New Zealand v India, 5th ODI, Wellington January 30, 2014

New Zealand seek to deny India that winning feeling


Match facts

Friday, January 31, 2014
Start time 1400 local (0100 GMT)

Big Picture

The series is gone, the No. 1 ranking too for now, but how are we doing with the memory of winning a match? India need to be reminded of that feeling.

Their long sojourn away from Asia began with the tour of South Africa in December and now halfway through the New Zealand tour, they are yet to win a match. They must be reaching a stage where they start to doubt themselves and everything around them. When they are reminded of their previous long trips outside Asia. Especially worrisome will be that except for the Wanderers Test they have never really been ahead in a contest despite whatever encouragement they can draw from the rearguards that ran New Zealand close in three ODIs.

This might be a dead rubber, but India need to reassure themselves they can win before they go into the Test series. That this is not the same nightmare of 2011 playing itself out again. Somehow, through individual brilliance or through dogged teamwork, India need to win a match. New Zealand need to do everything within their powers to convince India that they are indeed back on the treadmill of defeat. They will not want to be very generous with resting players. They will want to maintain that psychological hold over Indian bowlers, they will want to keep denying the Indian batsmen easy runs, and with that any confidence going into the Tests.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)

New Zealand WTWWL

In the spotlight

Kane Williamson has been beating India at their own game. He is superb against spin, he is never hurried, he clams the whole innings down, he doesn't take undue risks, and has been setting up solid platforms for the hitters to go big. Actually he has spoilt the big hitters with his accuracy: if he scores 50 or more in Wellington, he will share the second-longest streak of fifties for New Zealand with Roger Twose and Martin Guptill, and will be only one behind Andrew Jones.

MS Dhoni is one run short of 8,000 ODI runs, and will be the fastest to that mark for batsmen who bat so low down the order. Amid all the chaos around him - the ordinary bowling, the struggling batting - Dhoni has displayed a Williamson-like consistency scoring 40, 56, 50 and 79 not out. Can he conjure something to take his side one step ahead and actually register a win?

Teams news

New Zealand have called up uncapped Canterbury quick Matt Henry, who took a first-class five-for last week. There might be a few bowlers with niggles, but Nathan McCullum also said they were pretty keen to "nail the series 4-0", so don't expect changes just for the sake of it. Tim Southee is likely to be rested, meaning that Hamish Bennett will keep continue to keep his place in the team.

New Zealand 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Jesse Ryder, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Brendon McCullum (capt.), 6 James Neesham, 7 Luke Ronchi (wk), 8 Nathan McCullum, 9. Kyle Mills, 10 Tim Southee/Hamish Bennett, 11 Mitchell McClenaghan

India, averse to change for so long, suddenly pulled two out of the bag, which unsettled the batting line-up a little. However, Dhoni later said that Virat Kohli at the top of the innings was probably a one-off, and that Ajinkya Rahane was not going to open in ODIs. This might mean a return for Shikhar Dhawan. India might also look to give Ishant Sharma a go in order to get him into rhythm before the Tests.

India 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Ajinkya Rahane, 5 MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), 6 Stuart Binny/Ambati Rayudu, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Varun Aaron/Ishant Sharma, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Stats and trivia

  • Since the introduction of the new field restrictions in October 2012, India have conceded 300 or more 11 times, five more than Australia who are second on the list.
  • Over the same period, Australia have scored 300 or more 10 times; India have managed eight such scores.
  • Of the 60 wickets that have fallen in this series, only one - Guptill in Hamilton - has been lbw.
  • Expect a lot of orange shirts: Tui has extended its "catch a million" to the first two people - it used to be one - in the crowd who catch a six one-handed. This is also the last chance to "catch a million" in this New Zealand summer.


"It would be lovely. When we set out for this series, just a win would have been fantastic, but the way we have played in this series, to be as consistent as we have been, 4-0 will be a fantastic result."
Nathan McCullum says New Zealand have eyes set on extending India's winless streak

"I don't think there is a big difference in what the sides are doing. It is about small things. We are making little errors. It is just that we panic a bit, and we have to reduce that percentage. I don't think there is any major problem why we are not clicking in batting and bowling."
Ravindra Jadeja wants his team-mates to do the little things right

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Al on January 31, 2014, 0:13 GMT

    We have already lost the ODI series, so there's no harm in giving a chance to Ishwar Pandey and Amit Mishra. We are losing anyway !!

