By Kyle Jones
How do you beat your mirror image? New Zealand was able to answer that question in their first ODI match against India on Wednesday, winning by 4 wickets and successfully out-batting India’s total of 347 runs with their own 348. The Black Caps will have to re-capture Wednesday’s energy this Friday for the second ODI of the series.
New Zealand and India have very similar teams in terms of talent and have thus experienced similar success in recent years in ODI cricket. The bowling talents of New Zealand’s Tim Southee and Colin de Granhomme are matched by India’s Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. Virat Kohli and KL Rahul may be legends with bats in their hands, but New Zealand has the consistently proficient Martin Guptil and Ross Taylor to counter the Men in Blue.
So, how do you separate these two teams when there’s almost nothing that puts one above the other?
In the first match, New Zealand prospered off the batting of Henry Nichols, Ross Taylor and Tom Latham, who combined for 256 runs. More importantly, the New Zealanders got their runs quickly, with a run rate of 7.22 per over.
India struggled in the first match because of a lackluster performance from the usually-reliable Jasprit Bumrah, who was unable to take a single wicket. The Indians’ bowling was uncharacteristically lackluster all-around, allowing New Zealand to feast for 7 sixes and 33 fours. India also displayed poor execution in their bowling, giving India 29 runs from Extras. This poor performance from India’s bowlers turned the tide in favor of the Black Caps.
Though India seemingly knocked themselves out in the first match, expect them to improve and tighten up on Friday. Keep a close eye on Bumrah; he had a rough outing in his last match, and he rarely has two of those in a row. If India can tighten up their bowling they may find a better outcome is on the horizon.
For New Zealand, they must assume that India will focus on eliminating their errors from the first match. If they want to experience similar success, then early batters like Martin Guptil will have to be on their game. Keep an eye out for Guptil specifically; he only managed 32 runs as the lead batter, a number he won’t be satisfied with. He is always a threat to score large totals, and will be looking for that kind of performance on Friday.
The best way to respond to a loss is to start off strong, so India will be looking to take wickets early to prevent New Zealand from getting up and running. If the Black Caps can form a strong partnership with their first two batters, then expect a similar result from the first match.
Edited by Emma Moloney | firstname.lastname@example.org