and I loved their players like Sir Richard Hadlee, Chatfield, crowe bros, deepak patel(innovation under crowe), harris & crains...the game was interesting and if NZ had slowed down the proceedings for may be 5 overs during the raina ..dhoni regime they would not have seen this high a score. NZ erred on the fact that they wanted to be positive but being positive by playing rash shorts in not the call of the hour...positive with good, safe shorts will take you long way in achieving the target in an high scoring gave. Anyways, I wish you all the best of luck for the remaining matches and let sports persons, spectaotors and officials be safe and sound whereever they are...Cheers...

  • kolla surendra on March 5, 2009, 6:56 GMT

    hai lain i enjoyed u r page and liked your style of presentation,after seeing sehwag beeing toed i felt very bad about u,but after reading this column i felt good about u peoples way of playing the game bye,best of luck for u r next game

  • Bonnie on March 5, 2009, 6:48 GMT

    Hi Iain, Its always a delight watching you guys play.And for all Indian complacencies discussed here, it was the black caps that chased over 300 consecutively against the Aussies.By the way,i would like the Black caps to set the target for India. By the way, I read somewhere u guys do not appreciate being called Black caps Any particular reasons or is it just hear and say? Good luck for the 2nd ODI ,and do you even read this

  • criclover on March 5, 2009, 6:46 GMT

    Ian,

    Good blog. I am an Indian and I like the NZ team a lot compared to other team. You are real professionals and play this game with sports spirit unlike Australian team(Aussie team can't accept their defeat and go to any length to win...like evoking a word war with batsmen and diveeting their concentration etc..). NZ Team rocks, and I love Dan Vettori most...he is the real cricket professional and an example for others in captaincy. He is very cool just like Dhoni.

    I am happy you mentioned about Sehwag's incident. I always wondered what would have happened had the ball hit the stumps. Now that you clarified it, my respect has grown more towards NZ team. Kudos to you...and all the nest in the next matches.

  • rahul, india on March 5, 2009, 6:42 GMT

    I think u don't have to worry too much on last match performance. I am sure that ur team will come good on tomorrow match. And i hope it would be a very good contesting match. Indian batsman are very aggressive. So, u can make them frustrate by slowing their scoring rates and then they will make some silly mistake like in last 2 t20 match. I hope ur bowlers will go good job on next match.

    best of luck for ur next odi match and i hope it be a very close match

  • Lenin on March 5, 2009, 5:24 GMT

    i think everyone said, and will say what i want to say... but now what am gonna say is, when u collided with sehwag, have u seen his reaction ?? he was not in hurry to get back to the crease (like other batsmen) instead of that, he just kneed down and looking @ you... thats viru, he never cares abt his wicket. he is a champion. i luv viru and men in blue.. JAI HO INDIA..

    LENIN

  • Shaik on March 5, 2009, 5:22 GMT

    Hi Lain.. U guys rock. At the end of the game wat we look for, is good cricket. I believ both the teams are giving. All the best for ya 2nd ODI... But am a pure Indian supporter... Still appreciate good cricket being played...Healthy competition....

  • JayC on March 5, 2009, 5:02 GMT

    Hi Iain- Greetings from Chicago in the US of A! Nice job with the blog. It's great to get the perspective from a player.

    I am not sure if I agree with the assessment that it was all due to bad bowling. Several good balls were thrashed by the Indians over the boundary line. Kyle had a real rough day, but credit must be given to the Indians for some phenomenal hitting. Sehwag, Raina and Dhoni were outstanding. I like what I have seen from Martin.

    I am an Indian fan, but more a fan of the game of cricket. I have always admired NZ cricketers and follow your team regularly. I am a very big fan of Vettori. You are all a class act unlike your neighbors in Aussie Land.

    Finally, my heart goes out to the Sri Lankan cricketers and the families of those who died in the terrorist attack in Lahore. What a shame? Hopefully the Pakistani authorities can catch the culprits.

    Congrats on winning the T20. Good-luck with rest of the series. Cheers Mate :)

  • Melster on March 5, 2009, 4:51 GMT

    Have to say you played great but jst wasn't good enough. Hope you guys do better 2morow and not any ducks for the NZ team. Go NZ!!!:D

  • Saptarshi on March 5, 2009, 4:49 GMT

    geebs give me a break. SHow me one blogger here who has been arrogant. Is supporting one's own team a crime? Get real mate.

  • bond on March 5, 2009, 4:17 GMT

    Iain I am waiting for ur post after 5-0 whitewash of the ODI series. ;)

  • geebs on March 5, 2009, 4:14 GMT

    I think you might have got sick by now reading all those comments by "great-Indian-fans" who promise a thrashing.. I guess as the tour will go on, the more obnoxious it will get. Anyway, whats the latest about McCullum and where's the auction details?

