New Zealand v India, 1st Twenty20, Christchurch

The price of aiming too high

Sidharth Monga in Christchurch

February 25, 2009

Comments: 63 | Text size: A | A

Mahendra Singh Dhoni: "It was not a conscious effort to go after the bowlers and hit those big sixes" © Getty Images

India have often been accused of making slow starts to overseas tours, but no one can make that accusation this time - their first 11 balls in New Zealand went for 25 runs. Unfortunately for India, they got too greedy - the short boundaries at the AMI Stadium in Christchurch offered a temptation few of their batsmen could resist.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni admitted after the game that they over-reached, aiming for around 220 when 190 might have been enough. "I think most of the batsmen batted brilliantly, but the mistake we committed was that we went with the momentum," Dhoni said. "Maybe one of the batsmen could have realised that we had got off to a flier ... throughout the IPL and Twenty20 games we have seen that even if you go after the bowlers for [the whole of] 20 overs, you don't score more than 220-230. So you have to figure out whether you're happy with the score of 180 or 190 or whether you look for those extra 25 runs, which you might not actually need, and instead end up getting 160-odd."

In true Twenty20 spirit, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma and Yusuf Pathan went about their task, and in true New Zealand style the home bowlers stuck to their job. So while the hosts had moments where, as Daniel Vettori said, they thought they would end up chasing 300, they were set a below-par target of 163 by the time the lights took full effect.

Three incidents in the match summed up the teams' approach. Sehwag had smashed the first three balls he faced in New Zealand for sixes - he hit four in all during his 10-ball stay - but went for one hit too many. Rohit went for his second six in a row but got a leading edge off Ian Butler. Then, when Yusuf went for his fourth successive six off Nathan McCullum, Jacob Oram came up with a spectacular, making the entire process of flicking up the ball, crossing the boundary, coming back in and then taking the catch look extraordinarily easy. India were 32 in 3.1 overs, 54 in 5.2, and 82 in 9.4 at those junctures.

New Zealand applied the brakes with those wickets as the bowlers earned their rewards for being on target without attempting anything special. Vettori was wily as usual, giving little away, and despite Suresh Raina's cool-headed innings, there was only one favourite at the break.

Dhoni was not pleased with the way the target was assessed tonight but said it wasn't a premeditated ploy to put New Zealand under pressure right away. "One of the key things was to go into the middle with a blank mind, without a target," Dhoni said. "We wanted to play according to the merit of the ball, it was not a conscious effort to go after the bowlers and hit those big sixes."

Vettori said he had expected such an approach from India. In perfect weather conditions and a decent batting track, India brought out the pyrotechnics. New Zealand though, stayed cool in the face of the onslaught.

The loss of quick middle-order wickets proved to be the difference between the sides, but the entertainment came in abundance. It also showed the importance of quick assessment and thinking on the feet in the slap-bang format. The crowd lapped it up gleefully, and it should only get better from here on.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by ViewPoint8 on (February 26, 2009, 23:09 GMT)

Biju - you are never happy with Indian team's performance are you? You have predicted "a disaster". We will see.

At one moment, when team is winning, Dhoni is the best captain and one match we lose, people lose all their respect and start calling him "So called Mr. cool"!

We need to focus here, don't take the defeats as personal betrayal, have patience and give our team some time.

Posted by kushalb on (February 26, 2009, 9:38 GMT)

Disappointed, not disheartened. 1. This team is in good hands. Dhoni's admissions that field placings were a slight issue due to the small size of the field, and that none of the batsmen (save Raina) took the onus of batting thru, are honest and spot on. It was as if roles & responsibilities, which have been a hallmark of our batting recently, were forgotten and i don't see this mistake happening again. 2. I think Rohit Sharma has a great future and i think Irfan's bowling is suited to these conditions (especially opening the bowling) and one can understand the faith placed in them by Dhoni & the team management as these two players in form add aa lot of value to the team. They may consider Jadeja and PK (opening the bowling preferably) as replacements for the next game. 3. For the gent who posted that Sachin is on a free pass out here in NZ - what are you thinking?!?!?!

