New Zealand vs India 2019: 3 Things we learned from the 1st ODI
India thrashed New Zealand by eight wickets to inflict the first cut of the series. The victory means that India have now won three matches on the trot while it was only the 2nd ODI loss for New Zealand this summer.
After winning the toss, the hosts decided to make first use of a good-looking pitch at Maclean Park. However, they got off to the worst possible start as Shami castled both their openers in a sensational new-ball burst.
Kane Williamson tried his best to restore some parity but he ran out of partners as none of Taylor, Nicholls, and Latham could give him company. The skipper eventually perished for 64 and the other batsmen fell like a pack of cards. Shami picked up three wickets while Kuldeep dented the New Zealand batting on four occasions.
In reply, India survived an initial onslaught by New Zealand before getting into their stride. Dhawan notched up an important fifty and was ably supported by Kohli. With four matches still to go, the hosts have ample time to come back strongly in the series while India would hope to extend their advantage in a couple of days’ time.
Through this article, we would look at three things we learned during the course of the game and the impact it might have on the matches ahead.
#3. The ‘five-bowler policy’ might not work for New Zealand
New Zealand was dealt a blow before the start of the ODI series as their premier all-rounder, James Neesham was ruled out. Hence, with their balance disrupted, the home side decided to strengthen their bowling rather than their batting.
Bracewell made his return to the fold and was accompanied by Santner. Though the latter was included to add batting depth, the former was primarily in the team for his swing-bowling abilities. Yet, with New Zealand failing so spectacularly with the bat, one was led to believe that the five-bowler strategy might not work a charm for the hosts.
Santner came into bat at No.7 and though he is an accomplished batsman, No.7 just seems a spot too high for the left-hander. Moreover, the lack of a genuine all-rounder in the lower order rid the likes of Williamson and Taylor of the proactive batting they are capable of.
New Zealand doesn’t possess a lower-order dasher and thus, their inability to score at a fast clip at the top would only lead to moderate scores. The hosts are sorely missing the services of Neesham and though they could be afforded a little leeway for the same, a lackluster display at Napier portrayed that they would be better off in ditching the plan of fielding five bowlers.
On Wednesday, New Zealand erred on the side of caution by picking an extra bowler. And as the match progressed, it became increasingly clear that they made the wrong call.