New Zealand v India, 3rd ODI, Auckland January 25, 2014

Dhoni relieved series still alive

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First things first. India would have wanted to go back to Hamilton with the series alive. And MS Dhoni was relieved that R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja's hitting had tied the Auckland ODI and ensured the contest wasn't dead just as yet. But the spinners' batting partnership came after more failures from the middle order, and after the bowlers had conceded a 300-plus total again. So India return to Hamilton with a chance to square the series, but with most of the old problems still intact.

Dhoni, though, stressed that getting out of Auckland without 0-3 was crucial.

"The big thing for us was to stay alive in this series," Dhoni said. "This game could have gone either way at that point. It seemed we needed hard work and application to win from there and Jadeja and Ashwin batted really well to take us to where we are and keep us alive. Overall quite happy.

"I think we would have loved to win the game here. But at the same time, most important thing is being alive in the series and that's what this tie does to us. We should have lost the game from 140-odd down for five-six. Once the kind of partnership we got we should have won from there. But it didn't go our way. In the end tie was a good one because good cricket was played and bad cricket was also played by both sides. That is the reason we are on even terms. We can't win the series but we can hold it to a draw.

"Yet again there were instances where we could have packed up the game in our favour. It's important to avail those. So far we have not done that in this series. Hopefully we can do that in the coming two matches."

One thing India haven't been able to do so far is build substantial partnerships in the middle overs. This, Dhoni said, was pulling the side down. In Auckland, India slipped from 64 for 0 to 79 for 4 in just over eight overs. "In the middle overs we haven't got the partnerships that are really needed," he said. "With the kind of changes in ODIs, if you have wickets you have an edge especially from 35th over onwards. We are losing quite a few wickets in the middle overs, which means you have to restart building the innings, which means you lose 25-30 runs.

"We have got power hitters in our batting. We haven't fired. We haven't availed the last ten overs generally how we do and yet we are getting very close to opposition targets. Hopefully in [the rest of] this series we will have wickets in hand and be able to use those overs and get those extra runs."

Dhoni also singled himself out, saying that he should have batted till the finish, which he had not been able to do in all three games despite making decent contributions. "My responsibility as a batsman is to stay till the end and so far in this series I have not been able to do that," he said. "Got out close to 40-43rd over. It puts pressure on batsmen after me. Will be good if I can stay till 48th-49th over."

Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma gave India a swift start, though, and Ashwin and Jadeja ensured an electric finish. Dhoni was pleased with these performances, and said it would only help the spinners grow as batsmen. "Overall I like the approach in this game," he said. "There is a certain brand of cricket we are known to play. That was missing in the last few games. So it was very important to express and the openers did that. Lower in the order, Ashwin and Jadeja also played the same brand of cricket. Still need to convert those starts into big innings, though."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Yousafahmed11 on January 28, 2014, 6:30 GMT

    Dhoni is the best ODI batsman in the world, need to admit that even if his performance against us hurting badly.

  • VSC011 on January 28, 2014, 2:19 GMT

    I think true fans of Indian Cricket will relive once MS Dhoni is dropped. he is the worst player as well as skipper on foreign soil. India Must consider Kohli for this position. he batted well in all conditions and in all formats. he is the guy who can inspire the other teammates to raise their performance level. also has experienced of captaining of under 19 as well as IPL. moreover he deserves the place in side on his merit. Strongly feel that Dhonis time is over, we are just not capable to win overseas under his captaincy. he could have easily won the last two ODIs for India if the matches were played in Indian subcontinent. somehow he managed to score useless fifties to avoid criticism.

  • Nampally on January 27, 2014, 21:44 GMT

    @Deepak Marriyappa: Thanks for your comment about Shami. I fully understand this is a young team who is also World #1 in ODI. This is where the leadership counts. Ashwin managed to get Anderson out cheaply for the first time in this ODI series. It was the biggest chance India ever had of winning by restricting the total to < 250. It was frustrating to see Shami just blew our greatest chance. If you cannot bowl accurate Yorker "Do Not attempt or experiment" especially in death overs. Shami should go with the most effective risk free strategy. Yorkers are too risky unless you are Malinga or Johnson. Anderson & Ronchi won first 2 ODI's for NZ with S/R in 200 range. Dhoni & full Indian team knows this. Ronchi gets 38 @ S/R >200 & even Southee gets 26 @ S/R 130. India lost a golden chance to Win. Chasing 250 is less pressure on all batsmen than 313. A World #1 ODI team cannot forget such basic rules!

  • on January 27, 2014, 12:12 GMT

    @Nampally, somebody should ask Dhoni to watch out for your comments since he is missing the only tips he needs to win, duh!

    Shami is known for his ability to bowl yorkers at the death consistently. It just did not go as per his plan because of whatever reason. Its a young inexperienced side learning on how to control things when they have to. Imagine, India have been amongst the winning sides in spite of this kind of bowling. The day they get their bowling right, nobody can imagine what they can achieve. So when others criticize India for their bad bowling, are actually praying to the almighty that they stay that way. I really hope it changes and then we will see what this side can do. India have been getting close to their target which only means their opponent bowlers are also as bad as they are but they are never criticized, as Dhoni said after they won in Bangalore against Australia.

  • on January 27, 2014, 4:16 GMT

    Cricket is really a funny game where both the winning as well as losing performance c come from the same player in different games - Virat Kohli

  • Nampally on January 26, 2014, 19:35 GMT

    Shami is easily India's best wkt. taker in this squad. So banish the thought of his banning! Yes, he appeared to have a "brain cramp", bowling full tosses to Ronchi. I have seen Kumar doing the same before. Full Toss is the easiest ball to hit. If you are attempting Yorkers it has to be lower trajectory unlike Shami's trajectory. So it will be a faster lower trajectory ball right in the block hole. Indian bowling coach should be correcting this. If you cannot bowl an accurate Yorker do not experiment. Bowl a foot outside the off stump at good length with deep third man & deep extracover + off side field. I had mentioned before ODI 3 getting Anderson & Ronchi out early is critical for India. They got Anderson out but Ronch scored at nearly 200 S/R- thanks to full Tosses. Even Southee scored thanks to Kumar dropping his catch! If India got these 2 early + umpteen missed Runouts, they would have easily won the match. Make the TIE count to win the next 2 ODI's & retain World #1 spot!

