India vs New Zealand 2016: 5 Talking Points from the 4th ODI in Ranchi
Ranchi awaited MS Dhoni’s team as the 5-match ODI series between the hosts and New Zealand began to reach a tipping point. The Kiwis called correctly for the first time in this tour and skipper Kane Williamson did not feel the need to change the prevailing trend of them batting first.
Riding on a strong showing from the top-order, they got themselves into a comfortable position. However, India’s spinners rallied hard to put the brakes on their momentum and limit the total to 260.
Despite a reasonable start, the home side let slip their advantage by losing wickets regularly in the middle-overs. Eventually, New Zealand’s unswerving approach helped them register a narrow victory and keep the series alive.
Here are some of the most important takeaways from the engrossing contest.
#5 – The new-ball conundrum
Since Jasprit Bumrah was ruled out from the match, seamer Dhawal Kulkarni got an opportunity. The former’s absence might have been anticipated to be truly felt during the end overs wherein his searing yorkers provide India with a reliable operator. However, the change in the bowling department had its effect right at the start of the match. Dhoni surprisingly decided to deviate from the usual new-ball combination of Umesh Yadav and Hardik Pandya to maximize Kulkarni’s ability.
But, the move threatened to backfire with Kulkarni proving to be an expensive option against batsmen who did not shy away from flexing their muscles. Martin Guptill set the ball rolling by taking him to the cleaners even as Yadav himself was not significantly better as well.