India suffered their first ODI whitewash in 31 years as they lost 3-0 to New Zealand after beating them 5-0 in T20Is. While the Men in Blue's batting department showed a bit of promise in two of the three games, their bowling and fielding departments faltered throughout the series and former Indian player VVS Laxman believes that with the kind of standards that India has set in world cricket for fielding, this was unacceptable.
"New Zealand responded to a 5-0 defeat in the T20 internationals with a commanding 3-0 sweep of the One-Day International series, but as well as they played, they were aided in no small measure by a fumbling Indian side. Virat Kohli and the management group must be disappointed at the bowling and especially, the fielding," Laxman wrote in his column for TOI.
"Like it has been all series, India's fielding was less than impressive. Especially when the wickets are not coming, top-class fielding can act as an additional bowler. India will feel they let themselves down in the field," he further added.
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While the Indian opening pair of Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw were not able to provide India with good starts in any of the three ODIs, Henry Nicholls and Martin Guptill were absolutely brilliant for New Zealand at the top in all the games. India's failure to defend targets of 296 and 347 showed the grave problems in the bowling department. The absence of pacers like Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, coupled with the wicket-drought of Jasprit Bumrah, meant that India had to go in with Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini, who were both very expensive.
"For the third time in the series, Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls were allowed to get off to a cracking start. India's 296 seemed competitive only until the fast bowlers started to bowl short, and to the batsmen's strengths," wrote Laxman.Published 13 Feb 2020, 12:49 IST