  • Vnott on January 26, 2014, 14:29 GMT

    MSD is working on a formula of power hitters. But given Rainas problems against short balls, he is overall bound to be a liability. Also it is absolutely necessary to have someone with a good temperament/ technical ability like Pujara in the team since inevitably we need good partnerships to set the game up. Pujara is one of the best to do it. Possibly we can open with Pujara and Dhawan/ Rohit and have Dinesh Karthik at 5 instead of Raina. With Dhoni at 6.... Play Ashwin at 7 followed by Jadeja. We need to give chances to all the seamers - Aaron, Umesh Yadav, Ishwar Pandey other than Bhuvi, Shami and see who plays better. having Aaron and Yadav bowling 140-146 kmph is likely to be very useful in some of the games. Binny and Mishra are both unlikely to get a game but again it is important to test the bench strength to look at different perumations.

  • couchpundit on January 26, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    Really some down here want shami to be sacked after one off day and poor field set up by Dhoni? i guess they should be kiwi supporters. Dhoni simply doesn't know how to set field according to bowlers strength...i think he is like sachin in that aspect cant see how normal players play the game.

    Rohit Sharma Supporters get a life..whats the point in scoring century once the series is defined...as an opener rohit has not done anything outside india(and flat England ODI Tracks) ...only fear is he is going to get rope like ishant sharma for next few years...thats a bane for indian cricket.

    Dhoni needs to be innovate his field settings in overs 10-25...make batsmen think all the time rather than allowing batsmen to settle.

    Rahane and or jadeja should go up the order...sent rohit to 5 down...he might play well with tail... may be bring in binny instead of raina...Raina gets chance purely because of dhoni's commercial interest. Come on Dhoni you need to be selfless beyond this point.

  • on January 26, 2014, 14:02 GMT

    Very good comeback from Indian team and Dhoni should take it forward from here with positive energy.

  • boomslanger on January 26, 2014, 12:09 GMT

    I agree with most people here that Shami should be sacked and sent with Ishant Sharma to play domestic cricket. Pandey should take his place. Right no the best bowling pace attack seems to be Kumar, Aaron and Pandey. Virat Kohli should be rested before he burns out as should be Dhoni. Rahane is not suitable for ODIs and needs a rest too. Raina needs to be rested(permanently) Pujara,/rayuduSaha, Binny should replace them. Rohit Sharma (who has captaincy experience should be stand-in Captain. This is the best Indian team going to the next two matches

  • Yousafahmed11 on January 28, 2014, 6:30 GMT

    Dhoni is the best ODI batsman in the world, need to admit that even if his performance against us hurting badly.

  • VSC011 on January 28, 2014, 2:19 GMT

    I think true fans of Indian Cricket will relive once MS Dhoni is dropped. he is the worst player as well as skipper on foreign soil. India Must consider Kohli for this position. he batted well in all conditions and in all formats. he is the guy who can inspire the other teammates to raise their performance level. also has experienced of captaining of under 19 as well as IPL. moreover he deserves the place in side on his merit. Strongly feel that Dhonis time is over, we are just not capable to win overseas under his captaincy. he could have easily won the last two ODIs for India if the matches were played in Indian subcontinent. somehow he managed to score useless fifties to avoid criticism.

  • Nampally on January 27, 2014, 21:44 GMT

    @Deepak Marriyappa: Thanks for your comment about Shami. I fully understand this is a young team who is also World #1 in ODI. This is where the leadership counts. Ashwin managed to get Anderson out cheaply for the first time in this ODI series. It was the biggest chance India ever had of winning by restricting the total to < 250. It was frustrating to see Shami just blew our greatest chance. If you cannot bowl accurate Yorker "Do Not attempt or experiment" especially in death overs. Shami should go with the most effective risk free strategy. Yorkers are too risky unless you are Malinga or Johnson. Anderson & Ronchi won first 2 ODI's for NZ with S/R in 200 range. Dhoni & full Indian team knows this. Ronchi gets 38 @ S/R >200 & even Southee gets 26 @ S/R 130. India lost a golden chance to Win. Chasing 250 is less pressure on all batsmen than 313. A World #1 ODI team cannot forget such basic rules!

  • on January 27, 2014, 12:12 GMT

    @Nampally, somebody should ask Dhoni to watch out for your comments since he is missing the only tips he needs to win, duh!

    Shami is known for his ability to bowl yorkers at the death consistently. It just did not go as per his plan because of whatever reason. Its a young inexperienced side learning on how to control things when they have to. Imagine, India have been amongst the winning sides in spite of this kind of bowling. The day they get their bowling right, nobody can imagine what they can achieve. So when others criticize India for their bad bowling, are actually praying to the almighty that they stay that way. I really hope it changes and then we will see what this side can do. India have been getting close to their target which only means their opponent bowlers are also as bad as they are but they are never criticized, as Dhoni said after they won in Bangalore against Australia.

