Rain saves India from heavy defeat against NZ after batting collapse

India’s batting fell apart in Christchurch’s third and final ODI, and it was only rain that turned a likely 0-2 series defeat into a 0-1 defeat, as their bowling also failed to make a dent in their progress New Zealand made. Rishabh Pant failed again, ending a miserable tour with scores of 6, 11, 15 and 10; Suryakumar Yadav failed to shoot in both ODI innings that went the distance, suggesting he is yet to figure out the longer white-ball format despite the shorter one.

Shreyas Iyer and Washington Sundar improved their reputations on this tour, but India’s lack of speed with the new ball hurt them in these circumstances, even as the first change Umran Malik saw a more controlled, albeit still in progress, version of the tear that had attracted attention in the Indian Premier League.

At Hagley Oval, a combination of a green-tinted surface, overcast conditions and the four-man Kiwi pace battery plus Daryl Mitchell’s deceptive average pace was too much for the Indians after they were brought in. There was plenty of pace and bounce, and enough seam and swing that none of the Indian batsmen were really ‘in’, even though they had spent some time in the middle.

The third & final #NZvIND ODI is called off due to rain 🌧️

New Zealand win the series 1-0.

Scorecard 👉 #TeamIndia

📸 Courtesy: Photosport NZ pic.twitter.com/73QtYS5SJm

— BCCI (@BCCI) Nov 30, 2022

Shikhar Dhawan decided it was pointless to somehow get through the new balls; between getting squared off and being beaten by unplayable deliveries, he jumped off court and hoisted the ball across the infield for a boundary. As the ball continued to nibble even after an hour, Dhawan’s approach was a high risk; he paid the price when Adam Milne slid off the field just enough to allow Dhawan’s sprint into an inside edge onto the trail and then into the stumps.

Shubman Gill had been more careful and was just beginning to find his reach with a drive and pull for fours from Milne when he clipped the sailor straight to square leg. He had left the same way in the first ODI as well.

Breakthrough for #TeamIndia! 👏 👏 @umran_malik_01 strikes as @surya_14kumar makes a nice catch 👌 👌

New Zealand lose Finn Allen.

Follow the game 👉 #NZvIND

📸 Courtesy: Photosport NZ pic.twitter.com/0PjbZWNaou

— BCCI (@BCCI) Nov 30, 2022

Pant came in and tried a bit of Dhawan’s approach, attacked Lockie Ferguson and put him in the deep midwicket rope. But soon he started to get nervous, especially at the sight of Mitchell, who was going around 75 mph. After taking a huge swell and failing to connect, Pant decided to pull without being in a good position, missing a deep square leg to run in and get the catch. He had previously short-armed Milne through midwicket but didn’t have that pace to work with from Mitchell and ended up forcing it too much.

Suryakumar’s is another case. When the ultimately watered-down second ODI was cut to 29 overs, he was in his element, working the ball around and finding the boundary with ease. But in the other two ODIs, with plenty of time to spare, he tamely moved into the same deep slip position. He stands in an open stance with his front foot on the stump and his trigger is to drag him to the center stump. It still leaves him more front-on than side-on, caught on the crease and feeling for the ball with an angled bat unsuitable for defense, especially in such circumstances; he was unable to get behind the line and almost accurately guided the ball to the catcher in both innings.

Deepak Hooda never looked comfortable with the pinch in the field. He tried to move excessively outside the stump in an attempt to get behind the line, but this put him in awkward positions against the short ball that bounced into him, one of which he soon gloved the keeper.

[email protected] scored a fighting half century and was our best performance from the first innings of the third #NZvIND ODI. 👏 👏 #TeamIndia

A summary of his knock 🔽 pic.twitter.com/4JcYJkRmdG

— BCCI (@BCCI) Nov 30, 2022

Silver lining

It was thanks to Iyer and Washington that India placed over 200. Dropped to third man on 6 by a slash to Matt Henry, Iyer went on unopposed to make 49 amid the collapse. He played blows from a man in form, riding firmly through the covers and across the ground. There were some powerful cuts and pulls, before he lifted Ferguson straight to the sweeper, the deformed seam causing the ball to hold a bit.

Coming in on Iyer’s exit at 121 for 5, Washington showed a different side of his batting range and has certainly done enough to be a useful option in this format in the future, along with the T20Is he favors . In the first ODI he had played intelligently with the field at death to make an unbeaten 37 from 16. In Christchurch he dug in to make a solid 51 out of 64. Auckland, but he made sure his straight hits paid off even when he wasn’t actually attacking. He reached his fifty swinging Tim Southee over deep midwicket for six.

In the chase, Arshdeep Singh in particular got Finn Allen and Devon Conway into trouble in the beginning, extracting liberal movements. But Allen rode his luck cutting back and forth between the first and second slips and cutting across the cordon. Arshdeep could have had him on 16, but Washington misjudged a top edge on good leg.

As the movement faded, Deepak Chahar was attacked by Conway when he overthrew and gave up four fours in an over. Umran Malik went the other way – he bowled short and at times wide, and was seen as having easy boundaries.

Allen fell to Malik in the 17th over for 57 for 54 and one over later the rain got strong enough to prevent further play at 104 for 1. Only two more overs and we would have had a result, with New Zealand well ahead – by 50 runs – on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) score.

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