It seems India’s favourite place down under is New Zealand. This is the second time in less than a year they have traveled to New Zealand!.This time for a whole series featuring all 3 formats.
In 2019 they played one series, a 5 match ODIs which they won 4-1 convincingly.
The most interesting part of these series is change of players in both teams. From the last contest both teams made considerable changes to their squad!.
For India players like Dhonii, B Kumar,H Pandya,D Kartik, K Ahmed, Shankar and Rayudu are not included for the current tour.
For New Zealand D Bracewell, L Ferguson, M Henry and T Astle are not included for various reasons.
After the recently concluded T20 series it is very clear India has a stronger squad.
NZ on the other hand have been gradually sliding down in their performance. They haven’t played a ODI since their heartfelt loss to England in WC Finals.
In other formats they had mixed performance.
- in SL won Test series 2-1
- In SL won T20I series 2-1
- Eng in NZ, lost T20I series 2-3
- Eng in NZ, won Test series 1-0
- In Australia, lost Test series 0-3
- India in NZ, lost T20I series 0-5
“Opening the key”
To open their batting in Limited overs format NZ now should look beyond Martin Guptill!.
In last 2 years NZ played 34 ODIs winning 61.76% of those matches. Nevertheless their opening stand on avg put on 25.17runs/inn. It featured only 5 fifty plus partnerships(2 century stand) and shockingly 21 scores of less than 20 runs stand….that has 13 single figure run!!.
It is obvious from this stats that NZ have not been able to get a good start to their innings. Their experienced opener Guptill is having a lean patch. In same 2 year period he played 30 ODIs @39.74 Avg. However 16 times he was dismissed inside 20 runs, and has only 4 centuries to his name. Suggesting he gets dismissed for low scores regularly!.
It is apparent Guptill is out form. Had a poor WC scoring only 188 runs in 11 inns, which had 7 scores of less than 20 runs.
One feels at age of he still has few years left in him to play at highest level, and being an excellent fielder and experienced opening batsman he still can offer a lot to NZ cricket. Therefore he can still be in playing XI, batting down the order in both format.
New Zealand need to arrest their opening problem or else they will start losing regularly and it can have viral effect on other format!.