India v New Zealand (Ind v NZ), Micromax Cup, 6th ODI at Dambulla, Preview, Score, Streaming, Videos, Highlights
India plays New Zealand in the last league game of the Micromax Cup tri-series which is being played in Dambulla in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka, which is the third team in the tournament, has already qualified for the final after their resounding win over India in the previous game.
That means that this game between India and New Zealand is a virtual semi-final – the winner will play Sri Lanka in the final. Of course, an abandoned game like New Zealand’s previous encounter against the Lankans will see them through to the final at the expense of India.
It has been an up and down series for all the three teams, but none more than for the Indians. They are at the fag end of the tour of Sri Lanka, which has already seen them play three back-to-back Tests and with some of their main guys injured, it has made life difficult for the side. The Suraj Randiv controversy seemed to have back-fired majorly as the Sri Lankans came out hard at the Indian team after being accused of playing in an unsporting manner, and the Indians looked under-cooked.
New Zealand did shock India in the first game of the tournament, but were easily beaten by Sri Lanka in the second and looked to have lost their direction in the rain-affected third game. Unfortunately for the Kiwis, most of their batsmen do not possess the experience of batting under these conditions, and that will be a cause for concern for the New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor.
Apart from Taylor and Scott Styris, the rest of the batting needs to up the ante for themselves if they end up chasing a substantial target. This could just be the opportunity that someone like Peter Ingram or a BJ Watling needs to grasp and seal their berth for the World Cup that will be played in this part of the world next year.
What will be of a particular bother for the Kiwis is that the last completed game that they played was on August 13, and it has been around a couple of weeks since that. The break in momentum could be a cause of concern for the side in conditions which are alien to them.
The Dambulla track continues to surprise the watchers. Out of the four completed games played here in the Micromax Cup, the team batting second has won the match three times. This is a surprise given that batting under lights was expected to be far tougher than in the first innings. However, what has probably changed is that batting first has not been too easy either and the dual-natured tracks have meant that if the batsmen are not careful first-up, they could well lose their wickets in a heap.
While chasing 240 will be difficult here, the sides have not managed to get to those many runs – New Zealand scored 192, Sri Lanka made 170 while India got to 103 in the three games they batted first in.
India’s batting being a concern, one can expect a change or two to the line-up. This could mean that Rohit Sharma, who has been given a decent run in the last two series could be replaced by Virat Kohli who got only one game here. Dinesh Karthik is also not in the best of touches, but he should retain his place in the squad, despite the presence of Saurabh Tiwary in the reserves.
India’s main problem stems from the fact that the captain Dhoni has not been his usual consistent self. Dhoni’s batting in the middle-order is usually the reason why the Indians have been able to close out the games. However, his lack of form has made things difficult for him and his side. Yuvraj Singh did show glimpses of returning back to form, but he needs a big one under his belt to get the confidence back, while Suresh Raina seems to have gone off the boil as well.
India’s bowling should remain the same.
As far as New Zealand are concerned, they have made changes to their line-up in all three games – some forced by injuries while the rest were made to try out different players. In this crucial game, they will hope to get back to their tried and tested opener, Martin Guptill if he has recovered from his injury, who should open the innings with BJ Watling. Ross Taylor will hold the key with the bat, as will the experience of Scott Styris.
It is the bowling that will interest many. If Jacob Oram is fit, he should take field, and will act as the second change bowler, behind Darryl Tuffey and Kyle Mills. Indians did find it difficult to play Andy McKay as well, and he should regain his place in the side too.
You can watch the live streaming of the sixth Micromax Cup ODI between India and New Zealand on 25th August, 2010 at Dambulla on the official Ten Sports website.
You can also watch the sixth Micromax Cup ODI between India and New Zealand on 25th August, 2010 at Dambulla on Ten Sports.
You can follow the sixth Micromax Cup ODI between India and New Zealand on 25th August, 2010 at Dambulla here.
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