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Big time opportunity missed for India’s middle-order in Hamilton, reckons Sunil Gavaskar

With Indian batsmen failing to do well in the fourth game, former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar feels it was an opportunity missed for the middle-order batsmen to stand up and deliver after a rare failure for the openers.

Shubman Gill of India leaves the field
Shubman Gill of India leaves the field. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Team India’s remarkable run in One-Day Internationals in 2019 came to a screeching halt on Thursday with a heavy eight-wicket loss to New Zealand in the inconsequential fourth ODI. With the series already in India’s pocket, the game was a golden opportunity for the Men in Blue to fine tune their skills in the testing conditions of New Zealand ahead of the World Cup. However, Trent Boult blew them apart to fire New Zealand to their first win in the series.

Asked to bat first, India never looked at ease in the swinging conditions and were all out for just 92. Boult was the star of the show, picking up a sensational 5 for 21 off his 10 overs including four maidens. In reply, New Zealand chased down the total with eight wickets in hand and over 200 balls remaining. Yuzvendra Chahal‘s 18, the highest individual score in the Indian innings pretty much tells the story.

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With Indian batsmen failing to do well in the fourth game, former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar feels it was an opportunity missed for the middle-order batsmen to stand up and deliver after a rare failure for the openers. The likes of Shubman Gill, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik and Kedar Jadhav had the chance to prove themselves after a rare failure from India’s talismanic openers. However, the middle-order batsmen failed to make the most of the opportunity.

“Big time opportunity missed for Kedar Jadhav and even for someone like Shubman Gill – a newcomer batting at three. Opportunity missed as once the openers have been dismissed early, it gives you forty odd minutes to play. Sometimes you come in with the opener and Virat Kohli is batting with 30-40 overs and what chance do you get to a big total for yourself and the team.

“You get what… 10 overs, 15 overs. But in a situation like this, when both the openers are back in the pavilion within the first 10 overs, it was a terrific opportunity for all these guys. They missed out,” Gavaskar told India Today.

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