New Zealand v India, 1st ODI, Napier

Attack-first attitude keeps McClenaghan striking

Mitchell McClenaghan's primary duty is go all out for wickets and, like he showed in Napier, he has the knack of doing the job for his team at key times

Abhishek Purohit in Napier

January 20, 2014

Comments: 49 | Text size: A | A

Mitchell McClenaghan celebrates a wicket, New Zealand v India, 1st ODI, Napier, January 19, 2014
Brendon McCullum on Mitchell McClenaghan: "As long as he's attacking ... then we know what we are going to get" © Getty Images
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India needed 69 more off 46 deliveries to beat New Zealand in the Napier ODI. They had six wickets remaining, and Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni had already put on 95 in just 14 overs. A couple of overs more and the duo could have run away with the game. Brendon Mccullum handed the ball to his strike bowler.

Mitchell McClenaghan delivered yet again, getting Dhoni caught behind on the hook with a sharp bouncer. Three balls later, McClenaghan had Ravindra Jadeja edging a lifter to the wicketkeeper. Facing an asking-rate of ten now, Kohli had no choice but to try and attack McClenaghan in the fast bowler's next over; he ended up placing a full toss straight into the hands of short cover.

Dhoni said that was where the game turned, and India lost a match they had seemed like winning at that point. McClenaghan ended with 4 for 68, the sixth time he had taken four or more in an ODI. He has played only 19 one-dayers, which means that almost every third match, he picks up a four-for. McClenaghan, with 47 wickets to his name, is set to become the second-fastest to 50 ODI scalps behind Ajantha Mendis, who got there in 19 matches. This ability to strike, and strike repeatedly, has given him the best strike-rate ever for bowlers who have taken at least as many wickets as he has.

McClenaghan strikes at 20.4, which puts him way ahead of number two on the list - Junaid Khan with 27.1. Only 12 bowlers on the list have a strike-rate under 30.

It is revealing to see that McClenaghan has the highest economy-rate of 5.80 among those 12. He has already developed a reputation of going all out for wickets without worrying too much about how many he concedes. His first-class average is nearly 40 compared to a List A one of 23.88, which also suggests that he is appreciably more effective with the white ball than with the red.

Before the series, Brendon McCullum had said that New Zealand would target wickets rather than trying to contain India and would not hesitate to play both McClenaghan and Adam Milne, who can also be expensive as he strives for extreme pace. While Milne was unfortunate to go off the field with a side strain in Napier, he did work up hostile speeds consistently. But it was McClenaghan who did the job for his captain once more.

"He does keep producing at key times for us and I can't stress the importance of it," McCullum said. "He is going to travel at times but as long as he is trying to perform in the manner that we have picked him for, then we are happy and he has to ride that wave because he has the handy knack of picking up wickets at key times.

"He is not always going to do that but as long as he is always trying to do that, that's the message we keep telling them. As long as he's doing the right thing in terms of attacking and trying to take the wickets for us, then we know what we are going to get when he comes in to bowl. He did it again and he is certainly proving to have a pretty good knock out."

With the new fielding restrictions allowing only four men in the deep, containment is increasingly becoming difficult for captains. Bowlers such as McClenaghan, who combine accuracy and good pace, might become even more valuable assets as sides rebuild their strategies to suit the changed regulations. Of course, they will also need more attacking captains such as McCullum to back them.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by DJRNZ on (January 21, 2014, 17:30 GMT)

Mitch, Boult, Southee, Wagner, Bennett, Milne, Bracewell, the the old head Mills and the brilliant Bond as coach plus an aggressive Captain..... NZ pace bowling has never looked so good!! Not to mention the all rounders Anderson and Neesham to back them up. The likes of young Matt Henry in the wings... very exciting times for NZ if they can stay injury free unlike past NZ quicks. Good to see an attacking mindset instead of the limiting mindset NZ used to have with our slow / mediums a few years back!

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (January 21, 2014, 7:15 GMT)

@Jake Hishon Are you serious? Shane Bond is n't real.

Posted by InsideHedge on (January 21, 2014, 6:56 GMT)

India did well to recover to 200 odd for 4 wickets down after that poor start (or great start for kiwis depending on how you look at it) but you always got the feeling that just one more wicket was all NZ needed, and so it proved.

