New Zealand vs India 2020: 3 reasons why Virat Kohli's men lost the first ODI
The stand-in skipper for the Kiwis, Tom Latham walked out at 171-3 in the 29th over in the mountainesque chase of 348 in the first ODI in Hamilton.
In a matter of five overs, the entire complexion of the chase had changed and eventually, powered by a Ross Taylor hundred, New Zealand were able to cross the line and win the first match of this tour.
Latham infused momentum into New Zealand's meandering chase, allowing Taylor to break free as he too started attacking the Indian bowlers. Their bowling was not quite accurate and Latham spoke about it, but the top order and the power in the middle order propelled New Zealand in the match.
India did not have a bad game, but there were few areas which need to be tweaked and worked upon before the next match. "We can't focus on too many things. Today, the opposition played better than us and they deserved to win," Kohli summarised the game in the post-match presentation.
Here in this article we take a look at three big reasons why India lost this match.
#3. Not converting starts
Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw were both making their debuts in this format and they both started positively. They put on 50 runs for the first wicket but then, they fell in quick succession and this put a lot of pressure on Virat Kohli and the middle order. Agarwal and Shaw both started well, but then both failed to kick on and make a big score. One of the biggest reasons behind India's dominance has been the prolific top order.
Also see - India New Zealand schedule
While the captain lauded the effort of the batsmen, the younger crop will realise that they missed out on great opportunities to make a score which could have defined the contest.
#2. Inability to control the flow of runs
Once Tom Latham and Ross Taylor started attacking, the Indian bowlers were unable to respond to this onslaught. They lost their lines and lengths, they went off the radar and quite a number of freebies were dished out, bringing down the asking rate considerably. During one such phase, India conceded 57 runs in 4 overs and none of the bowlers were able to pull the plug on the constant run flow and no one looked like creating any opportunities.
Shardul Thakur was preferred over Navdeep Saini, but he did not look effective at all and quite often bowled balls which was not in sync with the field which was set. For instance, Kohli had called third man and point inside the circle and he expected Thakur to aim for Ross Taylor's body. However, he kept bowling short and wide and this allowed Taylor to flay him through cover and over the short third man. This inabilty to resort to defensive lines when the pressure is amped in the middle overs was one of the biggest reasons behind India's loss.
#1. Sloppy effort in the field
Barring Virat Kohli's brilliance which accounted for Henry Nicholls' run out, India were pretty average in the field. Kuldeep Yadav dropped Ross Taylor when he was just getting started and this cost India the match in the end. While this was the glaring error, the ground fielding was far from satisfactory. A number of boundaries were conceded as the fielders did not put their bodies on the line and a number of overthrows were conceded which did not help the bowlers at all.
"Look, we didn't grab onto one chance, but we were decent. Something we need to keep improving. We can't focus on too many things. Today, the opposition played better than us and they deserved to win," Virat Kohli said after the match.
The captain was not too scathing in his assessment of the players, but when the side goes back to the drawing board, they will discuss the off day they had on the field. Teh sides face each other in the second ODI in Auckland on Saturday.
Published 05 Feb 2020, 18:44 IST