New Zealand’s batting has let them down badly thus far on their tour of India. After their 0-3 Test series rout, they also lost the first ODI at Dharamsala after scoring just 190 following a top-order slump. While their bowlers took 43 wickets in three Tests, the batsmen haven’t done their job.
Seniors Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill were a big letdown while skipper Kane Williamson failed to maintain his impressive form after the first Test in Kanpur, after missing the second in Kolkata due to a stomach bug.
Pacer Trent Boult acknowledged the batsmen haven’t pulled their weight.
“We are looking to get more runs and if we do that, we can put more scoreboard pressure on a good Indian side. I don’t want to single out anyone but the entire eleven would want to contribute with the bat. As bowlers and fielders, we have taken a lot of pride but in the next few nights, it is a big challenge for the batters to come up.”
The Kiwis haven’t done anything different from their previous trips to India. In 2010, they lost all five ODIs after the top order flopped. Guptill, Taylor and Williamson scored in one game each but were inconsistent. Recently, the Kiwis beat India in the World T20 match at Nagpur but scored only 126 on a turning track.
Taylor has failed to decipher turn in this series while Guptill has been punished for his loose technique. Though Williamson too has found the going tough, he will be expected to bounce back.
Boult said with the Indian pacers dealing the blows in the first ODI after Ashwin and Jadeja left them struggling, New Zealand had a lot of work to do.
The Kiwis are back at Kotla, where they began their tour with a warm-up game, and a true wicket should raise their hopes.
Comparisons between Kane Williamson and predecessor Brendon McCullum are already being made.
“Kane is a very classy player. He is in a very tough time with the role of captaincy and it’s a learning experience for him. In terms of how Brendon led, with the bat and his captaincy, I don’t think anyone can do it as well as he did. He set his own tone and we all know what kind of an explosive batsman he was. We stack up a lot of quality players in our side and want them to stand up to end the tour on a positive note,” Boult said.