India captain Virat Kohli also praised the potent pace combination of Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, saying both the bowlers have come of age. Here is Cricketnext's analysis of each and every Indian player from Wednesday's match.
Shikhar Dhawan: Rating 8: Verdict: Good
After falling prey to Trent Boult in the first game of the series, Dhawan showed great character as he came back to hit a fluent 68 in the second ODI. While he looked in complete control hitting the crisp drives and the wristy flicks, the only thing that goes against the opener is the fact that he started looking fidgety moments after reaching his 22nd ODI fifty and threw his wicket away trying to up the ante at a time when the game looked pretty much in India’s pocket. His wicket gave the Kiwis the slightest of hopes and that is something that was uncalled for considering his experience at the international level. Apart from that, there was little that he could be blamed for after an impressive display of batsmanship.
Rohit Sharma: Rating 1: Verdict: Very Poor
It was a new day in Pune, but the result the same as Rohit Sharma once again came out trying to dominate the Kiwi bowlers from the word go. While he did hit a few crisp shots to start with, he fell to one of the worst balls of the match as Tim Southee bowled a dolly on his pads and Rohit hit it straight to Colin Munro at short mid-wicket. Chasing a small target can get tricky and it was important that Rohit held fort with Dhawan and gave India a solid start at the top. The ODI vice-captain definitely needs to pull up his socks in the remaining ODI and T20Is with Ajinkya Rahane waiting in the wings.
Virat Kohli: Rating 7: Verdict: Good
Full marks to Virat Kohli the captain for making the right field placements and ringing in the right changes in the bowling attack. But Kohli's batting left a lot to be desired on Wednesday. Starting with two vintage on-side boundaries, it was important that he did not lose the plot after seeing off the opening spell from Southee and Boult. But Kohli did just that as he played one of the laziest shots of the innings to Colin de Grandhomme. In what looked like a ball meant to be square driven past the point fielder, he preferred to use the cover drive and ended up nicking it to Tom Latham behind the stumps. With the foreign tours coming up in the new year, Kohli would do well to include the square drive to his repertoire just like he has added the sweep to tackle the spinners.
Dinesh Karthik: Rating 9.5: Verdict: Excellent
Dinesh Karthik could well be the answer to India’s search for a solid No.4 as he showed on Wednesday that he has the aptitude and the temperament to hold one end up and anchor the innings when the other batsmen are going well. He looked to rotate the strike and gave both Dhawan and Hardik Pandya enough strike to ensure that the required run-rate was never a threat for the Indians during the chase of 231. But the only area of concern would be his own scoring rate. A strike rate of 69.57 just doesn’t deem fit for the modern day limited-overs cricket. While it did not bother India as they were chasing a target of 231, things might get a little too close for comfort when chasing 300-plus scores. Karthik definitely needs to start rotating the strike more even if he isn’t too keen on playing the aerial shots.
Hardik Pandya: Rating 7: Verdict: Good
A big six off the spinners is a common sight when Hardik Pandya is at the crease and that was on display for the chirpy Pune crowd even on Wednesday. But an area of concern for Pandya would be his inability to see off the chase. With the team almost homes, he played a sweep off Mitchell Santner that landed in the lap of Adam Milne at short fine-leg. It looked all good as India were almost assured of a victory, but in crunch situations, this can come back to haunt the team. In the bowling department he was once again spot on as he picked the all-important wicket of Ross Taylor. With Taylor and Latham looking to once again stitch a match-winning partnership, it was important to get rid of the former Kiwi skipper.
MS Dhoni: Rating 8: Verdict: Very Good
MS Dhoni seems to have evolved into one of the chirpiest keepers ever since he handed the captaincy to Virat Kohli. Constantly guiding the bowlers and giving his inputs to skipper Kohli, Dhoni still remains the nucleus around which the Indian team functions on the field. And even when it came to sealing the game, he dished out some classy shots to assure that the Pune crowd went back home with a huge grin on their face. While he is known to wield the willow well on the leg side, the backfoot punch to the cover boundary off Boult shall remain etched in Dhoni fans for some time.
Kedar Jadhav: Rating 6: Verdict: Good
Kedar Jadhav is Kohli’s go-to-man every time the opposition batsmen strike a partnership and it came as a surprise in Mumbai that the diminutive all-rounder wasn’t used by Kohli as Taylor and Latham took the game away from the Indians. But on Wednesday, he was Kohli’s first change bowler after Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah almost had the Kiwis on the mat with their opening spells. While Kedar did not pick wickets on Wednesday, he was instrumental in frustrating Latham as the batsman failed to read the trajectory and bring out his now famous sweeps. In fact, Dhoni was seen constantly praising Kedar for bowling a tight line. When it came to batting, Kedar wasn’t needed in the middle as Dhoni and Karthik finished the job.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Rating 10: Verdict: Excellent
Man of the Match Bhuvneshwar Kumar is soon becoming the Zaheer Khan of the Indian bowling attack. He might not be the most expressive pacer on the international scene, but his bowling does the talking for him. On a wicket that was termed a ‘belter’ by pundits, Bhuvi ended with figures of 3/45 from his 10 overs as the Kiwi batsmen had no idea on how to tackle his variations. Be it the knuckle ball or the seam-up delivery, his accuracy made it almost impossible for the New Zealanders to get him away. And things got even better in the business end as he started bowling the toe-crushing yorkers at will. It was only fair that skipper Kohli praised him and Bumrah for tightening the screws on the Kiwi batsmen at the top end of the innings.
Axar Patel: Rating 8: Verdict: Very Good
Coming in to replace chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, the pressure was always on the conventional left-arm spinner as he needed to justify the team management’s call and the bowler did just that as he picked the prized wicket of last match’s centurion Tom Latham. Beating Latham at his favourite stroke — the sweep — is no mean feat, especially after the batsman boasted how he finds it the easiest way to tackle spinners. And the icing on the cake for Axar had to be the fact that he disturbed the timber as Latham went for a sweep. Latham’s wicket broke the backbone of the New Zealand innings and after that it was all about finishing well for the Indian bowlers.
Yuzvendra Chahal: Rating 8: Verdict: Very Good
After a pretty poor outing in the opening game in Mumbai, Chahal came back with a bang on Wednesday as he finished with figures of 2/36 from his 8 overs. More importantly, he picked the wicket of dangerman Colin de Grandhomme. With Latham back in the hut, Grandhomme suddenly came out all guns blazing and was almost threatening to take away the game from the Indians. But Chahal sent back Grandhomme and Adam Milne of successive balls to bring India right back into the game. The leg-spinner will definitely go into the final game of the ODI series with re-found confidence.
Jasprit Bumrah: Rating 9.5: Verdict: Excellent
Starting off by conceding 10 runs in the opening over, Bumrah made a brilliant comeback to not just bowl 2 maiden overs, but also finished with figures of 2/38 from his 10 overs. Having found his line and length after the initial stutter, he was almost unplayable in the opening spell. The wicket of skipper Kane Williamson was the icing on the cake for the pacer as he later came back to dismiss Mitchell Santner as the lower-order batsman looked to use the long handle and hit a few lusty blows.
axar patelBhuvneshwar Kumardinesh karthikHardik PandyaInd vs NZIndia vs New Zealand 2017jasprit bumrahMS Dhonishikhar dhawanvirat kohliyuzvendra chahal
First Published: October 26, 2017, 1:12 PM IST