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Friday, August 07, 2009

India Lost the Fifth ODI to New Zealand and Some Points

(This entry was originally published on Saturday, March 14th, 2009)

New Zealand clinched a consolation victory in the final ODI of the series. Despite the defeat, India has won the five-match ODI series 3-1 with another match being abandoned due to rain. The kind of dominance India showed in the first four matches was found in New Zealand in the last match as the Kiwis picked up a 8-wicket victory. In the rain-curtailed match, 43 over were allocated for both sides each. Winning the toss, India elected to bat first and got dismissed for 149 within 36.3 overs. Rohit Sharma scored an unbeaten 43 and Sehwag scored 40, while other batsmen failed to excel in the match. Jesse Ryder picked up 3 wickets for 29. New Zealand reached the winning target within 23.2 overs, losing only 2 wickets. Opener Jesse Ryder played a fiery innings of 63 off 49, while Martin Guptill scored 57 runs of 50 balls. Naturally, Ryder was awarded the man of the match award for his all round performance.

Here, I want to raise some points about Indian team selection. India was leading 3-0 in the series before going into the match and win or defeat would not have any big impact on the match. So, India had the opportunity to rest some of their senior members ahead of the test series which is very important for India to win in their bid to clinch the no. 1 spot in ODI ranking. I think, India should have rested Zaheer Khan who played all of the ODI matches. Moreover, India should have given a chance to the players like Irfan Pathan, Pragyan Ojha and Dinesh Karthik who did not take part in the ODI series. Dinesh Karthik is also in the test squad and I think, he should have handed a chance in the ODI series before the commencement of the test series.

Well, Indian team management might say that they wanted to finish the ODI series with a victory and that is why, they did not bring any change in their final eleven. India played a full-strength squad that suffered a humiliating defeat. Will it be helpful for the side to retain their confidence before the test series? The defeat would not count much on their confidence, had India drafted some of those unused players in the last ODI.

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