Sunday, October 23, 2016
Start time 1330 local (0800 GMT)
New Zealand would want to lend their captain Kane Williamson a lot more support while batting © BCCI
Landscape-gazing from an airplane window is a fascinating exercise, mostly because the topography of each city tells its own story. While Dharamsala has gorgeously irregular shapes, with its jagged hills and silent valleys, Delhi’s tightly-packed clusters paint a chaotic visual. New Zealand’s performance in the first two ODIs mirrored these patterns.
There was one big innings in between several that were quite plain in Dharamsala. Then the bowlers banded together and found redemption in a panicky finish in Delhi. The 1-1 scoreline may offer temporary respite, but for New Zealand to pull ahead their batting needs to go beyond the twin-prongs of Tom Latham and captain Kane Williamson. Should they replicate the consistency of Chandigarh’s neatly carved, symmetric landscape in their performances, they would have done their job.
India, on the other hand, won’t worry over the Delhi loss. MS Dhoni’s grouse about the absence of big partnerships may be justified, but the middle and lower-middle orders didn’t look entirely out of depth. Kedar Jadhav was very good before Hardik Pandya‘s bravado, in the company of Umesh Yadav, almost took them home. India will want to win the series, but in making allowance for the younger players to make mistakes, learn from them and find their feet in their respective roles, they could also keep the bigger picture of the Champions Trophy in mind.
India LWWWW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
New Zealand WLWLW
In the spotlight
Kedar Jadhav has provided excellent value for money in this series. He is very new to the role of part-time bowler but has delivered wickets on order in both the games. Then he smashed a 37-ball 41 on a sluggish Kotla surface where batsmen struggled to score quickly. If Jadhav could be moulded into a finisher alongside Pandya, he would count as among India’s biggest gains from this series.
Tom Latham has the most runs for New Zealand on the tour. He also has the most fifties. While he carried his bat in Dharamsala, his dismissal against the run of play in Delhi slowed down his team’s scoring rate. With the middle order not pulling its weight, Latham will be expected to bat deep into the innings again.
Kedar Jadhav has been making the most of his run with the team © BCCI
India’s media manager Nishant Arora confirmed Suresh Raina, who has been recovering from a fever, wasn’t travelling with the squad. This could mean Jadhav getting an extended run in the middle order. Rohit Sharma trained with no apparent discomfort after he seemed to suffer a cramp in his left arm during the second ODI.
India (probable): 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Ajinkya Rahane, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Manish Pandey, 5 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Axar Patel, 9 Amit Mishra, 10 Umesh Yadav, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
James Neesham was seen having a long bowl in the nets. With the Mohali pitch not as dry as Delhi’s, he might come in place of Anton Devcich. Tim Southee ruled out resting Trent Boult or Matt Henry as part of New Zealand’s workload-management strategy for the rest of the series.
New Zealand (probable): 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Tom Latham, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Corey Anderson, 6 Luke Ronchi (wk), 7 James Neesham/Anton Devcich, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Trent Boult, 11 Matt Henry
Pitch and conditions
Southee said he was pleased to see some grass on the pitch in Mohali, although not much could be read into that considering the venue has traditionally been good for batting in ODIs. In the afternoon, head curator Daljeet Singh and Dhoni were seen having a long chat, following which the light roller was used on the pitch.
Stats and trivia
- India have won three of their last four ODIs in Mohali
- MS Dhoni needs 22 runs to become the third wicketkeeper to 9000 runs in ODIs. Kumar Sangakkara and Adam Gilchrist are the other two.
- Kane Williamson has the highest aggregate (396 runs) for a New Zealand batsman in a five-match ODI series. Ross Taylor is second on the list with 375 runs. Both batsmen achieved this during New Zealand’s tour to England last year.
Ross [Taylor] has had a difficult Test series, but he is a class batsman. Every cricketer goes through form slumps. He is obviously disappointed and he wants to leave with runs. We know there is a big score around the corner for him.
Tim Southee backs his team-mate to rediscover his form
Anil [Kumble]bhai doesn’t talk a lot about technique, but mentally he helps a lot. He talks a lot about the mental frame of mind even when you are not playing in the XI. His batting tips to tailenders, especially, have been very crucial as well.
Amit Mishra can’t stop raving about India’s coach
Arun Venugopal is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo. @scarletrun
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo