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

McCullum rues one that got away


When MS Dhoni got out, India needed 131 with four wickets and 86 deliveries left. Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin's half-centuries ended up tying the match, and Brendon McCullum admitted it was "potentially" one that got away. New Zealand were so close to sealing the series with what looked like a third successive victory but it was not to be, and McCullum praised India for their fightback.

"A great game of cricket. It ebbed and flowed the whole way through that second innings," McCullum said. "Credit to India, when they looked as if they were out of the game, they flexed their muscle a little bit and got themselves back into it. And just when we thought we had it again, obviously they came back. The innings that Jaddu played at the end was pretty awesome.

"We had our chances, there is no doubting that. Definitely had our chances - a few catches and a few run-out opportunities and a few things - but it is a tough one. It was a great game of cricket to be involved in, just disappointing that didn't get the result in the end but a tie is a tie."

McCullum said New Zealand were pretty sure Jadeja had nicked Mitchell McClenaghan behind in the 47th over when he was given not out. But while he felt there was little New Zealand could do about it, he said his bowlers could have bowled better at the death.

"Our plan was very much to keep the ball out of Jadeja's arc and we obviously got hit for a couple of sixes straight towards the end there. The wicket was pretty slow, so obviously a little bit tough to use that short-ball tactic to the effect that we have so far in this series. When you don't win, you obviously question a couple of things but I still thought we were pretty good without being top draw."

India needed 18 off the final over, and New Zealand only had allrounder Corey Anderson as the seam option as the specialist quick bowlers were done with their quota. McCullum said that was because he had used someone like Tim Southee to try and take wickets earlier, and added he had enough belief in Anderson to give him the 50th over.

"It's not always going to work, poor fellow sitting in there at the moment is a bit upset but it's the nature of having those opportunities in the death as well. He again learnt a lot tonight about bowling and seems to me that he is learning quicker than anyone in international cricket about batting and bowling at the moment. We will keep backing him, he did a great job for us today with the ball and gave us the opportunity to win the game and whilst he didn't close it out, I thought he did a really good job and he will learn a lot from it.

"Obviously Tim is another death bowler for us but at that stage of the game, we were looking for wickets. We knew that if we kept taking wickets, then we were going to be in with a pretty good chance of winning the game. Corey is one of our options at the death. So is Tim, Mitch as well. We have used Kane (Williamson) at the death at times as well.

"It's about how the game plays out based on when you need wickets, when you need to push and when you need to hold back. Today we were pushing and hence we went to Southee a little earlier and left Corey at the end. Even Nathan had to bowl pretty deep into the innings, under the circumstances when you are chasing wickets."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • MehulG on January 26, 2014, 22:29 GMT

    If India want to win WC15 tournament, then team need what they had in 1983. More batting + bowling options. Technically better, adapting, utility players.

    On AUS/NZ pitches, we need more pace allrounders who bowl with accuracy at military pace.

    Balanced team need: 2 openers, 2 bat, 2 bat with P/T bowl, Four allrounders (Pace vs. spin: 3+1 or 2+2), and one wickettaking Faster for start and at Death.

    Based on above, I see this team....

    Openers: Dhawan, Pujara, JJ singh, U.Chand, Gambhir etc.

    2 Bat: Kohli, MSD

    2 Bat + P/T bowl (or, WC to let Dhoni bowl): Raina, Yuvraj, Rohit, Rayudu, Karthik, L Rahul, C Gautam, etc.

    Spin allrounders: B. Aparajit, Ashwin, Jadeja, P. Rasool, etc.

    Pace Allrounders: S Binny, A Nayar, I Pathan, R Dhawan, B Kumar, S Yadav etc

    One wicket-taking Faster : Shami, Sandeep Sharma, Aaron, Unadkat, Yadav, Vinay etc.

    I dont think it need 150+ bowler. Team need bat till No.10, and most can bowl, at accurate line/length. It will form a best team for competition.

  • john on January 26, 2014, 22:03 GMT

    Agree that bendon maccullum needs to start contributing more with the bat but to say that nathan didnt contribute much is rubbish. He was arguably our best bowler on the day, he created the pressure with accurate bowling, and was unlucky not to get at least 2 wickets. As for the game, it was NZs to lose, India will be much happier that they managed to avoid a loss. A lot more chances to win for NZ than India, and with DRS it wouldve been a NZ win.

  • Ashok on January 26, 2014, 20:09 GMT

    It has been often said "Chances Win Matches"!. Both India & NZ blew their chances & the final result - TIE- is justified. So there is no need to feel sorry. Two previous ODI's were won for NZ by Corey Anderson. He did more this time in bowling by claiming 5 wkts but luckily for India, failed in batting. His early dismissal should have helped India to get NZ out<250. But some shabby brain cramped full tosses by Shami to Ronchi let NZ slip by.To make matters worse, Kumar let a catch thru' his hands for a six which helped Southee to compile another 25. India let another chance slip by after missing 5 Runouts, earlier. Fortunately for NZ, both Kohli & Rahane failed which led to mini collapse. But then later batsmen responded. Ashwin & Jadeja nearly won the match for India till Guptill's fantastic catch. Yes Jadeja was great in the last over of Anderson to get the 18 runs to tie. It was a see-saw battle ending in Jadeja nearly winning or losing!. Cricket - A great game of grabbing Chances !

  • Vikram on January 26, 2014, 18:28 GMT

    I just can't understand how Gavaskar praises Rohit Sharma as a Great Talent, despite him averaging in early 30s as a specialist Batsman!!!! Mumbai bonding I would think. When Rohit & Ishant play for India, its like Indian team has 9 players against 13 players from the opposition! Its time to drop the useless Rohit IPL Sharma, pick Rayudu & get Ashwin to open the innings. May be Binny can come in the place of Raina for a couple of games, although Raina may be persisted with in preparation for the World Cup title defense...

  • Karthikeyan on January 26, 2014, 17:37 GMT

    @Asadujzaman Shamim, it is not about one or two series, it is about overall performance. Hope you won't forget Champions trophy which was not held in sub continent, and it was in England. The cup is won by India while Pak finishes last. Don't say by watching one or two series, also India has never surrendered and did fight well in all the matches and not like Pak.

  • Mohan on January 26, 2014, 17:25 GMT

    Its not Dhoni's team played well in the last game. They play like this in every game. Its NZ who played the bad cricket. Sorry to say, but after watching last 3 one dayers, I reckon both McCullums are not contributing to the team efforts. Captain should lead by example (by scoring runs and taking catches) ... not just adjusting the field every two minutes. IMO, NZ is winning by chance.

  • Garry on January 26, 2014, 7:35 GMT

    Every country has to say you start using the review system or you can play with yourself. New Zealand won this game if it was any other country they were playing against.

  • Subramani on January 26, 2014, 5:09 GMT

    As Capt.Meanster has mentioned,Kevin Pietersen was an off spinner and used to play for Kwa Zula Natal in that role even as late as I think 1999 when the English team visited South Africa. He was a big hitting lower order bat in those days. But then when he moved to England he realised that he had a greater chance if he played as a batsman.Ashwin was an opening bat but gave up batting as his first choice because of a series of unending failures. It was then that he took up off spin bowling and found recognition with that trade. One can see that he is a very organised batsman with all the strokes that the Rainas of this world would envy. And he is completely fearless against the fastest bowling. Maybe they should try him out in the top order.Similarly Jadeja should be given more responsibility in batting. He hails from a part of this country from where Ranji,Duleep were and from where Pujara comes. It is something in their genes I suppose. We could well have another Mankad in Jadeja.

  • Shiv on January 26, 2014, 5:08 GMT

    I saw the full match replay on espncricino and was really impressed by Ashwin's batting, even though his bowling was still very defensive and just about ok but not good enough for a strike bowler. I think he should be given a chance to open, drop rohit or raina and give a chance to rayudu.

  • Dummy4 on January 26, 2014, 5:03 GMT

    A great game of cricket. Who would have thought Jadeja to do the heroics though fell marginally short. I think the opposition all over wants to bounce out Indian batsmen and the Indians will be pretty comfortable with short balls before the WC starts. Hey guys, bowl more short stuffs.

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