Posted by: nestaquin | February 25, 2009

New Zealand v India 1st T20: Fire & Ice

gautam-gambhirThe Black Caps played an almost perfect T20 fixture in Christchurch this evening to hand India their first defeat on their tour of New Zealand. The Kiwis were cool and professional throughout and showed that they had learned a valuable lesson in defeat against Australia in Sydney last week.

India, also, must learn from this defeat, namely, that respect for your opponent is paramount for success. Too many batsmen threw their wickets away like schoolboys trying to impress the girls at lunchtime and they paid the price despite a decent first outing from their bowlers.

The batting approach from either side was as stark a contrast as the climate between Chennai and Christchurch. India, Suresh Raina excepted, slogged without regard to partnership or match situation while every New Zealand batsman played to a plan and when new to the crease milked singles, rotating the strike until they had their eye in.

Brendan McCullum was a revelation and illustrated to all that he is far from a one-dimensional cricketer in this format, while Jacob Oram’s inclusion gave the Kiwi middle order a spine and character that they could rely on. Vettori, as always bowled with lovely flight and led his side of underdogs with assured aplomb.

In the end, India played like individuals while their opponents played as a team and that was the difference. The visitors were beaten between the pickets and between the ears and it will be telling to witness their response, especially if asked to bat, in Wellington on Friday.

Image: Getty



  1. I like the look of the NZ batting. They are probably a bowler or two short of being regular winners, but they will beat anyone at T20 on their day.

  2. Spot on Nesta.

    Worse, looked like they was trying to impress the bloke at the other end.

    Think they’d apply more in the nets.

  3. I didn’t see the game, so apologies for asking questions rather than offering opinions, but how was Dhoni’s captaincy? He’s often impressed me (and many more shrewd judges) with his on-field nouse, and particularly with the increased responsibility in his batting?

    Did all of that fly out of the window?

    • Dhoni didn’t do much wrong. He was one of the few batsmen that was out not slogging across the line and in the field he took his usual risky approach when his team was under pressure.

      You could criticise him for bowling Yuvraj (1-0-17-0) with 56 needed of 36 with Oram just at the crease but I think that would be harsh as Yusef Pathan was having a shocker (2.5-0-37-0) and Harbhajan (4-0-19-1) was troubling the batsmen.

      The truth is NZ outplayed India and in doing so controlled the match for most of the 40 overs. There was little Dhoni could do, as a captain is only as good as his team. The important thing is that India bounce back and produce a better performance in the next match.

  4. the impressing the girls at lunchtime cracked me up :-)

    • Cheers Q.

  5. good game by NZ

  6. It was a cracker of a match, and the Kiwis taught the Indians a lesson never to underestimate your opponent.

    Newzealand will be a more balanced outfit with Oram back in the side.

  7. Even more balanced when Oram starts bowling again. If he’s fit enough to take miracle catches, surely he’s fit enough to bowl 4 overs of gentle medium pace.

    But the real winner on the night was
    T220 cricket

  8. if you are superstitious you would have to say that it was India’s new jersey due to which they lost(as I had pointed out before). after all whenever our jersey is changed, we tend to loose the first series which we play in our new jersey. remember WC 2007 !

    otherwise it is just because of the lack of match practice and perhaps the poor record of India in New Zealand tells the story.unfortunately, the high flying indians were brought down to earth today. but i would like to see a strong comeback from our team. though i must say that there were poor selections and the re-shuffling in the batting order of India caused a lot of difference. In fact, even the bowlers could hve done a bit better. also, there were so many expectations from the team ever since the the pathan bros, heroics against Sri Lanka. these expectations created a lot of pressure on the team.

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