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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

India vs New Zealand 1st ODI 2009: Preview and Live Score

(This entry was originally published on Monday, March 2nd, 2009)

India is going to face host New Zealand in the first of the five-match ODI series starting from Tuesday (3 March 2009). The day-night match takes place at the McLean Park, Napier which offers a batting friendly wicket. After the clean sweep in Twenty20 series, New Zealand will go into the match full of confidence, while Indian team will look to get their momentum back. Though Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni does not think that Indian team has lost confidence through the two back-to-back defeats in Twenty20 series, it is pretty much clear that Indian team is not as confident as they were after 4-1 ODI series win over Sri Lanka in their recent ODI series. However, India’s success in ODI format throughout 2008 would not make New Zealand take India lightly.

Match: New Zealand vs India 2009

Date: 3 march 2009

Venue: McLean Park, Napier, New Zealand

Time: 14:00 local time (01:00 GMT)

India won the CB Series in Australia last year, winning the bet of three final convincingly. Though they failed to win the Asia Cup, being defeated by Sri Lanka in the final, India clinched the ODI series in Sri Lanka last year. After that, Indian team demolished England at home, winning all of the five ODI matches held. Then came recent ODI series victory in Sri Lanka. So, there is no doubt, Indian is now one of the most successful ODI team in world cricket at this moment.

India has a number of things to worry about ahead of the first ODI against New Zealand. First of all, in-form opening pair, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, who were instrumental behind India’s scintillating ODI performances over the last one year, failed to play big score in two Twenty20 matches. Herein lies another worry for India. India’s highly successful opening pair did not let Indian middle order take much pressure throughout last year, but the failures of Sehwag and Gambhir in the Twenty20 series in New Zealand exposed the strength of Indian middle order that failed to carry on the momentum in both the matches. The good news for Indian team is that Sachin Tendulkar returns with the first ODI against New Zealand- meaning he would pair up with Virender Sehwag in the opening slot and Gambhir would come to bat at no. 3.

In the presence of the likes of Yuvraj Singh and Dhoni, and youngsters like Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma, Indian middle order looks pretty much balanced, but they failed to show their depth in Twenty20 matches. India’s lower order looks very strong too with the presence of two all rounders Yusuf Pathan and Irfan Pathan. Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan are also capable of chipping in some runs on the board in the slog overs. Overall, India’s middle order looks pretty strong and balanced.

New Zealand’s top order is not as much experienced as India’s top order, but the Kiwis have four in-form batsmen in their top order: Jesse Ryder, Brendon McCullum, who played two back-to-back half centuries in Twenty20 series, Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor. Jacob Oram at no. 5 makes their batting line up only stronger. Pace all rounder Grant Elliott is expected to play in the first ODI, and his inclusion would bring a balance in New Zealand squad. Captain Vettori can also chip in with bat.

New Zealand pacer Kyle Mills, who tested Australian batsmen in their recent tour, returns after recovering from injury and instantly makes it to the first eleven. That means, New Zealand would have to choose two from three pacers- Ian Bulter, Tim Southee and Iain O’Brien for the first match. New Zealand has more bowling option in Elliott and most importantly, Jesse Ryder. To be honest, I was really impressed with the medium pace of Jesse Ryder. In fact, his very economical spell in the middle of the innings made the difference in the two Twenty20 matches. At last, it is their Captain Daniel Vettori who troubled the Indian batsmen a lot in the Twenty20 series and the Kiwis would expect the same kind of dominance from the left arm spinner in the ODI series too.

For India, there is bad news. The visiting side would perhaps miss the service of Ishant Sharma who picked up a shoulder injury during the second Twenty20 match and he has been ruled out of the first ODI with Indian team having no intention of playing Ishant if he is not 100 percent fit. In his absence, either Munaf Patel or Praveen Kumar will be included in the squad for the first one-day international. Irfan Pathan will be the third pacer in the line up. Harbhajan Singh will be there to lead India’s spin attack with Yusuf Pathan’s leg spin would bring variation in their bowling line up. One thing I could not understand is that why Dhoni did not use Virender Sehwag’s handy off spin in the Twenty20 series. Sehwag has already proved his skill as a bowler who can bring up breakthroughs.

Online Live Score and Updates

Here, I am giving some live score and updates websites from where you can get the live score and updates of the match:

Cricinfo

Sify sports

action8cricket

cricketnext

Headlinesindia.com

CRICBUZZ

123INDIA.COM

Cricket365

Thatscricket

Both India and New Zealand have a number of match winning players and a lot would depend on the performance of those key players. Well, I think, both sides have equal chance to in the match and I would not pick up any favorite for the match. Rather, I would like to see some good cricket from both sides with some exciting performances from the likes of Sehwag, Yuvraj, Oram, Vettori and others.

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