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India Kick off New Year with a Defeat in Napier; Virat’s Century Turns Useless

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India Kick off New Year with a Defeat in Napier; Virat’s Century Turns Useless

January 20
12:14 2014

india vz nzNew Zealand, Monday, January 20 – Every cricket fan was keenly eyeing towards the exciting weekend as Indian squad was almost all set to give tough challenge to New Zealand on their soil in first One Day International match in Napier. Although, record of India in New Zealand is not too impressive, however fans hoped striking innings by Indian batsmen and bowlers. India won the toss elected to field first. Weather conditions of the country were favorable for India and even pitch of Napier turned good for batting.

Indian Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who came on the tour with young squad looked positive for winning the first ODI, showed confidence amongst the previous squad and decided to pick Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

The openers of home team – M Guptill and J Ryder failed to play big innings and were out at the minimal score of 8 and 18, respectively. The earlier fall of two wickets was not less than a shock for New Zealand, but K Williamson and L Taylor stabilized the innings with impressive 71 and  55 runs, respectively. Contribution of 68 runs by C Anderson can’t be ignored. Even though, none of the Kiwis scored a century, but the collective efforts made them put a total of 292 runs on the score board after the loss of seven wickets

Amazing performances were expected by the top line batsmen, but except Kohli, who hit a striking 123 runs before succumbing to McClenaghan, Dhoni (40 runs) and Dhawan (32 runs), the entire team crumpled at lower score. Five of the Indian players did not even touch the two digit mark and got out at the brilliant piece of bowling by Tim Southee, Anderson, McClenaghan and Williamson. Relying on young shoulders, Dhoni dreamt of building a solid team. Despite the fact that selectors have given a break to Yuvraj Singh in this series after considering his poor form, but the big question arise here is – when Dhoni will give chance to Ambati Rayadu, who can perform far better than Raina and Jadeja, who are continuously getting failed to prove their selection worthy!

The first One Day International match amongst the two best teams of the world was scheduled in McLean Park, Napier on Sunday, January 19. Several audience turned up to witness the game, however Indian fans were left disappointed when Dhoni’s squad could not reach the total and fell short of 25 runs to register victory.

Nevertheless, game is not over for team India as the excitement of rest ODIs will be carried forward at Seddon Park in Hamilton, Eden Park in Auckland and Basin Reserve in Wellington also. Defeat in initial match has made the series interesting and it would be exciting to know how youth bridge of India performs on these pitches.

All Indians hope that their team should kick off the brand new season with a remarkable victory, which could fade away the pain of humiliating loss against South Africa in December. On the whole, the year 2013 will be counted as one of the splendid periods for Indian cricket team, which won Champians Trophy by decimating England in the finals. Now, the fever of remaining 4 ODIs and 2 Test matches between Indian and New Zealand are all set to grip audience, who have been eagerly awaiting for nail-biting contest between the two teams.

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