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Thursday, August 06, 2009

India vs New Zealand 5th ODI 2009: Preview & Live Score

(This entry was originally published on Friday, March 13th, 2009)

India takes on New Zealand at Auckland on 14 March 2009 in the last match of the ongoing ODI series. India is looking for a clean sweep in the series, while New Zealand looks to clinch a confidence-booster consolidating victory before the test series, starting from 18 March. India won three of the four matches held so far in the series with the other match being abandoned due to rain. Naturally, India dominated over the home side in the ODI series after losing the Twenty20 series. So, you do not need to be a cricket specialist to understand that India will go into the last match with a view to making it 4-0 in the series. New Zealand, on the other hand, could not yet cope up with the high-flying form of Indian batsmen who have been in scintillating form so far in the series and if the home side wants to bring something in their favor in the last match of the series, they must find a way to restrict the Indian batsmen.

Match: New Zealand vs India, Fifth ODI 2009

Venue: Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand

Date: 14 March 2009, Saturday

Time: Local Time 14:00 (01:00 GMT)

Live on TV: Sony Sat Max

India went into the Twenty20 series with the tag of Twenty20 world champion, and they had recent success story in Sri Lanka on their back, but the Indians failed to show the any dominance over the depleted Kiwi side in what indicated a hardly-fought ODI series. However, the reality has been totally different from what had been expected before the series got underway. No doubt, New Zealand bowlers must take a big part of the blame, while the Indian batsmen should be given a large part of the credit. To be honest, New Zealand batsmen and Indian bowlers were left in such a condition in almost every game from where they had no scope to alter the result. Well, by stating this, I am not underestimating the New Zealand batsmen and Indian bowlers. In fact, they churned out some inspirational performances in their attempt to add some spice to the series, though all of those efforts were of no avail as those had no big impact on the series.

With one match left in hand and the series being already decided, India can afford to bring some change in the squad in their bid to test the reserve side, giving chances to some of the players like Dinesh Karthik, Pragyan Ojha and Irfan Pathan who have remained unused in the ODI series. As far as I am concerned about Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, he would not let the chance of testing some of the reserve players go down as he knows that even a defeat would not snatch the series away from their grasp. I think, India would rest some of their senior players to bring some of the young players who could not play in the series. Moreover, India might bring a change in the batting order to create some batting opportunity for the players like Yusuf Pathan who did not get enough chance to show their batting talent in the series. Sachin Tendulkar is doubtful for the fifth match as he is still suffering from his groin injury that he picked up during his majestic innings in the third ODI. I do not think that India would not risk Tendulkar by playing him for an insignificant match.

There might be some changes in Indian bowling line up with Pragyan Ojha and Irfan Pathan are likely to be drafted into the final eleven, though I am not quite sure about who are the player to make way for the duo. Ojha was impressive in Sri Lanka and I think, he deserves a match in New Zealand. For Pathan, he was not impressive in the Twenty20 series, but he should be given a chance in order to rest veteran pacer Zaheer Khan. Moreover, it would also be a smart move from India if they play Dinesh Karthik in the final ODI so that the wicketkeeper batsman can get some opportunity to get used to the New Zealand condition ahead of the test series.

New Zealand has just one problem and that is: their key players, specially the bowlers, are currently running out of form. I earlier mentioned that New Zealand batsmen did not enough any chance to dictate in the series due to poor performance by their bowlers, but I must admit that their middle order batsmen failed to show any resistance against Indian bowlers in most of the matches. Opening pair Jesse Ryder and Brendon McCullum brought a solid start in some matches, but their middle order batsmen failed to capitalize on that. They squandered off the momentum brought out by the openers in most of the matches, though I admit that in most of the matches they were chasing a huge target set by the Indian batsmen. Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor, who dominated the Australian bowlers in their recent series in Australia, failed to continue their excellent form in the current series. Jacob Oram returned in action after getting over his injury, but could not yet impress.

However, the players like Peter McGlashan showed some moments of glory, but that was not satisfactory, considering the overall performance of New Zealand middle order. New Zealand called up all rounder Scott Styris as left-arm pacer Ewen Thompson, who debuted in the fourth ODI against India, injured his left thumb during practice. However, the pacer’s condition will be assessed in the morning of the match-day before taking a final decision over the final eleven for the fifth match. I do not think that New Zealand would change a lot in their final eleven for the last match because they are expected to be desperate to make it 3-1 in the series with the hope of get some confidence back before the test series.

The match will take place at the Eden Park, Auckland which is a small ground. So, you can see that Indian batsmen have a reason to be happy before the fifth ODI. Rain has become a big problem in the series as almost all the matches were somehow affected by rain. The fear seems to remain in Auckland too, because the weather over the ground was not stable over the last couple of days as there was both sunshine and shower. So, I would not be surprised if we can see another rain-curtailed match in the fifth ODI of the series.

Online Live Score and Updates

Here, I am giving some website names 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

India is definitely favorite for the last match too after their dominating form in all of the four matches in the series. However, as India is expected to bring some changes in their winning combination, New Zealand might face a depleted Indian team in the last match of the series. So, I think, New Zealand has a very good chance of picking up a consolation victory in the fifth ODI. What I hope is to experience some mind-blowing performance from both sides in a seemingly unimportant match.

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