Ball One – I’m still unconvinced by the strategy, but the Australians fielding of three out and out pacemen is still working. At times, Johnson, Tait and Lee looked too quick for the New Zealand middle order, bowling tight lines and letting an up and down pitch provide the variation. Whether a more powerful batting line-up than the Kiwis would block as many half volleys and play as many injudicious shots, will be answered over the next few weeks.
Ball Two – Daniel Vettori is able to wring runs from the most unpromising circumstances, showing it again today by squeezing 43 runs at better than a run a ball. His bowling, though more orthodox than his batting, is similarly able to produce wickets from nowhere. The size of the hole he will leave on retirement won’t be filled easily.
Ball Three – One day cricket is not at its most becoming when played on up and down strips surrounded by slow outfields. Nagpur has not offered the best conditions for attractive cricket, something that might have been known by the locals, who have not turned up in big numbers.
Ball Four – Brad Haddin is not as violent as Adam Gilchrist, but can still take a game away from any side in the world in the first ten overs. Like Gilchrist, he tends to play textbook shots, but hits them rather hard. He gels well with Shane Watson, who prefers to ease himself into the match, accelerating his scoring rate once past thirty or so. Getting both these openers out with the new ball is a key step in defeating this Australian XI.
Ball Five – Punter still looks out of sorts. His finger is clearly still painful and he looks ill at ease in the field and at the crease. His stumping off a wide adds another mode of dismissal to an increasingly bizarre list.
Ball Six – I wondered how a side as experienced and talented as New Zealand could go down 4-0 to the enthusiastic, but limited, Bangladeshis in a recent ODI series. Today’s match showed how.
The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999.