Posted by rajkapil on (February 26, 2009, 8:36 GMT)

DONI will need to lead from the front.The hard hitting T20 batsman is now only looking to roate strike and from a consistant finesher he has become a doubtful batsmen whom does not know whether to go for the shots(his so called natural game) or be defensive.Why did he not come at no3 as he does always.Does he feel he will be exposed ?Winning is not every thing but to accept loss in a grace.Yes all indian wickets fell to poor (ambitious )shots.But Captain cool we need you to lead from the front.Irfan should be replaced (teperorly by Praveenkumar and rohith by Jadeeja.

Posted by on (February 26, 2009, 8:33 GMT)

The Indian posters here will have to forgive the boisterous responses by my fellow New Zealanders who'll celebrate any kind of win over a top team like it was for a World Cup final trophy. If these Indian tourists play as they can then all Black Cap supporters will be in their usual state of depression by tour's end. I just hope for a competitive series, and an Indian loss first up at least gives the coming proceedings an edge that I'm sure we can all be glad about. One way traffic makes for boredom after all.

Posted by gattya on (February 26, 2009, 7:37 GMT)

I think India should not be disappointed with the loss in 20-20, as the total made by india could be a winning total in the Indian subcontinent. This means that Indian batsmen have not failed in the first international innings of a new zealand tour. Our record for 1st innings in New Zealand tour is really bad. I think it would have been a different result, if the 20-20 was held at the end of the tour. Now India should focus on One day Internationals and i firmly beleive that the current Indian team should beat the Kiwis in one day and test match. Best Luck India ! Best Luck Dhoni !

Posted by goutam70 on (February 26, 2009, 6:51 GMT)

Well the bowling weakness got exposed,Irfan Pathan is just playing as batmans.Preveen kumar should replace him.Preveen came in india team as allrounder but he didnt get chance to bat at top order .only got chance in the last overs of the match. We saw him playing in domestic cricket ,he had opened the innings for UP and a good hitter of the ball too.he can also swing the ball both ways.We dont know why he is sometime out of 11 member team,even he performed well in last series.Why only rohit get many opportunity to prove himself, why not badrinath,monaj tiwary ,they are out of scene after playing ONLY 1 ODI

goutam india

Posted by biju on (February 26, 2009, 6:29 GMT)

I have predicted that this tour will be a disaster for India.The so called Captain cool Mr.Dhoni will defenitely feel the heat this time and will show his incompetencies.There was no professionalism in the team effort in the 1st match.The players were dominated by emotions and arrogance rather than sense and professionalism.It is time for Gary to step up and control them.

Posted by 12kris on (February 26, 2009, 6:23 GMT)

Did anyone recognize the bait? The last time around NZ would prepare green tops and the NZ experts would pronounce them as a 300+ wicket, while it was actually a 120 wicket. If we won the toss, we would choose to bat(not a bad idea),but would panic when the score didn't look like getting to even 200. Time and again, we ended up not completing the 50 over quota and yet NZ struggled to beat us. The only matches we won were when we became wiser (too late) or when NZ batted first. This time the bait was to embarrass us with superlatives. We tried to be the supermen that we were supposed to and lost. We better beware of baits in a season when even the Oscar is falling for them!

Posted by unkith on (February 26, 2009, 6:11 GMT)

We lost coz: a) Batsmen didnt show responsibility in their individual games minus Raina & v put up a total that was 30 runs short. Rohit Sharma's batting style doesnt belong in T20s. He's a good ODI player & will probably be a decent test player but he takes too long to settle down and then throws his wicket. Ravindra Jadeja should replace him in T20s. b) Bowlers couldnt contain the batsman minus Zaheer who did a terrific job. Irfan Pathan needs to pitch the ball a little shorter than he is right now & bend his back more to extract more pace and bounce, which combined with his movement will be deadly. Until he realizes that & starts doing it, Praveen Kumar should replace him. Ishant needs to discipline his 'no balls' & really needs to try to bowl more at the stumps. The spinners need to pitch in good length or yorker areas only(good length if they are going to turn the ball)& finally Dhoni needs to be able to come in and play his natural game rather than be defensive. Well done NZ.

Posted by samod on (February 26, 2009, 5:49 GMT)

Perfect sanchit. I wholly support your thoughts. There is no point in having so many batsmen in the team for 20 overs...