  • on January 27, 2014, 4:16 GMT

    Cricket is really a funny game where both the winning as well as losing performance c come from the same player in different games - Virat Kohli

  • Nampally on January 26, 2014, 19:35 GMT

    Shami is easily India's best wkt. taker in this squad. So banish the thought of his banning! Yes, he appeared to have a "brain cramp", bowling full tosses to Ronchi. I have seen Kumar doing the same before. Full Toss is the easiest ball to hit. If you are attempting Yorkers it has to be lower trajectory unlike Shami's trajectory. So it will be a faster lower trajectory ball right in the block hole. Indian bowling coach should be correcting this. If you cannot bowl an accurate Yorker do not experiment. Bowl a foot outside the off stump at good length with deep third man & deep extracover + off side field. I had mentioned before ODI 3 getting Anderson & Ronchi out early is critical for India. They got Anderson out but Ronch scored at nearly 200 S/R- thanks to full Tosses. Even Southee scored thanks to Kumar dropping his catch! If India got these 2 early + umpteen missed Runouts, they would have easily won the match. Make the TIE count to win the next 2 ODI's & retain World #1 spot!

  • Vnott on January 26, 2014, 14:29 GMT

    MSD is working on a formula of power hitters. But given Rainas problems against short balls, he is overall bound to be a liability. Also it is absolutely necessary to have someone with a good temperament/ technical ability like Pujara in the team since inevitably we need good partnerships to set the game up. Pujara is one of the best to do it. Possibly we can open with Pujara and Dhawan/ Rohit and have Dinesh Karthik at 5 instead of Raina. With Dhoni at 6.... Play Ashwin at 7 followed by Jadeja. We need to give chances to all the seamers - Aaron, Umesh Yadav, Ishwar Pandey other than Bhuvi, Shami and see who plays better. having Aaron and Yadav bowling 140-146 kmph is likely to be very useful in some of the games. Binny and Mishra are both unlikely to get a game but again it is important to test the bench strength to look at different perumations.

  • couchpundit on January 26, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    Really some down here want shami to be sacked after one off day and poor field set up by Dhoni? i guess they should be kiwi supporters. Dhoni simply doesn't know how to set field according to bowlers strength...i think he is like sachin in that aspect cant see how normal players play the game.

    Rohit Sharma Supporters get a life..whats the point in scoring century once the series is defined...as an opener rohit has not done anything outside india(and flat England ODI Tracks) ...only fear is he is going to get rope like ishant sharma for next few years...thats a bane for indian cricket.

    Dhoni needs to be innovate his field settings in overs 10-25...make batsmen think all the time rather than allowing batsmen to settle.

    Rahane and or jadeja should go up the order...sent rohit to 5 down...he might play well with tail... may be bring in binny instead of raina...Raina gets chance purely because of dhoni's commercial interest. Come on Dhoni you need to be selfless beyond this point.

  • on January 26, 2014, 14:02 GMT

    Very good comeback from Indian team and Dhoni should take it forward from here with positive energy.

  • boomslanger on January 26, 2014, 12:09 GMT

    I agree with most people here that Shami should be sacked and sent with Ishant Sharma to play domestic cricket. Pandey should take his place. Right no the best bowling pace attack seems to be Kumar, Aaron and Pandey. Virat Kohli should be rested before he burns out as should be Dhoni. Rahane is not suitable for ODIs and needs a rest too. Raina needs to be rested(permanently) Pujara,/rayuduSaha, Binny should replace them. Rohit Sharma (who has captaincy experience should be stand-in Captain. This is the best Indian team going to the next two matches

  • on January 26, 2014, 11:51 GMT

    rohit will score a century in the next match and he will shut the mouth of his criticisers.

  • Wacco on January 26, 2014, 10:37 GMT

    what a pity....these guys are now thinking about staying alive against NZ.

  • on January 26, 2014, 10:15 GMT

    We are just trying to see now things are going with Varun Aaron after the first class matches he played for Jharkand recently. His max speed was about 146kph and was bowling around 138-146 kph and we have to see his eco rate in the next few matches. If seems like eco rates are much higher during the 60 over matches when Kapil bowled at 3.8. Srinath was at 4.5 with the 50 over and with new rules it use to be 5.0 but now it is about 5.75 since Shami's average is about 28. Since Ishant has lost his pace he tends to struggle.

    At the ODI 2003 world cup we had 3 bowlers : Zaheer Srinath and Nehra with a combined eco rate of 4.8, 4.5 and 4.7 with reasonable pace now with newer rules it can go up quite a bit to about 5.75. Irfan and Junaid Khan still manage around 4.66 and 4.9 at pace around 145kph. So Shami, Varun must have eco rates that are reasonable.

    This needs Bhuvi at 4.63 but pace is around 130kph so let us wait and see

  • Rahul_78 on January 26, 2014, 6:20 GMT

    Replace Raina with Binny and MSD will have better balance specially playing outside subcontinent. He can easily get 5-6 overs from Binny which provides cover for other bowlers some of whom inevitably will have a rough day. Also with Binny, Jadeja and Ashwin batting in the lower middle order India can have enough firepower in the slog overs and most importantly will allow MSD to bat at 5 in Rainas position. 5 is the best position for MSD as it allows him enough rest after keeping for 50 overs and then he can dictate the pace of the innings with others batting around him. Raina at 5 is a failed experiment. MSD messed up with Yuvi by promoting Raina ahead of him. Now is the time for the skipper to plan for 2015 world cup and weed out the ones who arent performing.

  • sandyyyymani on January 26, 2014, 6:03 GMT

    I'am astonished to see ppl are not raising this isssue. India has won the match, raina scored a boundary and was not given..... There was similar case recently between Australia and England where shaun Marsh caught the ball from outside the boundary rope in air and then threw the ball and which wasnt given six by the umpire and the third umpire but was finally discussed and they added the runs in the overall total. Guys pls raise this issue.

