India vs New Zealand 2016, 4th ODI: Rating the Indian cricketers
On the back of a 2-1 lead, MS Dhoni and his troops arrived at Ranchi eager to close out the 5-match ODI series. Though New Zealand’s luck with the toss finally changed, Kane Williamson raised a few eyebrows by surprisingly opting to bat first.
Martin Guptill fashioned the visitors’ charge at the top of the order by belting the Indian bowlers to all corners. With the pitch showing signs of helping them, the spinners brought the home side back into the contest by delivering the breakthroughs and stemming the flow of runs.
Requiring 261 under tricky conditions for batting, India lost their way in the middle overs after suffering a catastrophic collapse. Despite the best attempts of the lower order to make things interesting, the New Zealand bowlers struck regularly to eke out a 19-run victory and level the series with one more match to go.
Let us take a look at how each Indian player fared in the fourth ODI at the JSCA Stadium.
Axar Patel – 7.5
The left-arm spinner produced bowling figures which were not out of place in the 90s – 10-0-38-1. Aside from dismissing the in-form Tom Latham, he kept the middle overs on a tight leash. Having received a promotion up the batting order, Axar fought valiantly to take his side near the vicinity of the target until an unplayable yorker from Trent Boult ended his vigil.
Amit Mishra – 7
With the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja given a breather, Amit Mishra has shown his potency as a genuine wicket-taking option in a format which is steadfastly becoming a chagrin for spinners. The leg-spinner induced a false shot from Kane Williamson by deceiving him with extra bounce while his in-between length accounted for James Neesham. However, his fielding veered towards the hilarious side as evidenced by the couple of dropped chances.
Mishra’s eventful day extended to the batting side of things as well when he tried to resuscitate India’s chase by building a threatening partnership with Axar Patel. However, he ran himself out for a 17-ball 14, courtesy an error in judgment.
Ajinkya Rahane – 6.5
Ahead of this game, Rahane received the backing of one of India’s greatest ever skippers. The compact right-hander, who has established himself as one of the premier Test batsmen in the world, attempted to resurrect his limited-overs fortunes with a fighting knock. But, he could not convert his half-century into a substantial one after being dismissed on 57.
Virat Kohli – 6.5
The Player of the Match in Mohali, Kohli laid his eyes on yet another chase by forming a vital partnership with Rahane to steady the innings following an early wicket. When it looked like the chase-maestro was well on his way, he somehow got done in by a long-hop from Ish Sodhi.
Dhawal Kulkarni – 6
The 27-year-old medium pacer was drafted in place of Jasprit Bumrah who had been ruled out due to an illness. Given the new ball instead of Pandya, he could not make the opportunity count by delivering wayward lines without any discernible pace nor swing. Though Kulkarni dismissed BJ Watling, his economy rate was a steep 8.42 from seven overs.
Coming into bat with the situation beyond India’s reach, he lent respectability to the total through an unbeaten 26-ball 25.
Umesh Yadav – 5.5
From his full quota of overs, Yadav gave away a round 60 runs whilst managing to pick up a wicket as well. Even as his new-ball partner was receiving a hammering at the start of the innings, the speedster did a decent job at the other end.
Kedar Jadhav – 5.5
The surprise package from India, Jadhav’s golden arm helped Dhoni get in as many as eight overs for just 27 runs. But, his day ended on a rather woeful note with a first-ball duck placing the hosts in jeopardy.
Hardik Pandya – 5
With the surface quite conductive to spin, Dhoni decided to utilize his slower bowlers a lot more. As a result, Pandya was given only five overs after being introduced only during the tenth over. Despite chipping in with a massive breakthrough when he got rid of a well set Guptill, the all rounder proved to a major let down with the bat.
Manish Pandey – 4
Upon arriving with a bang through a remarkable knock against Australia at Sydney, there were plenty of expectations on Manish. However, in this series, he has flattered to deceive by getting out at inopportune moments. His dismissal pegged India back significantly at a time when they were in desperate need of partnerships.
MS Dhoni – 3.5
The experienced wicket-keeper gave a timely demonstration of his street smart skills by running out Ross Taylor with a mysterious back-handed throw. But, he struggled badly with the bat in front of his home crowd and perished for a damaging 31-ball 11.
Rohit Sharma – 3
14,15, 13 and 11 – Those have been Rohit’s scores in this series. The Mumbaikar’s disappointing form continued during this game too after his issues against swing got the better of him.