Posted by abu_zayr on (February 26, 2009, 5:39 GMT)

@sammykent.. Hey mate Iain O'Brien is no better than a club bowler you find out here in India, and sometimes even club bowler can get lucky and dislodge the best, you just chill mate! O'Brien is gonna have a long summer (if he figures in all the game that is).. Coming back to the game, I thought the Indian top order played across the line and lost wickets at regular intervals, but even after losing yuvi dhoni rohit & gambhir cheaply we still managed to get 160 odd, that simply shows the depth India have in batting.. I don't look too much into this minor blip first up on tour. Dhoni is a wily captain and will definately have a plan for the next game. As far selection goes maybe replace irfan & rohit and maybe get back munaf/praveen and jadeja.. this kid could be the X-factor in the next game.. Congrats to Kiwis who are the only team to beat the t20 world champs 2 out of 2, but beware the champs are gonna comeback strong in the remaining games.. can't wait.. JAI HO!!!

Posted by chalazion on (February 26, 2009, 5:34 GMT)

I agree Venkat_the_wake. It's clear that Rohit is extremely talented, but his form over the months has been miserable, his last 50 coming more than 6 months ago. I think the selectors have persisted with him a little too long and a break such as the one Suresh Raina needed to get his head in order should do a lot of good for him. Irfan,sadly, is now in the team as a batsman. At his pace, without any swing on the ball is an invitation for any half decent batsman to get stuck into him as Ross Taylor did yesterday. It seems an awful waste for Zaheer and Ishant to run in and bowl as well as they do only to hand the iniative back to the opposition when the first change bowler comes on game after game. Irfan and Rohit are being carried by the spectacular form of the others, it's time to try some new options.

Posted by sanchit on (February 26, 2009, 4:54 GMT)

I can just think of one thing that is to drop Rohit Sharma in the next game as he's been the most inconsistant player and bring in Ravindra Jadega as He adds to batting as well as depth in bowling . Though India need a Fast bowling all rounder but considering his absal performance with the ball they should drop Irfan Pathan and bring in praveen kumar(as Munaf Patel doesnt seem that fit for a T20).....what say guys?

Posted by ronit_ghaiee on (February 26, 2009, 4:52 GMT)

New Zealand was the better team on the day but I don't think this NZ win should be overinflated like it has been by some of the (NZ) posters on here. I also think Irfan Pathan should lose his place and Praveen Kumar should play, he should be first choice pace bowling all rounder. India will make a comeback and remember the shorter the game is, the smaller the difference between the teams. NZ were not comfortable against bhaji or Ishant and Zak and got a lucky break (Guptill decision), but even saying so India didnt create enough opportunities. I think India will win the games that really count, however. ODI and Tests.

Posted by bipulkumar on (February 26, 2009, 4:44 GMT)

I have nothing against our batsmen given our long batting order for 20 overs. It was Dhoni's poor strategy that caused India's defeat. He is still relying too heavily on part time spinners who do not have any track record. It might have worked on subcontinent pitches but it is simple to realize that it won't work in NZ. Praveen Kumar was a must in these situations but I don't know where he is. Irfan's bowling is still not upto the mark and India ended up defending the total with 3 bowlers. It is simply not done.

Posted by vivman on (February 26, 2009, 3:59 GMT)

First of all - congrats to New Zealand they were the better team today and they played sensibly. India came out with some amazing shots but as MS Dhoni said there was no batsman other than Suresh Raina who took the responsibility of building a partnership. Had that happened India would have scored 190/200+ which would have made it very difficult for New Zealand to chase. Anyway its only the first game and Im sure MS Dhoni and his team will get their act together to win the remaining 20/20 game and the ODIs which follow. India are most definitely the superior team and currently the 2nd best ODI team after South Africa. If they play to their full potential they can win every game from here on in.

Posted by ViewPoint8 on (February 26, 2009, 3:34 GMT)

Lets face it. India didn't win because of a) over confidence b) no basics. The Sehwag's and Pathan's all thought T20 is all about smashing sixes and the small ground only increased the temptation.

I agree with El-Mucho-Grande below. Indian fans need to toughen up a bit. I am a die hard Indian fan too, but NZ won the game because they stuck to basics. Mccullum was lucky to get away with 50, he was never in a comfortable position. Same with Guptil, he was stumbling initially but got back using his steady head.