  • YesKayR on January 26, 2014, 3:58 GMT

    with their performances, Jadeja & Ashwin has booked their places for, god knows,how many more matches. They need to understand that we need consistent shows from them like this and not once in 20 matches. Our bowlers continued to struggle and refuse to learn or improve from previous mistakes. The width they offer at 130 km speed and the 'hit me for six" short balls they offer are baffling. Shami also has started to be disappointing with his performance as he gets 'more experienced'. hope he learns quickly. Varun Aaron was a refreshing change even though he was expensive. Pandey & Binny can be tried as they cant be more expensive than Ishant !! Disheartening to see nine, ten & jack scoring 28 runs of the last 14 balls bowled by India. Whether we take some quick wkts at the end or middle or end, the opposition always scores a huge amount of runs - lack of killer instinct and running out of ideas and doing stupid things by our bowlers. Hope we win the last 2games against a mediocre KIWIS

  • Dinkepo on January 26, 2014, 3:47 GMT

    India might been won this match if batting order send Bhuvi instead of Shami who wasted few balls at crucial time and threw the wicket and put the burden on Jaddu

  • JewelJoseph on January 26, 2014, 1:47 GMT

    Well done Jadeja and Ashwin!But it is high time India's top order fired.Rahane can be given a little more time I feel.Death bowling is still an issue.The runs Southee scored in the final overs made a big difference.Dhawan is not afraid to pull or hook,but he is always a little late into the shot I think.He looks hurried when playing the short ball and may be that's why he hits a lot of them in the air.He better sort it out or it is only a matter of time before he gets bombarded with short balls.Look what happened to Raina.All the best team India to save the series!

  • baranasai on January 26, 2014, 1:39 GMT

    I still feel the old guards of Indian cricket like Shewag and Gautham Ghambir some chance on a rotational basis. They have done much more than the current openers. Still the middle order is a worry after SRK has left. I hope Rahane can settle down but we need to try Binny who can bowl as well. I feel the bowling needs to be strengthened up and change a new fast bowler in roatation basis so that we are not dependant on only a few who cant deliver Again spinners need a change as Ashwin has not got many wickets recently- we want them more for bowling -so again rotate the spinners so that the options are wider for world cup selection.

  • Siva_Bala75 on January 26, 2014, 1:27 GMT

    Let's look at the roles that Dhoni wants various players to play. Possible replacements are in brackets. 2 aggressive batsmen- Dhawan and Raina (Kedar Jhadav, Yuvraj, Yusuf Pathan, Sehwag, Unmukt Chand), One defensive bat- Rahane (Pujara), 3 mixed (aggressive and defensive) bats- Kohli, Rohit and Dhoni (Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Gambhir, Manoj Tewari), Two allrounders- Ashwin, Jadeja (Binny, Irfan, Abhishek Nayar), 3 bowlers- Shami, Bhuvi, Aaaron (plenty). The main problem that Dhoni has today is all the 3 pure bowlers' slots are filled in by pacers- so he can not afford to being in a Mishra or a Ojha. Binny, Irfan, Nayar types can not bowl 10 overs- they are not the Kapil Devs or even Manoj Prabhakars. So, the replacement options are limited. For example, Pujara can not replace Raina and he can come in only when Rahane fails- why? If you look around the world today, modern day ODI totals are @ 300 and not the 250s any more thanks to the new rules and the bats- 300 is the new normal now

  • IndCricFan2013 on January 26, 2014, 1:23 GMT

    Agree with Martin Crowe's review on Dhoni being one dimensional on, winning the toss, bowling and letting them leak runs, trying to chase anything down and failing. His attacking captaincy is very much missing in ODI. It seems he is always looking to finish of 50 overs with as less runs as possible, which is not working. He needs to change and try bit more dynamic. But I do not agree with Martin Crowe, asking Jadeja to be promoted up the order. I would thnik Ashwin should bat No.5 or No.4 or Open. Jadeja is good at the end with Dhoni, especially when Raina is not doing what he is capable of. One of Rohit/Dhawan/Kohli needs to go till end or up to 35 overs. You can not count always Kohli. When these three gets out, Ashwin needs to come up the order and fill in the role of staying till the end or so.

  • sidubudha on January 26, 2014, 0:56 GMT

    Rahane is the weakest link and he should be shown the door Sami's bowling is sub standard. He should get the boot Rohit Sharma has fallen off the cliff and hence should be benched.

  • ArvinLuvsCricket on January 26, 2014, 0:35 GMT

    I was watching the match in Sky cricket and one of the English Compere said this winning toss and chase is a strategy following by Duncan Fletcher, to make sure team is ready for anything thrown at them during the world cup. I just hope it is that way ! Keeping aside that our middle order needs to be more strong, Rahane and Raina are not quite firing yet and I personally think, Raina should come in and blast during powerplay, he is not a player who is gonna build innings. Ashwin/Jadega can come at 5. Jadega cant slog from ball one, it is better to give him some breathing space. Binny and Rayudu should be tried and don ever pick Ishanth again.

  • Nampally on January 26, 2014, 0:24 GMT

    @shanmuthu; Dhoni's tactics of fielding first in ODI's is logical on an overseas pitch because it gives the Indian batsmen to watch how the pitch is behaving. Also fielding first gives greater chance to the Indian bowlers to exploit any hostility in the pitch. Unfortunately the Indian bowlers are unable to exploit this advantage whilst NZ bowlers are doing well. Aaron when he got a chance after being benched was erratic. He looked good when he attacked the stumps on the off side. But for whatever reason he bowled too many balls going down the leg side.May be he lacks match practice. Even Shami was feeding Ronchi with full tosses & got hammered for 6's on this ground with tiny boundary. For once Ashwin bowled over the wkts. & bravely tried to attack the off stump- though bit inconsistently. This is why he was more economical. Ashwin & jadeja need to bat higher alternately so that when they are needed to perform they can score. Fortunately both scored & Jadeja was the reason for the TIE!