What many Indian fans have missed observing is that in this day and age when tailenders all contribute with the bat, we continue to produce bowlers who don't even know how to hold a bat. It was comical to watch Ishant and Shami swinging at the end. Our weak tail puts enormous pressure on our middle order.

Most teams now bat way deep, often to No. 10. We, on the other hand, have too many players who are weak in all three disciplines. At the very least, a bowler should be a good fielder, he should have a good arm so he can patrol the boundary adequately.

We're a million miles from someone like Jimmy Anderson who on top of his bowling is good enough to field in the slips. He's also superb in the deep.

Posted by 22many on (January 21, 2014, 6:52 GMT)

All NZ have done is take a leaf out of Australians book....get big nasty quicks bounding in and no team likes that.... Mills might get another turn but I would like to see NZ unleash Bennett on the Indians.

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (January 21, 2014, 4:13 GMT)

im so pleased nz has taken a new approach to its bowling line up, we have never had the best batters so we need attacking bowlers like mclenaghan to try and get teams out cheaply, it won't work all the time but it is a better approach than just trying to contain teams who arn't really looking to attack much untill the 35th over anyway but if a team is 5 down at the 35th they can't set to launch like they would if they were only 3 down so you have to find bowlers that take wickets rather than just being economical this is where nathan mccullum has to lift his game and take more wickets, he's doing an ok job but every team needs a spinner who takes wickets and mccullum doesn't take many, lucky for us our seamers are doing a great job lead by the man with the golden arm, mcclenaghan.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 3:30 GMT)

Indian fans change ther tune so fast ! Last weeks it was how bad nz are and the Definite 5 0 series line, really annoying stuff either your a fan or not . Wake up call at least . I'm a nz fan but Kholi is a massive problem that needs to be solved or mark my words India will win this series cause sharma Raina and dharwan won't fail often. Reminds me of an Indian Clarke more wristy but so similar through the offside . Same presence at the cress great players.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 3:10 GMT)

'So in a way it was bad luck that Dhoni's unjudicious selection to go for that shot when the new bowler was introduced. He should have at least played a few deliveries before going for the risky shot. That was the crucial wkt. in what would have been an Indian win.'

So, basically, if he hadn't got out, India would've won? I think you could make the same argument for any batsmen on any team that ever lost an ODI. That's how the game works.

Batsmen make a mistake, they get out before scoring enough runs and the team loses.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 2:59 GMT)

I would play McClenaghan in the 2 tests . My test team would be Rutherford,Ryder,Williamson,Taylor, McCullum,Anderson,Watling,Southee, Sodhi, Boult and McClenahan. ( Other option is to go without spinner, use Williamson and have Ronchi in as wicketkeeper and use Watling as batsman only.

Posted by anarky on (January 21, 2014, 1:52 GMT)


"NZ has done a great job rebuilding their team since they were so unimpressive in the Champions Trophy and the WC 2011."

NZ were in the semis of WC 2011, the only non-subcontinent team to do so...

Posted by Winchester666 on (January 21, 2014, 1:51 GMT)

@bigindianfan - nz pitches aren't responsive at all these days to the point where there has been a number of complaints about them. they're beautiful pitches but they are too well manicured.

sure we weren't great at the champions trophy, we had a win against sri lanka, a loss against england, and the other game was rained out but we did alright at the wc, we were the only non-subcontinent team to make the semis. I think it's a bit harsh to call us 'so unimpressive'.

Yea i agree with the other posters, not express pace, doesn't move the ball around yet at the moment his strike rate is the best of easily the best of all-time. IT's definately all about his positive attacking attitude at this point. Will be interesing to see if he can keep it up or whether players get use to him and he starts to decline. Shane bond is bowling coach so i wouldn't put it past mitch improving his action either.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 1:07 GMT)

@ Shane bond much respect for interacting with the communitie, your input is highly valued and obviously new Zealand is benifitting from getting coached by getting trained by arguably the best bowler to play for our great country. so proud of the black caps following them is the closest thing I have to being back home in new zealand. Go the kiwi giant killers !

