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New Zealand vs India 2020: Three reasons why Men in Blue lost the ODI series

Chahal celebrating his wicket
Chahal celebrating his wicket
Parshva Shah
Modified 13 Feb 2020, 16:27 IST

India were handed a 3-0 drubbing by the Kiwis as they comfortably chased down 297 in the third and final ODI at Mount Maunganui. India scored 296 thanks to a 63-ball 62 from Shreyas Iyer and a 4th ODI ton from KL Rahul continuing his purple patch.

Openers Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls took the Black Caps off to a flying start, crossing the 100-run mark in the 15th over and hence laying down a platform to pull off the chase.

Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja's economical bowling ensured India had some chances of grabbing a consolation win as they reduced New Zealand to 220-5 in the 40th over. However, Colin de Grandhomme's fireworks in the end dented all the hopes of an Indian victory as he scoried 58 off just 28 balls in a scintillating display of power-hitting.

We take a look at the three major reasons why India lost the series against New Zealand.

#3. Misfiring openers

Both Shaw and Agarwal were handed their ODI debut in the first ODI
Both Shaw and Agarwal were handed their ODI debut in the first ODI

Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal made their ODI debuts in the first ODI. However, during any of the three matches, they failed to lay a solid platform for the middle-order to exploit.

Much of India's success is attributed to the excellent batting at the top of the order, as seen with either Rohit Sharma- Shikhar Dhawan or Rohit and KL Rahul. However, with both Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan missing due to recurring injuries, and KL Rahul being tried at no.5, Shaw and Agarwal were given the opportunity to open.

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They did have a 50-run stand in the first match, but couldn't convert the promising starts into a bigger score. They were sent back within the first 10 overs, hence putting the pressure on an inexperienced middle-order.

While Shaw scored 84 runs from his 3 outings at an average of 28.00, Mayank will be kicking himself for wasting his opportunities, returning with just a paltry figure of 36 runs in 3 innings at an average of 12.00.

#2. Bowlers' inability to apply pressure

Bumrah hasn
Bumrah hasn't been at his best on this tour

Another big reason why India haven't been on the victorious is due to their wayward bowling. In the first ODI, India couldn't defend 349. Unlike the T20I series, the bowling department has lacked the killer instinct and the ability to choke the flow of runs has dwindled.

We all know how important Jasprit Bumrah is to this Indian bowling lineup. When he clicks, India win. However, his figures this series read: 30-1-167-0, quite shocking for the world's best ODI bowler. This is the first time that Bumrah has gone wicket-less in any series, whether ODI, T20I, or Tests.


What's more overwhelming is that he has conceded runs at an economy of 5.57 runs per over. One would never see Bumrah concede runs at an economy rate this high over a series.

Only Jadeja and Chahal somehow managed to ensure that India stayed in the hunt. But the pacers' horrid outing negated any impact that the spinners had on the match. A rare failure for the bowling lineup.

#1. Virat Kohli's poor run with the bat

Kohli had a poor series by his standards.
Kohli had a poor series by his standards.

When the two best players of your team don't fire, it significantly reduces the probability of winning. Something similar happened during this series as well.

Along with Jasprit Bumrah, Virat Kohli looked seemingly out of touch. His scores in the three innings read: 51, 15, 9, aggregating just 75 runs at an average of 25.00, a far cry from his career average of 59.34.

Even though he managed to score a half-century, you would consider this series as a big failure due to the high standards he has set for himself. You would bet that had he been scoring runs like a machine, the results would have been much different.


This is also the first instance of Kohli failing to score a ton in consecutive ODI series since July 2013.

Having been a consistent performer for the last 7-8 years across all formats, the tour has been far from impressive from the captain, and the Test series offers him the ideal opportunity to seek redemption and respite.

Published 11 Feb 2020, 19:25 IST
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