  • shrastogi on January 26, 2014, 0:07 GMT

    Relieved Dhoni - Oh Really!!! Arent you just happy that your young team is getting experience for the world cup 2015 ? Was winning the series a priority for you ? You have had luck with the tosses and despite seeing your top order struggle you chose to put them under pressure again. Please take out Jadeja and Ashwin for dinner in an expensive Indian restaurent from your own pocket. They just made you look less stupid. And again you are happy with your openers despite their getting out in 20s & 30s. Seeing your plight I've no doubt that if NZ wins the toss they would bat and leave the chase to you.

  • that_guy on January 25, 2014, 23:10 GMT

    NZ won 3/4 of that game. The last 1/4 India needed a special inning from it's tail to scrape a tie. I would say NZ still have the momentum and look forward to Corey Making a century and taking a 5for in the next game :D

  • on January 25, 2014, 23:01 GMT

    It was a great game. Dhoni prefers fielding because the grounds in NZ are small and our bowling is not the best. There is too much of a hype for Rohit, He did have a great series at home against Aussies and the Windies. I am not sure if he is good enough to open outside the sub continent. Rahane should open and Rohit should be #4 . My team for next game 1. Dhawan 2. Rahane 3. Kohli 4. Rohit 5. Ashwin 6. Dhoni 7. Jadeja 8. Binny 9. Bkumar 10. Shami 11. Aaron. 6 bowlers and 8 batsmen. For the future, replace Raina with Pujara. If Dhawan or Rahane fail, Pujara could even open like he did in few test matches.

  • DhairyBoghani on January 25, 2014, 22:37 GMT

    I would like to prefer Aswin at top of the order (no.4) as he is not a sloger/tailender. he has a class to play in ODIs. Binny can provide hard hitting down the order. Raina must play at no.7 as he played in WC2011. Rahane is not a ODI player. he has avg of 24 + SR of 70 after 21 ODIs with no hundred & 2 fiftes. Aswin can play batter then him if he pramote at top of the order.

  • A.Ak on January 25, 2014, 22:30 GMT

    Rohit's inability to rotate the strike hurt badly for team India. 4 sixes at his 38 still merely run a ball?. He is playing selfish cricket. Playing stylish or effortless doesnt mean its a talent. Talent counts only if you score big, particularly at the top order. Really disappointing. Dhawan is like Sehwag, hit/miss. but whrn hit, it always counts.

  • Leggie on January 25, 2014, 22:19 GMT

    Wonder what should Umesh Yadav do to get a look in. He is certainly more experienced than Aaron, and is the fastest of the lot. He had a decent Champions Trophy and his pace & swing surprised many. His comeback match in SA was not spectacular, but it was not bad either. The big disappointment with this Indian team management is that playing 11 appears to be treated sacrosanct, and resting some or making minor adjustments to the playing 11 is rarely seen. It was a miracle of sorts to see change today. No where else in the world would one get to see the same playing 11 even after multiple defeats. The horses for courses approach is rarely evident (lack of belief in bench strength??) and this to me is biggest worry for India going into WC 2015.

  • jiten27 on January 25, 2014, 22:00 GMT

    I think Ashwin wicket, How come umpire did not review . I believe that when he throw the ball from boundry line, one of his foot is outside of boundary line. and how come umpire did not check whether bowl was noball or not, there r lots of error by umpire, we should suggest this thing to umpire. any way its good cricket , if bhumi have catch that catch , n.z will be out by 288 runs, he drop that catch and threw to six. well done india keep it up , but n. z is not easy to beat.

    I think

  • on January 25, 2014, 21:53 GMT

    @Valbhipur dude Dhoni was taking a friendly pot shot at a guy who everyone knows is one of his best mates in the team! I was actually glad the captain who is usually straight faced at post match interviews came out with a crack at his teammate. It shows how close they are. I cant imagine him saying the same about someone like Kohli...different dynamics one would think.

  • on January 25, 2014, 21:20 GMT

    The only problem here is that this ground was smaller compared to the other grounds and relatively easy to smash 6s , so they should not get carried away. They have practice to play the NZ bowler's in a different way or like the SA did going out side the off and smashing to legside or lofting the with reverse flick like ABD, its not easy to do that but can be achieved. Our batsmaen hardly use that stroke....

  • Temuzin on January 25, 2014, 21:16 GMT

    Nampally: Vow, no mention of the man of the match in your post. Is it so hard to appreciate jaddu for what has he done today?

  • Shay99 on January 25, 2014, 21:08 GMT

    India need Pujara full stop. Rahane has to go. If you have Pujara he will score runs even if they maybe a bit slower. So you keep the hitter Raina at the end to make up the team strike rate, as he cannot bat for long periods anyway. I live in Aus and only get a real good look at them when they are down under. Based on the talent we have seen, on their day Ishant, Pathan and Yadav would be India's best fast bowlers. They cannot have a long tail. Look at Australia at the moment. Even the number 10 can bat.

  • AvidCricFan on January 25, 2014, 19:59 GMT

    Selectors need to seriously consider Pujara in the ODI team to give some back to middle order. Rahane looks out of sorts in ODI. Raina will not succeed on bouncy wickets. He needs to be replaced with some young blood. I would even fancy induction of Samson. He has very temperament and strokes. Rohit Sharma's role needs to be looked at too. He still has not learned how to build and pace innings. Dhawan also is in the same boat. He was looking good as long as he was not playing the hook shot. He needs to wise up on when to play that shot and when not.

  • Valbhipur on January 25, 2014, 19:23 GMT

    It was a great game of cricket. Both teams deserves big applause. Enjoyed as a cricket buff. There were loads of positive came out of this game for both teams. Nail biting finish does not even begin to describe how I felt watching the game. One shocking comment out of the coolest cricketer ever played the game MR COOL himself, Captain India Mahendrashinh Dhoni, at the post match interview, he was pretty straight as usual and just when time came to boost Ravindra Jadeja, who happen to have three tripe hundred in first class cricket, who just saved the face for his nation, was put down by a statement that I never thought I will hear from Dhoni, "My problems started when Jadeja was telling Bhuvi what to do, that is a problem area of Jadeja telling what needs to be done." SHOCKING! Jadeja was at the crease and you were not! SORRY and he is a senior batsman in the middle and he obviously have better feel for the moment. He stayed till the end and just saved the face! Show some respect!!