NZ proved to be a better team in first game, they won it. Though I think they won because India played poorly than black caps showing great cricket.

Can't wait to see upcoming matches..

Posted by Farce-Follower on (February 26, 2009, 3:29 GMT)

Every tour needs its passengers. In this one it is Rohit Sharma, Irfan Pathan and Sachin Tendulkar. One cannot do anything about the third, who has been given a lifetime travel pass by the media and his sponsors; but the first two are mere ticketless travellers. The sad part is that Mr. T is eyeing the 2011 WC. God help Indian cricket.

Posted by Venkat_The_Wake on (February 26, 2009, 2:25 GMT)

Losing doesn't feel great but hey, a kick up the backside does good sometimes. However a couple of things have been apparent for a while now. Its almost like non performance of Rohit Sharma and battering of Irfan is almost a given now. Looking at the conditions in new zealand especially, you would need a bowler ( or two ) who can bowl with a bit of pace full on stumps, as simple as that. Batting has never been an issue with this team. Its time to tighten it up, I hope folks in control are able to see the obvious.

Posted by Ram15 on (February 26, 2009, 2:15 GMT)

I think batsmen have to take responsibility about poor strokes but i really shocked about their fielding,not releasing ball quickly and acurately to the fielder. They have to practice if they want win the games in NZ

Posted by subramanianv on (February 26, 2009, 1:10 GMT)

Hosts were solid, but not without luck. Guptil's lbw decision costed 40 odd runs to india. Gambhir and dhoni were victims of ball keeping low. But if one thing India wants to do, that is to drop Irfan pathan and pick a regular bowler. Its already enough of him trying get back to form. you can't win a T20 with only 3 bowlers.

Posted by Ajoogle on (February 26, 2009, 1:03 GMT)

Please bring back Robin Uthappa "Walking Beast"

Posted by Karun on (February 26, 2009, 0:59 GMT)

Rohit Sharma has been given a substantial run and barring a couple of innings he has failed to impress. Its about time that he is asked to go play some domestic cricket and make some substantial scores. There is no doubting that he is talented and will come back stronger into the shorter format of the game and subsequently make a mark at the test level as well. Raina is a perfect example of someone who was exposed to the international arena early on and dropped to concentrate on the basics to come back even stronger.

Posted by sammykent on (February 26, 2009, 0:52 GMT)

I was reading the comments by the Indian fans on Iain O'Brien's blog yesterday and according to them New Zealand were going to get thrashed.....oh well we all get it wrong from time to time. They were saying Iain was going to get smacked by the openers and he bowled both of them.....wrong again. When are these overzealous Indian supporters going to actually look at some recent stats. NZ may not be very good at Test cricket but they are exceptional at ODI's (always have been) and have a team well suited to T20. They just totally outclassed Australia in Australia in the ODI and T20 series. This fairly recently formed and young side have a very good record in ODI's and will account well for themselves in the Test matches. I support NZ but can happily say I rate India as the best team in the world at the moment. Look out though, NZ has put together a young side that is already showing great potential and will likely be the best team since the days of Crowe and Hadlee. Go NZ!

Posted by Rooboy on (February 26, 2009, 0:22 GMT)

riteshjsr says that india are one of the best teams, india will roll NZ, india are a world beating team, india didn't perform badly (despite losing badly) ... and then calls Australians 'loudmouthed'?! I have to laugh at these dudes from the subcontinent who do everything they can to take pot shots at Australia and Australians, for traits that the critics themselves emulate. And riteshjsr, india didn't beat the 'loudmouthed Australians in Aus' in the Test series or 20/20 anyway!

Posted by El-Mucho-Grande on (February 25, 2009, 23:22 GMT)

Come on guys dont say what wud have happened if Guptil got out. Toughen up. Wasn't Yousuf Patahan also LBW in the same over Vettori had just got out Yuvraj when the umpire turned that down too? So dont be cry babies now. India are good, probably the best Indian team in the last 1 and a half decades. But ts about time with one billion people and riches untold. NZ played brilliantly. India were simply out thought and out played. My prediction, NZ to win T20I's 2-0, ODI's 4-1 and Tetsts 1-0. New Zealand have an impeccable record against the Indians at home. NZ are a sleeping giant. This new look NZ team drew a recent series in Australia. And many players were just staring out the. The current Indian team have played for a good 2 years. Wait and see, all you loud mouth Indians. NZ will humble you all. Lest you forget you were after all first round knock-outs at the last (proper) world cup. 20/20 doesn't count. Either put up or shut up.