  • Rex on March 5, 2009, 3:24 GMT

    I was waiting to hear your take on the Sehwag incident and I'm thankful that you delivered. Also, you may not realise it now, but most international bowlers would be happy to die knowing they bowled a first over maiden in an ODI to Sachin (the ultimate batsman in ODIs).

    Another thing- some batsmen, especially Raina and Dhoni did pick some of your good balls, in case you didn't notice.

    For example the ball angled outside the off stump delivered from wide of the crease that dismissed Yuvraj in the 2nd T20 was dispatched to the point boundary by Raina, all along the ground. Dhoni hit some full balls in unusual areas with some unusual shots (the whiplash on-drive, the sweep to fine leg etc). So you better watch out. This lineup has talent. Good wickets like these won't help matters for you.

    A wicket that offers help to you bowlers could even the odds heavily stacked up against NZ. We shall see what happens in the next match. Cheers!

  • vijay on March 5, 2009, 3:04 GMT

    3-0, by sunday who'd a thought? May be none, that need not hurt NZ much. Any way NZ is saying they are trying to put up good show against world champions. Ones Ishanth comes back NZ chances diminish further. The major difference between 20-20 and ODIs is in 20-20 India trying to score 10 plus per over compared to 5 to 6 in ODIs. I don't think this NZ bowling is good enough to restrict India for less than 5. Even 250 can be a winning total for India with Zaheer, Praveen, Ishanth, Harbajan.

  • Chetan on March 5, 2009, 2:44 GMT

    Praveen is a class aprart. He is unplayable in the first few overs. Unless you play him out there is no chance of New Zealand winning Or in the event of loser Irfan playing...

  • Ananthasubramanian on March 5, 2009, 2:08 GMT

    There is always an air of audacity about Sehwag. That you have managed to be the better off him in the T20s tells us that you are good enough to get him again more often than not in this tour. But, Viru doesn't fear for anyone except Glenn McGrath. :) :) :)

    @ Dan's luck with the toss - We Indians also know that Dhoni is also lucky with the toss. He won 4 out of 5 tosses in Sri Lanka (recently) and won all those 4 matches ! Now, match this Dan :)

  • Sunil Shenoy on March 5, 2009, 1:47 GMT

    Very nicely put forth Iain .... this is the first series I have watched you bowl and in the 3 games thus far, I am convinced that you are an awesome bowler. Also, this is the first blog of yours I have read .... and now I feel you are terrific writer. Wish you the best for the rest of the series .... I am sure the rest of the ODI games would be much more competitive than the first.

  • India Cric Fan on March 5, 2009, 1:22 GMT

    Loved ur article. It's always interesting to read a match through the player's perspective. I m happy for Indian cricket team, but sad that Sachin didn't carry on while everyone else did.

    Sachin, I'm dying to see your next 100!

  • Yogesh on March 5, 2009, 0:12 GMT

    Very clever of Vettori not to give Bhajji more wickets. But more smarter would have been to give him a few thumpings. Even if it failed, it wouldn't have boosted Bhajji greatly but if you guys had succeeded it could have dented Bhajji a bit, especially some hits by Dan.

  • Naveen on March 5, 2009, 0:07 GMT

    Iain O'Brien , good luck for 2ed ODI. Hope you wont start with a maiden over :). Indian cricket fan

  • Nanavaras on March 5, 2009, 0:06 GMT

    It would have been really difficult to concentrate on the game after knowing what has happened in Pakistan. The fans too lost interest in the game and were only praying for the well-being of the Srilankans. It was terribly disturbing.

  • Atul Kulkarni on March 4, 2009, 21:24 GMT

    What happened in Pakistan is scary. I can not imagine being any of the players. Mahela giving a statement they benefited by the home experience was surprising. I mean even if one grew in war zone, it must be different to be facing death, I guess. As for the match I guess you chose not to describe it too fully, I don't know why. But I guess the first incident was bigger than Cricket itself. Also, I am glad to read that you guys would not have pursued the appeal against Sehwag. That speaks highly of the differences in you two neighboring countries to say the least! Good Luck! for the next match but expect another display like this one form Indians. I don't know why but I read your blog regularly. I guess I enjoy reading another cricketer's mind.

  • Dave Lewy on March 4, 2009, 21:13 GMT

    Hi Iain, Love the not out! Kudos! Best part of the match, unfortunately... Vettori can sure bat these days. Great statement of intent and controlled aggression to the rest of the boys. Cheers up, you guys always seem to perform far better as the underdog.