  • sreni on January 25, 2014, 19:19 GMT

    Two points. The point is I never argue against is "Toss win and bowl first" plan. Because what ever target you set with kind of bowling we have that target is not safe. But change of personnel , yes, high time to see a Ashwin as Batsman rather than as bowler.

  • addy_fan on January 25, 2014, 19:17 GMT

    India's playing eleven should be RAHANE, DHAWAN, KOHLI, ROHIT, RAINA, DHONI, JADEJA, BINNY, ASHWIN, B.KUMAR, SHAMI...With RAHANE opening with DHAWAN can provide a better start. KOHLI can play freely if ROHIT comes at no 4 cause they do have the firepower. RAINA can carry on with his 30's streak. BINNY there in the line up will certainly provide a more strong batting lineup and he does have the firepower too. DHONI as known as the world's best finnisher can carry on to his job. JADEJA along with ASHWIN can play sensible as well as firing cricketing shots. Now for the bowling side KUMAR & SHAMI lead from the front with the pace, swing & bounce. They will surely get help from BINNY as he bowls a good length and line. We all have seen what BINNY can do in the IPL. ASHWIN & JADEJA with their spin can help in reducing the scoring rate. According to me this shall be a good playing eleven for India..India should look forward to it..What say guyz..Am i right or am i right??

  • Nampally on January 25, 2014, 19:07 GMT

    Not only Dhoni but all the Indian fans were relieved. It was heartening to see the opening batsmen who were so dominant in India showed glimpses of their form. Secondly it was nice to see Aaron replacing Ishant. Aaron looked impressive when he attacked the stumps on the off side. But he lacked control to be consistently on the off side & also wasted his energy in futile short pitched balls. On an easy paced wkt. with short boundary I expected India to chase down the big target easily. But Kohli failed. Kohli's failure brought the best out of the others. For the first time the spin bowlers had some control. It was so good to see Ashwin bowling over the wkts. to attack off stump. This made him more economical. He should avoid wavering towards the leg stump. Shami was erratic feeding Ronchi with lollipops(full tosses), which promptly got smashed for 3 sixers! Also India were too generous missing the 5 run out chances. Had India converted these, NZ would be out for <200 & India's victory!

  • thaikkathameed on January 25, 2014, 18:28 GMT

    Is there any unwritten rule that you have to always send the opposition team to bat when you win the toss? Frankly speaking it is real stupidity when in the last two games your team is unable to chase, then you have to try batting first in the third game.

  • DC75 on January 25, 2014, 18:04 GMT

    @manishwa - easy to say tendulkar scored centuries but did not win matches based on statistics, if you had watched those matches you would have realized that there is only one batsman in the team rest were more or less passengers - and I am talking about 1990's, statistics do not always tell the truth, don't compare Kohli with Tendulkar, they are different era players playing in different teams.

  • ramli on January 25, 2014, 17:12 GMT

    NZ did not bulldoze India in any of the two wins ... the matches were immensely close ... MSD fancies that his side will chase any total ... what is wrong in that? In fact, we did come damn close in this ODI ... give India the much needed encouragement and stop cribbing about petty politics ... India will attain consistency to win regularly very soon ... good luck

  • NareshPodi on January 25, 2014, 17:12 GMT

    Happy to see all rounders performed well. Dhawan, Rohit and Raina needs to learn from their mistakes.To score more, there is no need to play the ball in the air and praying God for dropping your catch.And there is no need to hit consecutive sixes. Please learn from Kohli, playing as per the situation. Dhoni needs to convert his 50's to 100's. The game is not over after making 50 and playing ball in the air. Try Ajinkya as an opener and Rohit at Ajinky's place. The bowlers need to support each other. Please bring Stuart Binny and Iswar pandey in the team.try for at lest one match. Fielding standards are not up to the mark, need a better field coach.

  • on January 25, 2014, 16:57 GMT

    What is Dhoni upto. Why the hell is he trying to chase down the target on testing wickets where he does not have the firepower at the top. Openers are just not performing. We should have a 100 run partnership on the top. This can happen when the openers dont have to chase. These are not Indian wickets. Come on Dhoni, change your stategy and maybe you can meet with success.Bring in Rayudu in place of Raina and replace Rahane with Stuart Binny.

  • on January 25, 2014, 16:49 GMT

    I thing Kohli was bothered - while NZL batting, it sounded he took a spat with Umps for not calling a wide. By the look of it - It was more of a confrontation as there were other objections too only made by NZL when fielding - Which sounded more of a discussion. Any how as a result of that spat, Umps took some notes - Probably a cut in the match fee for him. He came to bat @ a crucial time on a good batting strip with Openers have worked okayed- played 2 maiden overs from bennette gave a catch behind the wicket in his 3rd over!

  • on January 25, 2014, 16:44 GMT

    is he happy that the series is still alive or they didnt lose today hope NZ come back strong and win the series in style

  • ShanNachimuthu on January 25, 2014, 16:40 GMT

    Now the cool captain becoming frozen captain. His strategy looks like bowl first and leave the rest to his luck while chasing. Though he knows very well his bowlers will give away 300+ runs all the time in any sort wickets, he opts to bowl first. If he is confident enough in chasing that then why not batting first, post 300+ and apply pressure on the opposition. MSD, Please don't call correct in your next toss outing. While whole of India begging for you to bat first its only you, one in a billion, opting to bowl first. I think you over cooled now and your brain is frozen. Consider Ashwin as a batsmen, who can bowl little bit(!!!!) and bring Binny in place of Rahane. Nowadays you are irritating with your adamant team selection policies.Your narrow strategies becoming making the opposition to think and plan less. You are putting your batsmen always under pressure of chasing. This will make even in-form players to loose form. Very soon you will make Kholi out of form. MSD is now MAD.