Posted by johngaltsmith on (February 25, 2009, 23:17 GMT)

Very interesting.. I guess if we had taken a slow start and ended up with 160 and then if NZ had overhauled it with more than 7 balls to spare....the entire discussion would have been around why India doesnt seem to be able to "up the ante" with swashbuckling players like Viru, Yuvraj and Dhoni...

Posted by Looch on (February 25, 2009, 23:14 GMT)

Well played Kiwis, they deserved to win. Indian supporters should not get too worried about their team's form, it's the first match of the tour and it was only a 20/20 match which is no real indicator of how a side will perform in the longer versions. To danno the manno, they are far more than an average team, a quick look at their recent performances will tell you thata nd finally, just a quick comment for "riteshjsr", do you realise that you are being a loudmouth yourself? I would have agreed with your post if it wasn't for the last few sentences. Calm down and enjoy the cricket.

Posted by kriskini on (February 25, 2009, 23:13 GMT)

For me turning point of the match was Yusuf's dismissal. India would have added about 30 more runs has Yusuf stayed. But that was a brilliant catch. But I feel India will do very well in the remaining matches.

Posted by on_the_level on (February 25, 2009, 22:38 GMT)

@Danno- NZ had better not lose to this "average at best" Indian team, or a case might be made to drop the Black Caps to the 2nd tier, along with B'desh and Zimbabwe!

Posted by mjt211 on (February 25, 2009, 22:04 GMT)

I am happy with the Indian attitude. They have come a long way from being what they were - always accused of playing it safe and lacking the attacking instinct. Being aggressive comes with a price - you win some and you lose some. At least they have shown a positive frame of mind. They are no longer awed by foreign conditions or grounds or crowds anymore and believe in attacking from the word go.

If India had won, the same people would have been singing praises about the 'world champion' / 'aggressive' / 'world beaters'/'new blood' (and all the cliches) team. If they had lost without trying to hit those shots, they would've recalled the 'poor traveller' label.

This is a perfect example of 'hindsight is 20/20'. These 'sports writers' are making a living out of criticizing every single move without ever having bowled a single delivery themselves.

Posted by bringbackleegermon on (February 25, 2009, 21:56 GMT)

There seems to be a lot of people making excuses here. The undeniable fact is that NZ outplayed India and deserved to win the game. Therefore its a real surprise to find people talking up India's chances still. Yes they are a classy team, perhaps the best in the world, but NZ have a good side and perform well at home. There's a real arrogant attitude surrounding this Indian side, and I'm hoping this performance was a wake up call for them to put the ego's aside and get on with the task at hand.

Oh and while we're all making excuses, would have been great to have Kyle Mills out there and I wonder whatever happened to Shane Bond...

Posted by Khundmiri on (February 25, 2009, 21:11 GMT)

The seniors have won the game for New Zealand, the experience of McCullum, Oram and Taylor and of course Vettori. India played well considering lack of practice matches prior to this game and totally different conditions from their last tour of Sri Lanka. Kiwis are great fighters and Indians are world Champs in T20. Its wrong to assume Indians are overconfident, we've played professionally for last couple of years and hence the success, this series is only going to get better.There's no shame in losing to a better opponent on the day, we all know India will BOUNCE BACK.

Posted by chiragl on (February 25, 2009, 21:02 GMT)

Danno the manno without any braino.

Posted by duncansdad on (February 25, 2009, 20:40 GMT)

It's just the first match and its only a 20/20. The outcomes are reasonably random. My impressions - NZ better than expected, the boys seem to have their heads in the right space. India, loads of talent and ability, when they adjust to conditions and tighten up a bit they will be formidable. Great prospect for the series. Also, the pitch was fine and very fair - umpires made a few mistakes under pressure

Posted by Dejected_Indian_Fan on (February 25, 2009, 20:06 GMT)

Great!! The world T20 Champs played like Chimps yesterday. There is no point in blaming the colour of their uniform or Rohit Sharma. Basically the Chimps underestimated the determined NZ team. They may not have a single super star in their team, but collectively they are a star team. While I haven't lost hope on our team yet, I think yesterday's match was an eye opener to the Indian team and hope they don't underestimate the Kiwis again. Show some respect and play them seriously. A 50 with few fours and sixers is always better than a 21 with three sixers.

