Sloppy fielding, 24 wides, dodgy selection - 3 mistakes that cost India the first ODI against New Zealand at Hamilton
Ross Taylor’s 21st ODI hundred took the game away from India as New Zealand registered their first win across formats in 2 months, beating India by 4 wickets in the first ODI at Hamilton on Wednesday. Taylor’s century, which was his 18th batting No.4, overshadowed Shreyas Iyer’s maiden ODI hundred. Apart from Taylor, stand-in captain Tom Latham, who was leading the side in Kane Williamson’s absence, played a crucial role with his 69-run knock off just 48 balls. Henry Nicholls too played his part with 78 off 82 balls to give New Zealand a solid start when they were chasing 348 for victory. India captain Virat Kohli mentioned at the post-match presentation that New Zealand were the better side on all three departments on Wednesday. “An oustanding performance by New Zealand. We thought 348 was good enough, especially after the start we got with the ball,” said Kohli.
While there is no real point to disagree with Kohli but India were not on the top of their game. They have been leaving a few loopholes even in the T20Is which were not highlighted due to New Zealand’s lack of finishing skills. But on Wednesday they cost India dearly.
Here are 3 reasons why India lost to New Zealand in the first ODI at Hamilton.
Sloppy fielding, Kuldeep dropping Taylor
“We were decent in the field, we dropped one chance. We need to improve though,” Virat Kohli termed India’s fielding in the first ODI as ‘decent’. That was not enough as India paid a heavy price for their sloppy fielding. Ross Taylor was only on 10 when he miscued an attempted slog-sweep which ballooned up in the air towards Kuldeep Yadav at fine-leg. While it was not the easiest of chances but the left-arm wrist spinner should have done better after reaching the ball. The drop proved to be costly as Taylor smashed an unbeaten 103 to take New Zealand home. Apart from that drop catch, Mohammed Shami was guilty of letting 2 ball go through that went for boundaries in the deep. There were patches of brilliance like Virat Kohli running out Nicholls but overall, Team India needs to up their fielding standards.
India gave away 29 extras on Wednesday and bowled 4.1 overs extra with 24 of them being wides. This was also the first instance since 2008 when India bowled more than 20 wides in an ODI. On a placid surface and a small ground, giving so many freebies to the opposition can come back to haunt you and it did so. New Zealand chased down India’s daunting 348-run target in just 48.1 overs.
Shardul Thakur’s selection
Shardul Thakur may have bowled that brilliant last over in the 4th T20I to stretch the match into the Super Over, which India won, but his overall returns in the white-ball cricket don’t make him an automatic choice in India’s XI, especially when there is someone like Navdeep Saini waiting in the wings. Thakur looked the least impressive of India seamers and leaked 80 runs in his 10 overs. He did not have answers when Taylor and Latham picked his knuckleballs and went after him. Moreover, he has picked up only 9 wickets in his 9 ODIs at an average of 51.33, compared that to Saini (average of 37), India’s selection for the first ODI becomes questionable.