New Zealand beat India at the second ODI played out at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi on Thursday and leveled the ODI series one a piece. The Kiwis managed to break the Indian juggernaut and clinch their first win of the tour. India's unbeaten run at Feroz Shah Kotla for over a decade finally came to and end with NZ skipper Kane Williamson guiding his team home with a scintillating century.
The Indians had a great chance of pressing the home the advantage and taking a 2-0 lead but paid a big price for their complacent attitude. While the bowlers did a commendable job in restricting the Kiwis to a modest total of 242, the batting failed big time and cracked under pressure to chase down what seemed an achievable target.
Losses make you learn more than wins and its a good time for the 'Men in Blue' to regroup and introspect the chinks in their armour and get back to winning ways.
Here are some major flaws in the Indian ODI set up and the team will have to do their homework and come back strongly in the series.
1. Lack of Stability in top order:
Ever since the dependable opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have parted ways courtesy Dhawan's extended loss of form, Indians have been on the look out for a stable opening partner for Rohit Sharma. The Indians are in a phase of trying out certain players best suited for the job but will have to sooner or later restore confidence in the ability of a youngster as opening is a specialist slot.
2. Over dependence on Kohli in the middle
Virat Kohli has been the lynch pin of the Indian batting lineup and scores with amazing consistency. However the law of averages prevails in all sport, Kohli's bound to fail at times. Someone from the middle order will have to assume the role of a sheet anchor and steady the ship.My bet would be on Ajinyka Rahane who has the technique and temper quite dosent know what is his role in the playing eleven.
He has been shuffled quite a lot in the batting order which wont do his confidence any good. He doesn't seem quite comfortable while opening the innings and is best utilized as a middle order batsman.
3. Youngsters need to take on responsibility of finishing games:
The Indians have long benefited from the services of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh who have been finishers par excellence has been missed big time in his role as a finisher and Dhoni has lost a bit of his midas touch in taking India home. With the senior campaigners not getting any younger, the time has come for maybe a Hardik Pandya or an Aksar Patel to take up the role of a finisher in the side.
It is soaking the pressure which differentiates between good and the great. Early days though, someone will have to put his hand up and assume responsibility of finishing off matches in the future.
4. Killer Instinct:
There is no room for complacency in ODI cricket. Only those teams have been successful in international cricket who have a 'never say die attitude' and finish off the opposition once they hold the advantage. 'Men in Blue' should imbibe the killer instinct to win games when in a advatangeous position.