Posted by jetbizzle on (February 25, 2009, 20:06 GMT)

How about playing cricket in cricket grounds and not rugby grounds. It was ridiculious to see some ordinary shots that would have been caught just of the 30 yard circle go for sixes, and thats for both sides. I am a neutral fan..... or a fan of cricket and i was very dissapointed to see such a silly setup for a game. A drop in pitch that was slow... a ground where a 5 year old could smack a six with a plastic bat... .c mon... lets get real. look at the grounds around the world for cricket... no one plays in an inadequate rectangle of joke that they call a cricket ground... appauling.. !!!

Posted by koolbajwa on (February 25, 2009, 19:53 GMT)

I would rather see the Indian team loose to an inconsequential team while trying different strategy than loose to a better team while trying out the same experiment.....

Posted by koolbajwa on (February 25, 2009, 19:23 GMT)

Come on folks, if the average side scores 160 on a bad day....I shudder to think what will happen to NZ when they Indian team comes into its groove...and nothing to worry about..I did not think that we would even cross 130, but then this is the Indian team where even Zaheer can hit sixes

Posted by sakineni on (February 25, 2009, 19:08 GMT)

How come Rohit Sharma not be a 20-20 player when he was such a success in the IPL. I am sure Rohit Sharma will come back strongly.

Posted by Prats6 on (February 25, 2009, 18:48 GMT)

I think India was a tad over confident, though too much should not be read into the performance as they had no match practice in these conditions at all.

Just wait and watch, and I totally differ with "Dannythemanno" , when he says that India is an average side "at best" .. Dude, just wait for the series to get over. This was a bad day for India, and we still gave the Kiwis a tough fight.. Just figure out what will happned when the tide turns, and it will, pretty soon,

I will be very dissappointed if India dont go on to win both ODI and Tests ..

Posted by Parth_Pala on (February 25, 2009, 18:46 GMT)

Haha! That was true Indian suicidal style play! What a way to start the series, not the smartest cricket. Regardless though Dannothemanno you're comments are slightly off target. We have beaten everytime at home except South Africa and Australia and New Zealand. But then again this team has really come into its own in the Australia series where we had our proper lineup under a new captain since then we have not lost a series. Feel free to give it a break, you shout T20 is not even cricket when we win the T20 WC, but when India get beaten in a solitary match you use it as a the greatest pedestal in cricket, typically hypocritical of you, give it time huh its a long tour. Anyways well done NZ , for not eating the hashbrownies, can't say the same for us the Indians! That performance was like watching Rambo 4 except this time Rambo dies!

Posted by kiwi_boy75 on (February 25, 2009, 18:39 GMT)

Indians might have got good batsmen in there team, but they have to realise that the Black Caps are not an amateur team, they are a really good team , and especially it's difficult to beat them at home.So India have to get there basics correct and get rid of the over confidence and egoes to be successful here.

Posted by back_foot_punch on (February 25, 2009, 18:25 GMT)

Look, it's only the first game of the tour, and a Twenty20 at that. This format of the game does bring teams closer and the fact that India are 'world champions' doesn't mean they are instantly masters of the shortest format; in fact it means nothing. What will be interesting will be how plans change and adapt and to see if they work. This is still a team in transition, hardly a settled batting line-up but with potential. I still think No.1 is lying far-off on the horizon, but I would never rule this Indian team out of making it in the future.

Nevertheless, that's not the point. As an Indian fan, there is an exciting series waiting ahead and I'm happy to take the bad results with the good ones. I must admit, this poor travellers lark is annoying to hear, coming after just one game. God, how fickle we cricket lovers are!

Posted by ThirdUmp on (February 25, 2009, 18:20 GMT)

NZ esp Guptill were superb and deserved the win. One gripe though. Do away with on-field umpires for Twenty-20 games. The games are so small that any umpiring error changes the game for good. Would've been curious to see the outcome if Guptill was given first ball.