    Oh and nice take to dismiss Raina

  • Vivek on March 4, 2009, 20:56 GMT

    I've always been a fan of the black caps from the days of Martin Crowe and Sir Richard Hadlee. I was a star struck lil boy who used to sit up through the wee hours watching them play in the 92 world cup (Crowe). The current team has some amazingly talented players like you, Guptill, Rosco and Elliot. Keep up the great work. Bowling a maiden to Sachin is no mean feat. And I do hope India blanks you 5-0 (being an Indian :D) but kudos for a great game.

  • Sri on March 4, 2009, 20:53 GMT

    It is nice post Iain. I watched the text commentary of your first over to Sachin (maiden). I think it is good one as Saching can be destructive sometimes (less often these days however). Also do you people usually target a particular player like you mentioned of Harbhajan Singh? I wonder why Dan Vettori singled out Harbhajan Singh - was it to provide some kind of relaistic goal given that the match result was obvious?

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  • Sri on March 4, 2009, 20:53 GMT

    It is nice post Iain. I watched the text commentary of your first over to Sachin (maiden). I think it is good one as Saching can be destructive sometimes (less often these days however). Also do you people usually target a particular player like you mentioned of Harbhajan Singh? I wonder why Dan Vettori singled out Harbhajan Singh - was it to provide some kind of relaistic goal given that the match result was obvious?

  • Vivek on March 4, 2009, 20:56 GMT

    I've always been a fan of the black caps from the days of Martin Crowe and Sir Richard Hadlee. I was a star struck lil boy who used to sit up through the wee hours watching them play in the 92 world cup (Crowe). The current team has some amazingly talented players like you, Guptill, Rosco and Elliot. Keep up the great work. Bowling a maiden to Sachin is no mean feat. And I do hope India blanks you 5-0 (being an Indian :D) but kudos for a great game.

  • Dave Lewy on March 4, 2009, 21:13 GMT

    Hi Iain, Love the not out! Kudos! Best part of the match, unfortunately... Vettori can sure bat these days. Great statement of intent and controlled aggression to the rest of the boys. Cheers up, you guys always seem to perform far better as the underdog.

    Oh and nice take to dismiss Raina

  • Atul Kulkarni on March 4, 2009, 21:24 GMT

    What happened in Pakistan is scary. I can not imagine being any of the players. Mahela giving a statement they benefited by the home experience was surprising. I mean even if one grew in war zone, it must be different to be facing death, I guess. As for the match I guess you chose not to describe it too fully, I don't know why. But I guess the first incident was bigger than Cricket itself. Also, I am glad to read that you guys would not have pursued the appeal against Sehwag. That speaks highly of the differences in you two neighboring countries to say the least! Good Luck! for the next match but expect another display like this one form Indians. I don't know why but I read your blog regularly. I guess I enjoy reading another cricketer's mind.

  • Nanavaras on March 5, 2009, 0:06 GMT

    It would have been really difficult to concentrate on the game after knowing what has happened in Pakistan. The fans too lost interest in the game and were only praying for the well-being of the Srilankans. It was terribly disturbing.

  • Naveen on March 5, 2009, 0:07 GMT

    Iain O'Brien , good luck for 2ed ODI. Hope you wont start with a maiden over :). Indian cricket fan

  • Yogesh on March 5, 2009, 0:12 GMT

    Very clever of Vettori not to give Bhajji more wickets. But more smarter would have been to give him a few thumpings. Even if it failed, it wouldn't have boosted Bhajji greatly but if you guys had succeeded it could have dented Bhajji a bit, especially some hits by Dan.

  • India Cric Fan on March 5, 2009, 1:22 GMT

    Loved ur article. It's always interesting to read a match through the player's perspective. I m happy for Indian cricket team, but sad that Sachin didn't carry on while everyone else did.

    Sachin, I'm dying to see your next 100!

  • Sunil Shenoy on March 5, 2009, 1:47 GMT

    Very nicely put forth Iain .... this is the first series I have watched you bowl and in the 3 games thus far, I am convinced that you are an awesome bowler. Also, this is the first blog of yours I have read .... and now I feel you are terrific writer. Wish you the best for the rest of the series .... I am sure the rest of the ODI games would be much more competitive than the first.

  • Ananthasubramanian on March 5, 2009, 2:08 GMT

    There is always an air of audacity about Sehwag. That you have managed to be the better off him in the T20s tells us that you are good enough to get him again more often than not in this tour. But, Viru doesn't fear for anyone except Glenn McGrath. :) :) :)

    @ Dan's luck with the toss - We Indians also know that Dhoni is also lucky with the toss. He won 4 out of 5 tosses in Sri Lanka (recently) and won all those 4 matches ! Now, match this Dan :)