Posted by Nampally on (January 20, 2014, 22:37 GMT)

At one point when Dhoni & Kohli were in control, India just needed 69 off 46 balls with 6 wkts. in hand. This is where adventure rather than discretion got better of Dhoni & he was caught trying to hook a short ball from McClenaghan. Dhoni who is considered the best finisher in ODI failed & that was the end of Indian chase.So in a way it was bad luck that Dhoni's unjudicious selection to go for that shot when the new bowler was introduced. He should have at least played a few deliveries before going for the risky shot. That was the crucial wkt. in what would have been an Indian win. Dhoni must consider moving to #5 spot in place of Raina. In most matches so far where India won Dhoni came thru' in such situations. Now instead of India getting the win the credit goes to the bowler for this crucial wkt. Hopefully India & Dhoni will get favourable breaks in the next 4 ODI's. Cricket is a game of chance & this one chance made the difference between Victory & a Loss.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 22:35 GMT)

I hope that Mitch McClenaghan does not simply become a Geoff Allot. That is all.

Posted by jain_121NZ on (January 20, 2014, 21:55 GMT)

Ishant Sharma Should Never Ever Play for Indain Team Again. Dhoni keeps his priority above the country's. It is quite Concerning to me how come the indian selectors are not puting their foot down. How can you keep Class Players like Gambhir , Shevag , etc out the game for so long .I really don't understand the retaional why doni gave Ishant Sharma the boll in Play . Ishant has never ever preforme for indian when required . I really would like to see Ishant sharma don't play ever for Indian Cricket team he is such an disappointment for all the cricket fans at home and abroad

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 21:50 GMT)

Just as well India will only have to play Australia and England going forward eh

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 21:24 GMT)

I am a fan and supporter of Dhoni. But I am not liking what I have been hearing from him in press conferences. He has accepted the fact that India's current bowling is beyond repair and keeps on picking the same beaten up bowlers like Ishant Sharma or Ashwin time and again with the proposition that they are not good enough but they are best we have.Both Ashwin and Ishant should have been dropped from the one day squad long time back.About the no 4 and 5 position unless we get Pujara in the squad I am not expected any of these positions to produce a matching winning or significant innings. So the onus is on Dhawan, Sharma ( who is overseas technique against new ball is looking susceptible with every match), Kohli and Dhoni to help India win a match

Posted by myStraightTalk on (January 20, 2014, 18:53 GMT)

India will be defeated in this series by 4-1. Dhoni has to be blamed for keeping the looser like Ashwin, Ishant and few others. Selectors has to soon bring in Kohli as captain for the World Cup. In order to avoid injury before the IPL current players will not take much effort to win this series.

Posted by kahvas on (January 20, 2014, 18:42 GMT)

Until Dhoni keeps his priority above the country's, India are going to continue losing. Dhoni's buddies Ashwin, Jadeja, Ishant, etc need to be rested. Jadeja may play as a bowler, calling him a batsman or all rounder is an insult to the game. Bring Gambhir in, make him the captain and Virat stays VC, and the key player in the team. Keep Dhoni in the team as a WK batsman.

Posted by TNAmarkFromIndia on (January 20, 2014, 18:33 GMT)

Mitchell McClenaghan's wicket-taking ability is quite remarkable. I honestly don't know how he does it. There's no particular reason I can think of as to why he takes as many wickets in every match as he does. The only thing predictable about him is his unpredictability. Would be interesting to see if he would be able to be as effective over a long period of time. Looking at the top 2 names in the list of fastest to 50 ODI wickets - Ajantha Mendis and Ajit Agarkar, neither achieved long-term success.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 17:46 GMT)

It is indeed great to see NZ produce talents like McClenaghan and Corey Anderson. We're tired of seeing only 5 or 6 teams dominating world cricket. Let's hope WI also up their game!

Posted by BigINDFan on (January 20, 2014, 16:35 GMT)

it will be interesting to see how McClenaghan performs on tracks that are less responsive but right now he is NZ's strike bowler. NZ has done a great job rebuilding their team since they were so unimpressive in the Champions Trophy and the WC 2011.

Ind batting is fine except that they need to solidify the top order - get Raina out and bring in Rayudu. Rohit needs to know his role, build an innings or attack. Dhawan seems to attack naturally so Rohit needs to build. If Rohit is not performing bring Pujara to open since he plays fast bowling very well especially the short ball and can build an innings.