    Seriously, we need good pace bowlers and wicket taking spinners. Ashwin is a complete waste as a spinner. He has taken 1 wicket in last 7 ODI. On top of that he is a lousy fielder. Why can't we try Amit Mishra, Parvez Rasool, Iqbal Abdulla, etc.??

    As for pacers - Rishi Dhawan, Pankaj Singh and Anureet Singh have been doing well for past few Ranji seasons. Why not try them instead of the same old Ishant Sharma, Unadkat, and Vinay Kumar??

  • Harjinder on January 30, 2014, 23:29 GMT

    India will try to turn the every stone and have to do that , but indian bowling attack is near the zero power. Dhoni and his home-made team has only batting strentgh so lets see......

  • Dummy4 on January 30, 2014, 23:20 GMT

    The Kids should know what is waiting for them outside India. However I rue the decision of the board - not to take player's like Shehwag, Gambhir, Zaheer, Yuvraj to keep them in the mix. At least 4 -5 players should be experienced in the bunch, to make it a balanced combination. My take -

    Openers - Sehwag - Gambhir - Shikhar - Cheteshwar ( Two of them) One / Two / Three - Kohli - Ajinkay - Rohit - Raidu - Raina ( any three) Captain - Dhoni All rounder - Binny or Bhatia or Yuvraj ( any one) Spinners - Jaddu - Ashwin - Amit - Harbhajan ( any one or two depending on pitch) Fast Bowlers - Shammi - Zaheer - Irfan - Aaron - Umesh ( any two or three depending on pitch)

  • Karthikeyan on January 30, 2014, 23:19 GMT

    Good team will learn even from winning. This is where, India missed. When India was continuously winning in ODIs, they should have tried different combination (at least from Bowling area). Instead they stick with same combination and now once they are not able to perform, new players are also struggling in International games! Even in our winning games, our bowlers never performed, but they were hiding in the performances of our batsmen!

  • ESPN on January 30, 2014, 23:15 GMT

    We will win ( www) this one. India is very hungry to win and will want to show why it used to be the # 1 side in the world. NZ will be stunned today.

  • Steven on January 30, 2014, 23:13 GMT

    PFFFFTTTT what a joke, after the thousands of comments from Indian fans before this tour I thought were we going to see a white wash right? I mean you were telling us how poor our batting and bowling line up it's all India's fault and most of you can't even say we're the better side. Anyway, let's hope NZ can take some of this form into the Test Series, which will be a whole nother battle! I Love India coming to our shores, but some of the fans need a reality check!

  • Navraj on January 30, 2014, 23:01 GMT

    I can't understand strategy of Sir MS Dhoni. Why he has to make two changes at once. Even if he had too then Why he changed the batting order for Virat. When he knew only Virat Kohli is performing right now. And also When Captain can't decide when to bat or bowl first. He shouldn't be Captain anymore. Why he is always blaming bowlers for not performing???????? When you choose your bowler don't you sit with the board and recommend who and why do you wan't???? Then why to blame others. When you can't make right choice. 5 and 5 will never work for any team. What happened to Irfan and Yuvraj ??? I am very positive it would have huge difference in our team.

  • Nish on January 30, 2014, 22:55 GMT

    It would be ridiculous if the bench strength is not fully tested in a dead rubber match by the likes of Mishra, Pandey etc not chosen for this last match of this series. Great MSD tried some new options & tactics in the previous match and so such experiments should continue in this final match. I think Mishra has been very unlucky in not being chosen for team so far, maybe because his batting is not as good as Ashwin or Jadeja's but I believe he will take more wickets than them. Picking spinners to mainly contain the opposition hasn't worked both in SA & NZ - so Mishra deserves a chance to show if he can be more effective by taking wickets. Hope Rahane & Rohit swap batting positions & Kohli goes back to his No. 3 slot.

  • Dummy4 on January 30, 2014, 22:51 GMT

    India with Zero victories out of Six overseas ODI and 9 losses out of 10 in overseas Test matches still has the same arrogant and conceited attitude. They are just admirable.

  • Kieran on January 30, 2014, 22:42 GMT

    Come on NZ! Crush them! I hope Jesse Ryder puts on a good show with his bat!

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