‘India deserved this lesson’ – Shoaib Akhtar after Virat Kohli’s men lose the ODI series against New Zealand
India let New Zealand score 273 runs after reducing them to 197/8.
Updated - Feb 9, 2020 12:22 pm
India lost their first ODI series on Saturday since the World Cup 2019. New Zealand, after 0-5 hammering in the T20Is, came back strongly to win the first two matches of the three-match ODI series to stun the visitors. Rather, it was a game which ebbed and flowed throughout courtesy of the contributions from the lower-order batsmen of both the teams.
New Zealand were 197/8 at one stage and went on to post 273 runs thanks to Ross Taylor and Kyle Jamieson. And the partnership proved crucial in the context of the match. Even the former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar felt that the Indian bowlers didn’t go for the kill and let things slip from their control. He also went on to say that Virat Kohli and Co deserved this lesson having played poor cricket over the course of two ODIs.
“India deserved this lesson. You cannot win ODIs by playing such poor cricket. No one had an answer to Taylor’s innings. I don’t understand how you can let the game slip from reducing the opposition to 7-8 down. I’m repeatedly saying India are missing a strike bowler. Chahal came in place of Kuldeep, he did well but they lacked someone who could put his hand up when they needed wickets,” he said on his Youtube channel.
Shoaib Akhtar all praise of New Zealand
However, Shoaib Akhtar lauded New Zealand for showing nerves of steel despite a demoralising defeat in the shortest format of the game. While he termed India as an average side for their performance in the must-win encounter, the 44-year-old was all praise of the Kiwis for turning the tide time and again whenever the opposition tried to make a comeback.
“India looked a very average side today. But Credit to New Zealand for coming back so strong after 0-5 loss in T20IS. That type of loss can be demoralizing for any team but they have made a solid comeback. This is a learning curve for India, they need to show character,” Akhtar further added.
As far as the match is concerned, after conceding 273 runs, India were reeling at 153/7 at one stage. But a stunning partnership between Ravindra Jadeja and Navdeep Saini kept them in the hunt. The latter, however, got out after scoring 45 runs and yet again, Jadeja couldn’t finish the game. Though he held one end and took the game with his 55-run knock, India fell short by 22 runs and got bowled out for 251 runs in the penultimate over of the innings.