India won the first match convincingly on a good Napier batting surface. It was a game interrupted by rain but at no stage did India seem to lose control of the game. Once India got to 273 in 38 overs, it was always an uphill task for New Zealand to chase.
Sehwag once again showed that whenever he gets runs India seems to get in a winning position and he set up the platform for Dhoni and Raina to bat so well. Dhoni again proved that he should be batting higher up in one-day cricket as he is a devastating player once he gets set and has time.
But probably the innings of the match was from Suresh Raina. He has batted beautifully in his two knocks in New Zealand and has started to show his true potential now. It was a bit early for him when he came to the one-day scene in 2005 and looks now a player who knows how to get runs. This has come because of playing two good years of domestic cricket and getting runs consistently there. Hopefully, it will be a precedent set by the selectors now and not push players on the basis of two or three good games in the Ranji season. Rohit Sharma is one player who is probably suffering from this and he needs to be monitored very carefully.
India batted New Zealand out of the game and at no stage did they look like making match out of it. India’s win on Tuesday will wipe off the loss of those two T20 games and will keep them in a positive frame for the rest of the series.
Harbhajan once again continued his superb form and unfortunately missed a hat-trick.
He just keeps on showing that if you are a class bowler you perform in all conditions and on wickets that are seaming, he continues to be the best.
I have been reading Martin Crowe’s statements of Zaheer trying to get the captaincy. I am not surprised at this because he (Martin Crowe) did the same thing in 2003 when we toured New Zealand.
It is his policy to somehow create suspicion in the Indian rank, but I don’t think that these things bother the players anymore, since they pretty much know the reason for all these statements.
It was devastating to see what the Sri Lankan players went through on Tuesday morning in Lahore. Pakistan, with all these incidents, will slowly put themselves away from the cricketing map and I don’t think after this incident any touring team will want to go to Pakistan and I will be surprised if they do so.
Having visited the country so many times, it saddens me to see this but I sincerely pray that the Sri Lankan players get back home safely.
The Pakistani cricket has suffered and will suffer because of these incidents probably for reasons which are beyond their control, but that’s the way it is.