New Zealand v India, 3rd ODI, Auckland January 24, 2014

NZ starting to show consistency - Southee


Need to attack Kohli early - Tim Southee

If they beat India in Auckland, New Zealand will win the series against the world champions, to go with ODI series victories in South Africa and England. All this in the span of a year. Three successive wins over a top side like India will mean so much to New Zealand, often thought of as a lukewarm drawcard in cricketing and financial terms.

One reason for that is their inability to string together consistent performances, especially against the big sides. New Zealand had the chance to beat West Indies at home recently, but lost the final game to end the series 2-2. Consistency is what their captain Brendon McCullum and coach Mike Hesson have been saying New Zealand would like to achieve, and Tim Southee thinks they have started to do it.

"We have always been competitive in limited-overs cricket," Southee said. "We have shown we can beat anyone on our day. It is the consistency we are starting to show. We are not where we want to be. We are starting to get there. Good sides win series consistently and that is where we want to get."

A win at Eden Park will seal this one for New Zealand but as Southee said, India are too good a side to just roll over. What has been encouraging for New Zealand is that they came through the first two games in Napier and Hamilton despite both being hard-fought affairs, especially the one at McLean Park. Southee said the team management had liberated the players enough for them to play freely, and the results were starting to show now.

"We are playing an aggressive, attacking style of cricket," he said. "That is the approach Brendon and Mike (coach Hesson) have brought to this side.

"They have worked very well together and it is showing that we can go out there and play our natural game freely. We are a naturally exciting batting line-up and have got ball strikers all the way down. If they go out there and put the runs on the board as they have, it will allow us bowlers to be aggressive all the way through the innings."

Perhaps the only sore point for New Zealand has been the number of catches that have gone down. McCullum called for more "attention" on the field from his men after the Hamilton match, but felt the ground-fielding had been decent.

Southee said fielding was something New Zealand sides had prided themselves on for a number of years. "We want to be the best fielding side in the world and have got some exceptional fielders. The likes of (Martin) Guptill and the two McCullums. And Jesse (Ryder) throws himself around as well. The bowlers work hard on it and it is important we have got ten guys and a wicketkeeper out there who can field."

The eleven men will have to come together for a third, all-out burst on Saturday. It is rare territory for a New Zealand side to be in. It will be rarer still if they can conquer it.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Android on January 25, 2014, 6:14 GMT

    india will show today what he can do i think india won the match in 45-47 overs today

  • Bob on January 25, 2014, 1:35 GMT

    NZ will do their usual World Cup performance...over achieve in the group stage and make it through then give some team an easy ticket to the finals by getting their collective ani kicked.

  • Dummy4 on January 25, 2014, 0:48 GMT

    What the hell is Ashwin doing in Indian team....waste of a place....frontline spinner pick only a wicket in last 8 matches.....throw him out and bring Binny in as jadeja can fill the shoes of ashwin as a spinner in ODI's so that Dhoni will have lots of options in batting and bowling...

  • Alex on January 24, 2014, 23:29 GMT

    When it comes to batting , India have 2 perfect ODI players dhoni and kohli. Rest all patch up. NZ has 4 players Kane , Taylor , Ryder and Corey anderson. Rest are all not good for international level. Brendon mccullum need to find slot when Ishant sharma bowling. Because he can make mince meat of ishant sharma. But mccullum struggle against shami and bhuvi. if NZ wants to score of shami they must go to pitch of his ball and hit at extra cover SIX. he is ideal bowler for that shot. High arm action makes him easy to hit if you can move to pitch of his ball. To hit bhuvi and wait for the ball. Its easier to hit buvi if you can stay at crease. Bhuvi is more clever so if you make a move he will adjust compared to shami. Anyone can hit shami. One thing i advise nz is hit out shami and that makes indian bowlers shoulder drop. you can also attack spinners. NZ need 300 runs every time to beat india. Corey may not successful in every game , ryder and mccullum has to come to party.

  • William on January 24, 2014, 22:53 GMT

    @AlexK400 Ronchi just won us a t20 series against the west indies and you want him gone. give him a break. You are right to a lesser extent about Nathan McCullum as he seems to be only good for keeping the runs down in odi's but his batting has been quite disappointing. NZ is just starting to find consistency but people just feel the need to criticise us after leading 2 nil against the worlds no 2 ranked odi team.

  • Alex on January 24, 2014, 19:49 GMT

    There is only one improvement. That is corey anderson. They still have nathan mccullum and luke ronchi. Two useless players. These two can not play real fast bowlers. They struggled against muhammed shami in last 2 ODIs. I think nz need to find alternative wicket keeper and better all rounder than nathan mccullum ( but i have seen him make good scores against weak bowlers) . You are as good as your weakest link. Another weak link in nz is openers. Ryder is ok but guptil needs to play better with hunger or they need to find another power hitter at top.

  • Dummy4 on January 24, 2014, 13:31 GMT

    @wapuser....Consistent high scoring has been happening only in Indian matches on all tracks worldwide. The same tracks however look lively in non-Indian matches producing only low totals… The fact of the matter is, exactly same happens on Indians tracks too & It might surprise many that even avg ODI inns totals on Indian (so called flat) tracks (excluding Indian matches) is only 240, which is no different than world-wide tracks. Pak, on last tour of India, conceded 200 below totals in all 3 ODIs. This clearly proves that Indian tracks r not flat at all.

    Same is true with ODI rules: as Avg team totals (in non Indian matches) have hardly changed since ODI rules change. Only Indian bowling is getting more thrashing.

    This clearly proves ODI rules change & Indian tracks r not batting friendly. It is only due to the combination of exceptional Indian batting & very poor Indian bowling that Indian matches (both innings) are high scoring & scores getting even higher since ODI rules change

  • siddharth on January 24, 2014, 11:53 GMT

    India hasn't won a single international game after the retirement of the great legend 'Sachin Tendulkar'. Sachin retired 2 months back and will no longer share dressing room with the team. Is this getting into the players minds when they walk out onto the field every time? Is the team missing out on the inputs given by Sachin? Is Dhoni waiting for Sachin to comment about his team selection and tactics on the current series, until he makes any change in the remaining ODIs?

  • veermurali on January 24, 2014, 11:41 GMT

    Lets have some mutual respect for our opposition. yes, we are passionate about our nations and would want our team to win but that doesnt mean that we use this forum to get into verbal slangs and demean other nations. as an Indian supporter, we should enjoy good cricket played by any side. This is just a sport and not war.

  • Rajkumar on January 24, 2014, 11:26 GMT

    For India to have ANY chance players who should NOT be selected are 1.Ishant Sharma 2.Aswin (not necessarily in that order.BOTH have to go.)Play Ojha/Binny/Iswar in place of Aswin but make sure he is a 10 Over bowler(not usre Binny is that type although i havent seen him play.)Swap places of Rohit and Rahane.Put Dhawan and Raina on notice.Play Jadeja as the spinner(let it be hes better than Aswin and another bowler can alwasy play like Ojha)he may score valuable runs down the order one of these days when he gets enough time and India needs them badly.STICK with this side with giving Varun Aaron and Umesh also being chances to see if they fit in.

  • No featured comments at the moment.