Rohit done in by left-arm pace, again
Left-arm quicks force you to change something even before bowling a single ball -- if you bat right-handed, you ought to open your stance to get a full view of the bowler. Now, that change can lead to a slight miscalculation in terms of where you land your front foot: the usual slightly-across front-foot stride barely covers the stumps after you've opened up your stance. Recently, Rohit Sharma has had issues against left-arm fast bowlers and his dismissals have been quite similar -- Mohammad Amir in the Champions Trophy final, Jason Behrendorff in Guwahati, and now Trent Boult at the Wankhede. The left-armers' incoming deliveries have accounted for Rohit all three times: lbw twice and bowled once. The over in which Rohit was dismissed began with two dot balls around the off stump, followed by a wild slog while dancing down the track. It was an admission of sorts from Rohit that he needed to put Boult off his game. He played the next ball with the same intent, to hit a big shot without getting close to the ball, and was bowled in the process.
Three shots from Kedar Jadhav
In the 15th over of India's innings, Colin de Grandhomme bowled a full ball around off stump, to which Kedar played a push in the air towards long-on. The ball was full enough to get to the pitch of and play along the ground, but Jadhav's short front-foot stride led to the shot going in the air. The second shot was a boundary against Mitchell Santner in the next over. The ball was too close to be cut but Jadhav somehow squeezed it past the fielder at slip. He was out off the next ball, another full ball, which stopped just a little. Again, Jadhav's short front-foot stride caused him to hit it in the air, back to the bowler. Interestingly, the first ball that Dinesh Karthik played following Jadhav's dismissal landed on the identical spot, but his long stride ensured he reached the pitch of the ball. Wankhede's pitch is made of red soil and while it allows you to play on the up, it also leads to a lot of balls going in the air if you stay too far from the pitch of the ball and don't transfer your weight properly at the point of impact.
Outside-off line to Kohli
It's quite apparent that word has spread about the risk of bowling within Virat Kohli's stumps. Like Australia, New Zealand's fast bowlers also bowled a consistent line outside his off stump. In fact, by the time Kohli brought up his fifty, he had only played one ball that would have ended up within the stumps. He also faced a fair supply of short balls, albeit most finishing either outside off or above his shoulder. From here Kohli's journey will be even more remarkable from the first half of his career because he is being challenged constantly to find new ways to score runs. Invariably, he will be forced to start cautiously and at the Wankhede he displayed the requisite patience and control.
Bouncers to Pandya
Hardik Pandya hits a six off every sixth ball bowled by spinners, and this means teams will increasingly keep slower bowlers away when he's at the crease. Today New Zealand attacked Pandya mostly with pace and also with bouncers. They didn't attempt a single yorker against him, because even a slight error in execution could turn it into a half-volley. There were only short balls or back-of-a-length balls that hit the bat high. Pandya has entered a phase of his career where he will be forced to find ways to score runs against pace and short balls.
Latham's mid-off aversion
Tom Latham's efficiency against spin is quite remarkable. His game against spin is built around three shots -- a wide range of sweeps, the back-foot punch/cut through the point-cover region, and the step out of his crease to play towards long-on. He starts with sweeping, which forces the bowler to shorten his length, and then starts going deep inside his crease. Once in a while he also steps out and gets to the pitch of the ball to play towards long on. Interestingly, he doesn't play the drive towards mid-off and perhaps India's spinners missed a trick against him. It's worth trying to bowl full outside off to him, with the mid-off fielder inside the circle. That might have encouraged him to take the aerial route, which could have created a chance to dismiss him.
Bumrah moves it the other way
Jasprit Bumrah has an open action that's ideal for bringing the ball back into the right-handers. In addition to this, he bowls from the corner of the crease, which accentuates the inward movement. Earlier, he bowled with his wrist angling the ball inwards, towards fine leg, but of late he seems to have straightened his wrist position, which is helping him move the ball away from right-handed batsmen. It's not surprising that he's finding the outside edge more often.
Kohli's rigid tactics
One noticeable aspect of Kohli's captaincy is his set pattern with regards to bowling changes. Martin Guptill and Colin Munro got New Zealand off to a decent start and that could have prompted the introduction of spin in the first ten overs. But it rarely happens when Kohli is in charge. He prefers to use only the pacers for the first Powerplay, irrespective of how things pan out with them, and he did the same again in this match, only bringing on Kuldeep Yadav after the field restrictions were relaxed.
Also, it was interesting to note that Kohli didn't use Jadhav at all, not even while the Latham-Ross Taylor partnership was taking the game away. The point to note is that Jadhav dismissed Latham twice during New Zealand's last tour of India in 2016. Another point to ponder is that India have conceded three 150-plus partnerships in their last four ODIs.