Mohammed Shami celebrates the wicket of Finn Allen. Photo / photosport.nz
It was just one of those days, according to captain Tom Latham. The Black Caps batsmen will have to hope there aren’t many more on their next trip to India.
The home side clinched the
ODI series with a game to spare yesterday, dismissing New Zealand for 108 before cruising to an eight-wicket triumph.
Three days after almost chasing 350 in Hyderabad, the Black Caps slumped to 15-5 in the 11th over in Raipur, eventually recording their 11th-lowest ODI total. But the two batting efforts weren’t as dissimilar as those disparate numbers might suggest.
The tourists’ top order experienced similar issues in the first match, before Michael Bracewell blasted away any concerns by scoring 140 at No 7. A rapid 40 from Finn Allen had been the only contribution of note as New Zealand fell to 131-6, but much worse was to come.
In the second match, Allen was bowled by Mohammed Shami for a first-over duck to begin the carnage, with his cohort in the top five all failing to reach double figures.
An understrength Black Caps will hardly be too disheartened by the series defeat – their priorities were made clear when coach Gary Stead returned home with captains Kane Williamson and Tim Southee to prepare for the visit of England next month.
But with Williamson the only man missing from a first-choice top order, he and his teammates will have limited opportunities to find a remedy before they return to India for the ODI World Cup later in the year.
New Zealand will play ODI series at home against Sri Lanka and away to Pakistan and England before that tournament, meaning the current chance to acclimatise to Indian conditions is invaluable.
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Latham found his side deficient in that area yesterday and made it a focus ahead of the dead rubber in Indore on Tuesday.
“It’s just about trying to adapt to conditions as quickly as possible, and I think we were a little bit slow to adapt with the surface we were faced with,” the skipper said.
“India put us under a lot of pressure and we weren’t able to overcome that. It’s just one of those days where things don’t quite turn around. We weren’t able to absorb that pressure and wickets just kept falling.”
Henry Nicholls was the second to fall, continuing his recent struggles with the bat by scoring two from 20 balls. In Williamson’s absence, Mark Chapman might receive a chance at No 3 in the third game, having scored an unbeaten century in his last ODI against Scotland in July.
Devon Conway continued a feast-or-famine tour by being dismissed for seven, while Daryl Mitchell and Latham both made one. Although top scorer Glenn Phillips (36) put together brief stands with Bracewell and Mitchell Santner, the lower order never seriously threatened another revival as the innings ended in the 35th over.
Latham was quick to credit the diligent work of Shami (3-18 from six overs) and Mohammed Siraj (1-10 from six), the pace pair having created such problems in the opening stages.
“They obviously bowled fantastically well,” Latham said. “They were both relentless in terms of the lines and lengths that they bowled, and they gave us nothing to score from.
“To be five down reasonably early on was hard to come back from. We threatened with a couple of little partnerships, but when you get bowled out for just over 100 it makes things pretty difficult.
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“Unfortunately it was just one of those days where everything India did turn their way, and that’s the game of cricket we play. So fingers crossed we can turn things around next game.”