India v New Zealand, 4th ODI: 5 Talking Points

India v New Zealand, 4th ODI: 5 Talking Points

MS Dhoni India
MS Dhoni. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Once again, New Zealand has come from behind to square the series to make an exciting occasion for the final ODI of the series. While there is indeed all to play for in the final ODI, it seems quite clear that there is indeed a lot to analyze in this encounter. Martin Guptill was one of the shining lights for the Kiwis while Indian skipper MS Dhoni was the one who failed in spite of playing in his home stadium. While there were indeed a plethora of talking points in the encounter, we take a look at five talking points that changed the game rather significantly.

1. Kane Williamson finally wins the toss

When it was described that the win had New Zealand written all over it, the man who said it meant it 100%. In fact, the New Zealand win began with the toss which was finally called right by New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson. This was Williamson’s first toss win on the ongoing tour as well as the fact that this well and truly consummated New Zealand’s win.

2. Martin Guptill makes his chance count finally

In cricket, you cannot find a cleaner striker of the cricket ball than New Zealand opener Martin Guptill. The 30-year old opening batsman was on song from the word go. Martin Guptill was well and truly on his way. Dhawal Kulkarni, the makeshift Indian bowler who made his way into the side was thrashed all around the park by Guptill. Needless to say, the opener smashed 72 runs, 48 of which came from boundaries.

3. New Zealand top-order fires with some impressive batting

The New Zealand top-order then began to impress with some impressive batting as the likes of Kane Willamson and Tom Latham began to impress quite well with the bat. While both batsmen have been marginally impressive in the ongoing tour, it seemed clear that the Kiwis were given a wonderful foundation on the day as smashed 39 and 41 respectively. Ross Taylor also chipped in with an impressive 35.

4. MS Dhoni fails at Ranchi

In spite of some impressive batting from Ajinkya Rahane, who helped himself to a half-century, it was the failure of Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni who did not make it to the plate as they were dismissed within quick succession with each other. The 35-year old Indian skipper who was the larger disappointment as he managed just the 11 runs in the 31 deliveries he faced. While it can be agreed that the wicket was rather difficult to bat on, it was clear that the 35-year old was dismissed when James Neesham breached his defenses in spite of the fact that he was playing at his home ground in Ranchi.

5. Axar Patel’s brief resistance goes in vain

In what was somewhat of an interesting move, Axar Patel was promoted up the order ahead of the likes of Kedar Jadhav and Manish Pandey. However, with Tim Southee decimating the Indians, it seemed quite clear that the Indians were on the back foot. However, in spite of this, Axar Patel smashed a valiant 39 runs before being hauled out by Trent Boult. Even a resistance from Dhawal Kulkarni towards the end did not help as the Indians slumped to a defeat.