Posted by pavz on (February 25, 2009, 18:18 GMT)

the indians were just carried away by the small sized grounds thought of a huge score at the very start. it was great excitement while it lasted. i am sure by the time one day games start , they will come good.. i still think relying on spinners for 4th and 5th bowlers in a t20 in NZ is asking for trouble. atleast the 5th bowler should be a pacer. the indians will just get better from here on. good luck to both the teams..

Posted by rohitreddy5690 on (February 25, 2009, 18:17 GMT)

Oh come on now u people its only one match its not like we lost 10 matches in a row see sometimes it happens give them a chance we cant certainly win every match it was one of those days when everything that can go wrong did go wrong for india and hey they are not going out there to lose na they tried their best they have won so many u cant blame them for one loss give em some breathing space and remember new zealand is the worst place to play have u seen the grounds there our gully cricket grounds are much bigger than them and now hope that india wins the next and come on stop working on different theories every time india loses and instead support them understand them in situations like these cheers everyone good luck

Posted by ksingh7304 on (February 25, 2009, 18:09 GMT)

They need to calm down, I thought it was 10 over match instead of 20.I agree with Henchart, Rohit is not a 20/20 material.Yuvi looked as someone woke him up too early.

Posted by northwest on (February 25, 2009, 18:06 GMT)

Bowlers are the main drawback for the Indian team. Though India struggled in the batting side, it wasn't a bad chasing target. The bowlers failed to perform well. In many instances, New Zealand batsmen tried to move away from the wickets to play the big shots.. Indian bowlers mainly Irfan Pathan failed to bowl the correct length. New Zealand and India share 50-50% wins against each other in one day internationals. Its a warning message to Indian team not to underestimate the home team.

Posted by Rowdyronald on (February 25, 2009, 18:04 GMT)

The NZ media, Moles & Vettori have done a great psychology number on the Indian's - inflating their egos even more than usual ('Rockstars' etc) that all and sundry (including Siddarth 'Vader' Mongaloid the most terrible, one-sided, cricket blogger in history) are more worried about being slightly chilly in the evenings, than actually trying to beat a top quality outfit like NZ (see multiple headlines regarding the NZ weather, and not the opposition, being the main concern). Get a grip, NZ loves being the underdog and then beating so-called better on paper teams. NZ now has a quality top 6 batting lineup in one-dayers and tests. They are young and inexperienced but have developed a winning mentality under new coach Moles. The cricinfo and press reports have all been focused on how great India are, and the conditions, and that is exactly how NZ likes to operate - under the radar. C'mon the Black Caps and stuff them in all three forms of the game like last time (and the 41 years before)

Posted by shrastogi on (February 25, 2009, 17:53 GMT)

Since India was not playing an extra seamer the fifth bowler is supposed to go for runs. Taking that into account and the fact of small ground a realistic target of 190-200 should have been pursued. Gambhir, Sehwag, Rohit & Yousuf Pathan were all guilty of throwing their wickets away or rather got carried away by the fact that India was batting till number nine. I think two spinners is a bit of luxury in NZ until unless conditions demand so. If you back same team for next T-20 also they should be given a realistic target if batting first. Mindless hitting is no solution. There is another option of dropping a batsman (read Rohit) and play Praveen or Munaf Patel to give bowling an edge. Since Jadeja bowls spin he is an unlikely candidate for a place in eleven. Irfan needs to work on his bowling also to command a place in eleven.

Posted by Bumpster on (February 25, 2009, 17:47 GMT)

DannoTheManno how many matches are in this series? only one match has been played so far, so don't count your chickens before they hatch. lets wait till its all over then make such a sweeping statement as the one you just did.

Posted by pritpalpabla on (February 25, 2009, 17:41 GMT)

Rohit Sharma .. big question mark in the team ????? Why not Robin Uthappa???