Dhoni needs his power reduced when it comes to team selection or else it is time to give the captaincy to Kohli. He is not rotating his bowlers properly and keeps giving excuses about field restrictions. First pick the right XI.

This Ind batting line up is quite strong and can push all the world's best attacks. They need a strong captain which MSD is not at this point in his career.

Posted by Albert_cambell on (January 20, 2014, 16:27 GMT)

Mcclenaghan is a great find for NZ. I remember his debut ODI against us in our home grounds. He was sole the sole reason why they won that match. I can he stays injury free and performs consistently throughout his career.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 16:25 GMT)

The difference between NZ and India is the clarity of thought in the minds of the captains. Unfortunately Mr. Cool's mind is faltering in judgement... whether it is intentional or inadvertent I am not sure, Dhoni is not taking right and bold decisions.

Posted by CricketMaan on (January 20, 2014, 16:09 GMT)

Welcome to IPL Mitch, Corey! You guys are gonna love it there!

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 16:08 GMT)

I can't understand why indian selecters are not selecting Cheteshwar Pujara.I think Pujara could be crucial for the world cup.His batting skills can be utilised in overseas.

Posted by asikbadhon on (January 20, 2014, 15:53 GMT)

@ 512fm: Among first 19 matches Mendis played against India for 6 times and got 19 wickets, against Zimbabwe he got 18 wickets in 6 matches and Bangladesh, he got 2 wickets in 2 matches! McClenaghan has really faced far tougher opponents!lol!!!Source:;template=results;type=allround;view=match

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 15:47 GMT)

Keep it up NZ just teach India a message of life that their batsmen are of nothing outside india. Its time for Dhawan, double centurien Rohit, Raina and sir jaddo to join a club in England Australia or New Zealand just to be familier with such kind of tracks.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 15:45 GMT)

Milne is getting talked up way to much . India didn't look bothered by his pace in the slightest. There's a lot of bowlers bowling mid one forties.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 15:21 GMT)

Ishant Sharma needs to be dropped. No questions about that. And Rohit's lack of focus is coming back again. Raina also needs to be dropped. Rayudu should be in. I would get in Rayudu [Raina], Pandey [Ishant], Varun [Ashwin]. But what is very noticable is the very long tail of this team. And none in the tail is a strike bowler. So that is a case of Can't Bowl, Can't Bat and Can't Field. That combination is a guaranteed recipe for failure. Can't be overusing Shami. That would be end of the poor kid. Need some good bowlers [isn't that alwasys the case with Team Indai??].

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 14:40 GMT)

Newzealand will win the series one day as well as test

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 14:39 GMT)

waiting for varun aron entry to blast the game.

Posted by K4316 on (January 20, 2014, 14:37 GMT)

@Jimmyvida The umpires didn't stop play because if Misbah-ul-haq can see the ball clearly when he has a helmet on, then why can't the fielders see it without a helmet. It was pretty obvious at how slow the Sri Lankans were playing in the end and they were obivously trying to stall Pakistan from winning.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 14:28 GMT)

It is pity to see Indian strike bowler with 4wickets cant bowl out his full quota. Is it right for Indian team?. What the captain cool thinking about?. he don't know the mathematics for complete 10overs for Shami?. Really bad thing..

Posted by Jimmyvida on (January 20, 2014, 14:11 GMT)

India cannot take a page from NZ fielding wise. Looked OK for the first hour, but as soon as the New Zealanders started striking the ball with some power, the poor fielding began to show. Same with SL. Just lost the game to Pakistan. Fielding again as poor as they come. From half way to the boundary SL fielders couldn't find the wicket keeper once and Pakistan kept taking two's where they should be struggling for one. SL, India, Pak, Bangla could blame their batsmen and bowlers all they want, but their fielding will always let them down. The other thing about this SL/ Pak game is that fielders were complaining that they weren' t seeing the ball, but the umpires kept going. Umpires never checked for light. Why? The first time in the game that they stopped playing because of bad light was supposed to set the standard for the test match. Isn't that so.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 14:07 GMT)

@ Shane Bond, It's India's only first match of the series, wait till Dhoni pick up Aaron, Umesh instead of Ishant, Ashwin and Jadeja. India's new face bowlers can surprise you mate!

