Corey storm: India slip in rain, lose No 1 ranking | india | Hindustan Times
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Corey storm: India slip in rain, lose No 1 ranking

The second defeat in a row against New Zealand for the holders of both the global one-day titles pushed them off the perch in the ODI rankings. And the manner of defeat showed how unsteady India are.

india Updated: Jan 23, 2014 07:31 IST
N. Ananthanarayanan

Betting is legal in New Zealand. Before the start of the second ODI on Wednesday, the only company authorised to operate, put out the winning odds and of the top two scorers from either side. The numbers flashed on television. And it accurately reflected the plight India are in early on this tour.

The second defeat in a row for the holders of both the global one-day titles pushed them off the perch in the ODI rankings. And the manner of defeat showed how unsteady India are.

After India’s top-order batsmen were hit by pace and bounce on a hard Napier pitch in the first ODI, the visitors were expected to bounce back on the slow Seddon Park. But the 15-run defeat under the Duckworth/Lewis method leaves India staring at a series defeat in the five-match series.

The match followed an almost similar pattern in Hamilton, after Dhoni had once again backed his side to chase by electing to bowl. New Zealand, despite a rain-break of two hours, got to 271 after the match was truncated to 42 overs per side. The openers Martin Guptill (44) and Jesse Ryder (20) set the platform before

Kane Williamson (77) and Ross Taylore (57) struck fifties for the second game in a row, leaving all-rounder Corey Anderson (44 off 17 balls) to once again lay into the Indian bowling at the death.

Barring Mohammed Shami (3/55) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the rest, especially Ishant Sharma and R Ashwin never looked like taking a wicket. And that was the only way the Kiwis could have been reined in. With the hosts’ 271 adjusted to 297, it was imperative that Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan got going. Neither has scored a fifty in their last eight innings.

Clueless
Both fell to the rising ball in Napier. Here, they were unable to find a way to rotate the strike and both fell to desperate shots against first change Tim Southee. With less than 40 on the board in the first 10 overs, the pressure was again on India.

Kohli again did his best to carry India on his shoulders. His 90-run partnership with Ajinkya Rahane built momentum but mistakes were bound to come and they did. Kohli’s 65-ball 78 kept the visitors going but he was foxed by Southee and hit straight to mid-on. Dhoni took charge, having come ahead of Suresh Raina, whose injudicious loft to midwicket left the captain fuming. With 40 needed off the last three overs, Dhoni miscued to point and from then on it proved too much for the tail.

The match was called off in the final over as rain started again, which would have come as a relief in a strange way for the visitors.