  • on January 25, 2014, 16:35 GMT

    @bijijoseph - GoodOne! MSD scored 50 of 60 balllswith 3 ball crossing the rope. Could have done worse or could not do any better lately! Umps were tested as few balls needed be declared wide when India were up, did not but few went wide in NZL inning when actually looked liker they weren't. But a sniff from lower order (probably from Jaddu) was caught behind and Umps ruled NO -:)

  • manishwa on January 25, 2014, 16:29 GMT

    @avis1001 - Tendulkar scored centuries. That was his job. It wasn't his job to win matches - neither did he care - nor would any Mumbai batsman - go on and check records since 1932.

    Kohli wins matches - irrespective of he reaches three figures.

    That's a big difference that you would never understand. SRT was a small time manipulator, Kohli wins matches.

  • sevugapandian on January 25, 2014, 15:29 GMT

    Please bring Amit Mishra in place of Ashwin. He is very good spinner, capable of taking wickets in foreign condiitons, what is stopping MSD to bring Amit Mishra??? I think this change make big impact in the the subsequent 2 games, Hope so Dhoni will think the same. Good luck.

  • chapathishot on January 25, 2014, 15:14 GMT

    If India are bowling second there is no chance that our bowling attack will be able to defend even 350.But good learning for some of our bowlers and the person who will be most relived is Bhuvneshwar Kumar who has allowed the score to reach 314 instead of 289

  • on January 25, 2014, 15:08 GMT

    rishi dhawan is the best bet for india...from.whatever I hav seen from him last ipl..he can bowl.140ks and is a genuine swing bowler plus look at his ranji rcords..he scores a fifty every other innings almost and that too run a ball...selecters shld have picked him despite useless binny...its a shame himachal couldnt qualify for knocouts..still he is the highest wicket taker

  • Nero28 on January 25, 2014, 14:57 GMT

    Happy birthday Cheteshwar Pujara

  • avis1001 on January 25, 2014, 14:47 GMT

    Hope Kohli innings does not become like Tendulkar's, whenever he played well, rest of the team do not play and when he does not play well, India wins.

  • scarrule on January 25, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    when this team visited SA last year. One should take into account that jst 5 days before their 1st odi with SA they were playing with west indies at home. The 2nd very next day they arrived in SA they were playing odi. Its fault of bcci nt the team. Coz they take there 1st two matches of odi as there warm up games. Lol.. Nd ironically odi series against SA cnsisted of 3 odi's in which 3rd got washed away. All of those saying them as ftb's take into cnsideration that 6 players in that team havent more than 10 test nd still they pretty good against no. 1

  • on January 25, 2014, 14:32 GMT

    india need good all rounders like jadeja

  • on January 25, 2014, 14:32 GMT

    bring S BINNY IN place of varon

  • bijijoseph on January 25, 2014, 14:29 GMT

    but why is it so bad if MSD decides to chase everytime. The toss will not be in his favour always and the opposition may very well chose to bat first. This way he is atleast setting up a challenge to his guys to perform and be prepared for the times they will be forced to chase.

  • ABLcric on January 25, 2014, 14:14 GMT

    Spinners save India, but by batting well. The series is alive, but if India wishes to recover, it has to seriously improve its bowling department. India cannot survive by producing flickers of good batting performances.

  • on January 25, 2014, 14:13 GMT

    @Laxman dont u know nz grounds are really small and with this bowling attack defending totals are really difficult as most are relatively new to Nz conditions. and captain as disgrace :P think u r new to cricket :D

  • on January 25, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    rohit sharma / dhawan needs to anchor the innings.Outside india they are very poor.Need to hav experienced players like Gambhir at top(at current form he definetly should be included in the squad,bt not).

  • TrueFactors on January 25, 2014, 14:09 GMT

    Overseas, you need both - patience and correct mindset to play again bounce. Ashwin has it better compare to Rohit, Jadeja and Raina. Pujara is a better batsman against pace. Rahane is not fit due to his own expectations and his doubtful mindset. For overseas, I would prefer this sequence of batting. Pujara, Dhawan, Kohli, Rohit, Ashwin, Dhoni, Yuvraj/Raina, Rasool/Jadeja, B Kumar, I. Pathan/Yadav/Pandey/Aaron, Shami. Definitely Ashwin is a batting all-rounder in overseas conditions. He has played way better than Indian most talented batting lineup before in Eng/Aus series as well.

  • IndCoach on January 25, 2014, 14:03 GMT

    Please dont even say Rohit played a decent innings. He will play 1 game out of 10 games. I still wonder how come a person with that attitude is representing a country as a batsman. Why don't the selectors give Pujara a chance and make him play constant ODI. He will definitely play far far better cricket than this nonsensical Rohit. Let him go to Ranji games and play some county matches till he proves. Why Rohit got so much support? Why Indian Cricket is influenced by Political background. Indian Cricket will not blosson until this types of under rated players are around. They can play well in the home ground. But no use to be an International player. So let him play only matches played in India. Not outside the country. I curse the whole Indian Cricket, if they play this type of lazy buggers in the team. They won't win a Single match at all. Give chances to only who performs constantly, even if it is from under 19. U selected Sachin at 16. See how he performed. Why not others??? Wakeup

  • ravimenon on January 25, 2014, 14:01 GMT

    The otherday MSD was blaming the openers. Today he is blaming the middle order. What I fee is that the Indian are forgetting about building an innings. Openers showed too much rush due to MSD's previous comments and looked like getting out any time. But, they gave a good start and still India could not build on that. Another matter is that tailenders should be able to trust their senior partner who is in full. Aaron showed lots of guts where as Kumar & shami were not knowing what they were supposed to do. Especially Kumar who is not a bad bat at all. But, the pathetic part is as always bowling. Becuase of the quality of our bowling our batsman are not bothered about 300 plus scores. Every second day they are getting this type of targets.

