Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's role as a finisher again came under scanner as New Zealand pipped India by six runs in a thrilling second ODI encounter, here on Thursday.
The Black Caps levelled the five-match series 1-1 and in the process also won their first game of the tour. India were all-out for 236 in 49.3 overs chasing a target of 243. It is also after 11 long years that India have lost an ODI at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
Hardik Pandya (36) and Umesh Yadav (18) had tried their best with a 49-run stand for the ninth wicket but Pandya’s dismissal in the penultimate over ended India's hopes with Southee cleaning up Jasprit Bumrah (0) in the final over with a perfect yorker.
But the match again raised question mark about Captain Cool’s ability to win matches even when there wasn’t too much pressure of the scoreboard.
# Match over! New Zealand won by 6 runs
# Bumrah gets bowled by Southee
# India need 10 runs in last over
# Pandya gets out! Jasprit Bumrah comes to the crease
# India need 11 runs in 8 balls
# Four! Pandya hits it to long off
# Two overs left, India need 16 runs in 12 balls
# India are 221/8 after 47 overs
# Good partnership going on between Pandya and Yadav, they have scored 38 runs in 37 balls
# India are 213/8 after 46 overs, need 30 runs in 24 balls
# Four! leg byes to the boundary
# Hardik Pandya and Umesh Yadav are fighting it out in the middle
# India are 204/8 after 45 overs, need 39 runs in 30 balls
# India are 193/8 after 43 overs, need 50 runs in 42 balls
# India are 185/8 after 42 overs
# Mishra gets out, Umesh Yadav walks out to crease
# Axar gets out, Amit Mishra comes to the crease
# India are 174/6, need 69 runs in 62 balls
# Big blow to India, Dhoni gets out, he scored 39 runs
# Axar hits six to deep mid-wicket, India need 74 runs in 66 balls
# Match is closing in, India need 82 runs in 71 balls
# India are 156/5 after 36 overs, India need 87 runs in 84 balls
# Axar Patel comes to the crease
# Matt Henry strikes, Kedar Jadhav gets out after scoring 41 runs
# Manish Pandey gets run out, Kedar Jadhav comes to the crease, score after 20 overs is 74/4
#A Devcich to M Pandey (11), 6 runs, India are 55/2
#Rohit Sharma (15) is out, c Luke Ronchi b Trent Boult, India are 21/1
#India begin chase against Kiwis, India are 18 for no loss
#End of New Zealand's innings, Kiwis scored 242 for the loss of 9 wickets
#Last over of the innings to go NZ 237 for 8
#T Southee is out on zero, bowled by Jasprit Bumrah, Kiwis are 225/8
#A Devcich is out on 7 runs, c Axar Patel b Jasprit Bumrah, NZ are 224/7
#L Ronchi is out on 6 runs , c MS Dhoni b Axar Patel, Kiwis are 216/6
#New Zealand loses the momentum after the fall of Kane Williamson and C Anderson, Kiwis are 217 for 6
#Century for Williamson New Zealand 192 for 3 after 37 overs
#New Zealand 165 for 3 after 33 overs
#NZ register 50 on the board
#Latham and Williamson string a partnership to steady Kiwis innings
#New Zealand lose Guptill early
The target was not a big one and the juncture at which Dhoni walked in gave him ample time to play himself into the game. He ran well but also at times got stuck with Mitchell Santner drying up the runs.
Keeping a cover and an extra cover, Santner flighted it outside the off-stump and the Indian skipper found it difficult to get going.
There were only three boundaries in his 39 off 65 balls but what was striking was his inability to generate power in his shots most of the times. He played as many as 37 dot balls.
The only standout shot was a short arm pull off Henry. He failed to attack both Santner and Anton Devcich.
Henry ended Dhoni’s misery with a stunning one handed return catch when the Indian skipper failed to read a slower one. But it was a more a case of the increasing pressure on him.
He added 66 for the fifth wicket with Kedar Jadhav (41). But it was Kedar, who looked like a dominant partner hitting couple of sixes off Santner.
First was a half-tracker that was pulled into the mid-wicket stands and the second was an inside out shot over extra covers. He also ran well between the wickets with his skipper converting the ones into twos.
Just when he was looking good for a half-century, Kedar tried to steer a fuller delivery from Henry to be caught behind as India were in a spot at 139 for five.
What was weird was Dhoni’s decision to play second fiddle to both Kedar and then Axar Patel (17) as he let the game drift with the dot balls adding to the pressure.
Dhoni’s dismissal did increase pressure as Axar and Amit Mishra (1) were dismissed by part-time off-breaks from Martin Guptill.
Match Timing: 1:30 PM (IST)
India: Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (C) (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav.
New Zealand: Tom Latham, Martin Guptill / Anton Devcich, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi (wk), James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi.