A run-less debut and Taylor's gamble
A debut duck
Kane Williamson has long been marked as one to watch in New Zealand circles. His captain talked him up ahead of today's debut and when Williamson walked out for his first international appearance there was an air of anticipation. New Zealand were wobbling a bit in the face of a sustained spell of testing bowling, but it wasn't to be Williamson's day to be saviour. He was beaten, played down the wrong line and after eight deliveries of run-less struggle, was gobbled up by a jaffa from Praveen Kumar which swung in and then nipped away a touch to take offstump. Williamson had something to smile about later in the day when he captured his first international wicket, of Ravindra Jadeja.
The Powerplays were meant to introduce an element of unpredictability to the one-day format. That hasn't happened since most bowling sides take theirs between overs 11-15 and batting sides prefer to leave it till at least the 40th over. Ross Taylor, though, gambled on taking it as early as the 31st over, when he and Scott Styris were on their way to New Zealand's largest fourth-wicket stand. It paid off, 43 runs coming in the five overs to leave the team at a commanding 193 for 3 after 35 overs.
Three strikes and Rohit's out
With the ball jagging around, Rohit Sharma had a torrid time at the crease. He was nearly out twice in his first ten deliveries - the first time the ball barely lobbed over midwicket off Daryl Tuffey, and two balls later it landed just short of second slip. On his 11th delivery, though, Rohit was gone opening the face to steer the ball to Taylor at first slip.
Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni were the last pair of specialist batsmen, and at 50 for 4, any hopes of at least losing by a respectable margin lay with them putting together a big stand. Those hopes evaporated, though, when a massive misjudgement led to Dhoni's run-out: the Indian captain dropped the ball to off side, just a few yards away from the stumps and charged out after seeing Yuvraj take a couple of steps. There was no single there, and Dhoni was walking back after the bowler Tuffey under-armed a direct hit.
Though the stands were virtually deserted, the security personnel ringing the boundary kept a close watch on them for potential trouble-makers. In the exhausting heat, they stood with their backs to the on-field action and stared at the stands. Even when a signature slog-swept six from Ross Taylor landed a few feet away from a policewoman, she refused to budge. It was only when some of the ball boys yelled asking for the ball did she move from her post.
Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at Cricinfo