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Kiwis need a handicap to win

The day was over as if no one batted an eye lid. It was as if the Indians barely twitched a muscle. The gap between the two teams has just grown wider.

cricket Updated: Dec 03, 2010 00:10 IST

The day was over as if no one batted an eye lid. It was as if the Indians barely twitched a muscle. The gap between the two teams has just grown wider.

In such circumstances, New Zealand need a bit of a head-start or in golfing terms as the Indian Open is on, desperately need a handicap to compete. Winning the toss in a day-night game is not a bad deal for starters.

They could also do with a clutch of run-outs in the Indian innings. A few dropped chances and umpiring benevolence when their own batsmen are at work. Unfortunately, all of it must happen together if New Zealand has to look India in the eye.

The visitors' troubles against spinners are well-documented. But it was Sreesanth who tested them in his first spell in Jaipur. Sreesanth ran in smooth and strong, bowled good lines and hit the bat. The spinners then ensured New Zealand remained rooted to the crease, at least early on in there spells.

Gautam Gambhir is a kind of cricketer who revels in responsibility. He is never short of motivation but captaincy is an added reason. He navigated the passage nonchalantly. He left the crease with assurance and could lay back and also chop the ball behind the stumps. It was a top class performance.

Fortunately, Gambhir had men at the other end with similar commitments. The equanimity of Murali Vijay who is intent on making every opportunity count; and the ambition of Virat Kohli, who seeks ownership of No 3 slot, was reassuring to the Indian captain.

(TCM)