Posted by Adhil.mothie on (February 25, 2009, 17:39 GMT)

Everybody is yapping about india's below par performance thats putting lightly more like pathetic wasnt about them today,it was about how nz executed our plans beautifully.the bowlers got hit around but struck at the right times unlike india,their support bowlers were pretty poor like their batsman.there was good bounce & abit 2 paced which is a typical AMI wicket that eventually undid the mighty indian line up.our batsmen batted sensibly,brendon was superb,they outclassed india but india had their moments which nz will do well not underestimate the indian team

Posted by sareenck on (February 25, 2009, 17:36 GMT)

Rohit Sharma is not an adequate choice fro 20-20. Robin Uthappa Must be given a chance. Its enough for Rohith Sharma . He was given umpteen chances but he dint meet the expectations to be in elite squad of India. Her is an ideal replacement for Dravid or Laxman in tests but not a substance for ODIs and 20-20s.

Posted by riteshjsr on (February 25, 2009, 17:17 GMT)

One loss and the knives come out! Even the best teams have average days. India came straight from SL to NZ. Without any practice games under their belt, they came into the match and belted the Kiwi bowlers around. So for a first match of the tour, it was not a bad performance from India. Just wait and see how India will roll NZ over in the coming games. To reply to DannoTheManno, a worldbeating team is one which plays 17 matches over a persiod of 6 months and loses only 2. And that team, incidentally is India. This 'average' team has beaten England in England, SL in SL, and the loudmouthed Australians in Aus. Now, who's next? I would say the Kiwis! Just wait and watch.

Posted by ravisantosh on (February 25, 2009, 17:05 GMT)

Probably the hype created by opponent captain Vettori on Indian team roused the EGO of Indian team that they are world champions and it triggered the disaster.I think a more conscious team effort would have made difficult for New Zealanders to win.Hopefully we can see it next time around!!

Posted by BAIJU_PRABHAKAR on (February 25, 2009, 16:44 GMT)

Why INDIA changed the JERSEY... The light blue one was lucky for india... See the new colour is not apt & doesnt look nice ! Marketing & design team at NIKE have greater ideas but for the common man this is not what they relate Indian cricket team to. Wanna win in NZ ? Order the old colour outfit.. Faster the better .. Hope some one influential reads & conveys general publics thought to the right people. Good luck !

Posted by perl57 on (February 25, 2009, 16:15 GMT)

Most of us sensed Indian over confidence. But its a plot which one shd have thought could go wrong and it did. Like when Yuvraj Singh fell, India should have abandoned high hits for 5 overs and should have went around their business. But it was not to be. Second turning point, when pathan, elder, went for three, Raina should have told him aiming for 6x6, if that was what he was doing was not something he should do at 9th over. However, it was not his fault as catches like those, you rarely see. Nz was infact prepared for such an onslaught. Typical to their approach, they give cheese and catch the mouse. But they did not expect that we would revive upto 160. It was a good fight till the end but if we are aiming for #1 we can no longer think of good losing performances. However in the end I would dare say we did not make a fool of our selves.

Posted by nick_japan_2007 on (February 25, 2009, 15:55 GMT)

The pictures from the match say it all, Indian "stars" getting bowled swinging with their eyes shut!

Posted by Front_Runner on (February 25, 2009, 14:45 GMT)

I have seen the match live, the Indians batted as if they were on POT. Somehow I didn't like the new jersey's of team India, the old color was better. The team looks like a cross between Sri Lanka and England teams.

Posted by DannoTheManno on (February 25, 2009, 13:56 GMT)

Ha! It had to happen! India lose yet again away from home, clearly not the world beaters they claim to be. As i have said many times before... they can only win at home... which makes them at best an average side.

Posted by henchart on (February 25, 2009, 13:55 GMT)

Rohit Sharma needs to be dropped.He is not a T20 material.Infact he should be groomed for tests as a replacement for Dravid or Laxman. His technique is a big constraint in T20 games but can be an asset in tests.

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
ESPNcricinfo staffClose
Tour Results
New Zealand v India at Wellington - Apr 3-7, 2009
Match drawn
New Zealand v India at Napier - Mar 26-30, 2009
Match drawn
New Zealand v India at Hamilton - Mar 18-21, 2009
India won by 10 wickets
New Zealand v India at Auckland - Mar 14, 2009
New Zealand won by 8 wickets (with 118 balls remaining)
New Zealand v India at Hamilton - Mar 11, 2009
India won by 84 runs (D/L method)
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days