Posted by sachinssnn on (January 20, 2014, 14:05 GMT)

WOW this NZ team got real talent. I hope they don't fade away with injuries etc. Anderson, Mitch WOW every captions dream. Best wishes from SL fan...

Posted by wapuser on (January 20, 2014, 13:26 GMT)

Mitch u lovely babe.. Come man show brilliant u are .....kohli good batting but rest of india except dhoni poor batting.. Well done kiwi good luck to next match..

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 13:18 GMT)

69 runs with 46 to go - You just hit the nail in the coffin. No team is suppose to loose from this position. Unless you have twice triple centurions on flat track followed by "I would cut my hairs" with a total score of 71 runs from 100+ innings is sent ahead of Shami - Who can at least hit the ball!

Posted by praviris on (January 20, 2014, 13:16 GMT)

Its good to see NZ draw the first blood given the flat track instead of a seaming, fast pitch by the NZ cricket board to please and stay in the good books of BCCI. It is a pity to see cricketing nations compromise the tour.

Posted by realfan on (January 20, 2014, 12:50 GMT)

Mitchell McClenaghan : got to say this guy is the real find for Newzealand, how i wish we had atleast one bowler like this.... he already took 47 wickets in 19 matches... wow... he may not look threatning while bowling , but he is strike bowler, even though he goes for runs it doesnt matter, he gets wickets on regular basis... his strike rake is exceptional , he takes a wicket every 3.5 overs .... great...

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 12:13 GMT)

@512fm Mate beware, "subcontinental fighters" are coming... :-D

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 11:53 GMT)

@rsr89 Too bad your bowling panicks all the time. Sharma, Ashwin, Jadeja and to an extent Shami were panicling when Corey, Kane, Rosco, Baz, Ronchi were sailing.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 11:52 GMT)

Excellent bowling by Mitch......just wish India had the same fire power !!!!!

Posted by 512fm on (January 20, 2014, 11:52 GMT)

It should be noted that Mendis played over half of those 19 games against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, its the main reason he has a good ODI record. McClenaghan has faced far tougher opponents.

Posted by Sam_M234324 on (January 20, 2014, 11:49 GMT)

McClenaghan has been a really great find this last year or so. NZ has for so long been a 'containment' team in both ODI and tests, and it's refreshing to see this current crop of strike bowlers, whether it's the deadly swing of Boult and Southee with the red ball or the hostility of McClenaghan and Milne with the white ball. I also find McG quite interesting in that on paper he doesn't seem to have many attributes that would alarm batsmen. He's not extremely fast by international standards, bowls gun barrel straight with basically no swing or seam, and tends to spray the ball all over the place, yet he somehow just produces wickets out of nowhere! This just shows that sometimes certain bowlers just have an unexplainable 'X Factor' I guess? Long may it continue! PS so happy to have India and their gun batsmen in NZ this summer. Hopefully we can put in a good performance and show the ICC we're worthy of eating at the 'growns ups' table!

Posted by buntyj on (January 20, 2014, 11:45 GMT)

umesh yadav has a similarly good strike rate but a less good economy rate. difference is msd prefers keeping the runs down (works in india where ashwin , shami get wickets but not abroad), nz prefer taking wickets.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 11:45 GMT)

Mitch Mcclenaghan at first sight might decieve us for Geoff Allott. He has striking resemblances like all out attack bowler, has pace and also has height. But unfortunately, his hip bone has caused him problems. He has proved himself everywhere apart from subcontinent.

I am a big fan of Kyle Mills but I really think he shouldn't play in this series. Mills has had a great career but he should now make way for Milne or Neesham, at least in New Zealand. He's best to use in subcontinent or England but not here.

Hoping for a Dan the man vettori miracle to happen but alas, some dreams never come true. We must move on.

Posted by Naresh28 on (January 20, 2014, 11:37 GMT)

Dhoni and Rahane fell to some excellent fielding both catches came at crucial times. NZ were brillant throughout the game. Our bowling needs new injection. THERE IS NO CONFIDENCE THAT WE CAN DEFEND ANY TOTALS or OUR BOWLERS LET THE OPPOSITION GET AWAY WITH THE GAME. We cannot be expected to win games solely on batting.

Posted by rsr89 on (January 20, 2014, 11:33 GMT)

Next match will tell how much NZ can attack. NZ were panicing when Dhoni and Kohli were batting...

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