  • on January 25, 2014, 13:44 GMT

    Dhoni as a captain has been a disgrace. Why always bowl first? Is that due to over confidence on batsmen or no confidence on bowlers to defend? This was more or less the same bowling that defended scores in Champions trophy. By unnecessarily putting pressure on batsmen, we are not doing them any good. No way, with this bowling attack can we even cross Group 1 in next years world cup!

  • hitstraight on January 25, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    Take a chance with Ashwin at 5, and keep Raina and Jadeja as power hitters. Balances the team better. And if Ashwin clicks then his offspin justifies his place in team as all-rounder.

  • spinkingKK on January 25, 2014, 13:34 GMT

    This is a very good effort. Not just because they have tied the match. The lower order batsmen were able to turn the match. This is what has been missing in Indian batting for quite a long time - The fight till the end attitude. Even though, it is too early to announce that India now have a great lower order power, it is definitely a very good start. Now, India should find some fast bowlers who can bat. Not just bat. But, who can really crank it up. This is what is required in the modern day ODI's. In my opinion, gone are the days of specialist bowlers. You should just have a batting line-up who are confident enough to have a crack at a score of 500 runs in 50 overs if need be.

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  • spinkingKK on January 25, 2014, 13:34 GMT

    This is a very good effort. Not just because they have tied the match. The lower order batsmen were able to turn the match. This is what has been missing in Indian batting for quite a long time - The fight till the end attitude. Even though, it is too early to announce that India now have a great lower order power, it is definitely a very good start. Now, India should find some fast bowlers who can bat. Not just bat. But, who can really crank it up. This is what is required in the modern day ODI's. In my opinion, gone are the days of specialist bowlers. You should just have a batting line-up who are confident enough to have a crack at a score of 500 runs in 50 overs if need be.

  • hitstraight on January 25, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    Take a chance with Ashwin at 5, and keep Raina and Jadeja as power hitters. Balances the team better. And if Ashwin clicks then his offspin justifies his place in team as all-rounder.

  • on January 25, 2014, 13:44 GMT

    Dhoni as a captain has been a disgrace. Why always bowl first? Is that due to over confidence on batsmen or no confidence on bowlers to defend? This was more or less the same bowling that defended scores in Champions trophy. By unnecessarily putting pressure on batsmen, we are not doing them any good. No way, with this bowling attack can we even cross Group 1 in next years world cup!

  • ravimenon on January 25, 2014, 14:01 GMT

    The otherday MSD was blaming the openers. Today he is blaming the middle order. What I fee is that the Indian are forgetting about building an innings. Openers showed too much rush due to MSD's previous comments and looked like getting out any time. But, they gave a good start and still India could not build on that. Another matter is that tailenders should be able to trust their senior partner who is in full. Aaron showed lots of guts where as Kumar & shami were not knowing what they were supposed to do. Especially Kumar who is not a bad bat at all. But, the pathetic part is as always bowling. Becuase of the quality of our bowling our batsman are not bothered about 300 plus scores. Every second day they are getting this type of targets.

  • IndCoach on January 25, 2014, 14:03 GMT

    Please dont even say Rohit played a decent innings. He will play 1 game out of 10 games. I still wonder how come a person with that attitude is representing a country as a batsman. Why don't the selectors give Pujara a chance and make him play constant ODI. He will definitely play far far better cricket than this nonsensical Rohit. Let him go to Ranji games and play some county matches till he proves. Why Rohit got so much support? Why Indian Cricket is influenced by Political background. Indian Cricket will not blosson until this types of under rated players are around. They can play well in the home ground. But no use to be an International player. So let him play only matches played in India. Not outside the country. I curse the whole Indian Cricket, if they play this type of lazy buggers in the team. They won't win a Single match at all. Give chances to only who performs constantly, even if it is from under 19. U selected Sachin at 16. See how he performed. Why not others??? Wakeup

  • TrueFactors on January 25, 2014, 14:09 GMT

    Overseas, you need both - patience and correct mindset to play again bounce. Ashwin has it better compare to Rohit, Jadeja and Raina. Pujara is a better batsman against pace. Rahane is not fit due to his own expectations and his doubtful mindset. For overseas, I would prefer this sequence of batting. Pujara, Dhawan, Kohli, Rohit, Ashwin, Dhoni, Yuvraj/Raina, Rasool/Jadeja, B Kumar, I. Pathan/Yadav/Pandey/Aaron, Shami. Definitely Ashwin is a batting all-rounder in overseas conditions. He has played way better than Indian most talented batting lineup before in Eng/Aus series as well.

  • on January 25, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    rohit sharma / dhawan needs to anchor the innings.Outside india they are very poor.Need to hav experienced players like Gambhir at top(at current form he definetly should be included in the squad,bt not).

  • on January 25, 2014, 14:13 GMT

    @Laxman dont u know nz grounds are really small and with this bowling attack defending totals are really difficult as most are relatively new to Nz conditions. and captain as disgrace :P think u r new to cricket :D

  • ABLcric on January 25, 2014, 14:14 GMT

    Spinners save India, but by batting well. The series is alive, but if India wishes to recover, it has to seriously improve its bowling department. India cannot survive by producing flickers of good batting performances.

  • bijijoseph on January 25, 2014, 14:29 GMT

    but why is it so bad if MSD decides to chase everytime. The toss will not be in his favour always and the opposition may very well chose to bat first. This way he is atleast setting up a challenge to his guys to perform and be prepared for the times they will be forced to chase.