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India Hopeful for Better Performance vs. England after Memorable Win on New Zealand

virat1New Delhi, Wednesday, November 2 – Post finishing 5-match One Day International series against New Zealand lately on a grand note, now the Indian cricket team looks forward to doing well against England. After the finals between the Men in Blue and Kiwis entered into an interesting phase – which was a do or die situation for both, the former shone brighter at Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on October 29, beating the rivals remarkably by 190 runs.

With Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Amit Mishra, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Umesh Yadav, Ajinkya Rahane, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mandeep Singh, Jayant Yadav, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya, Indian captain MS Dhoni was confident of pulling off. He won the toss and decided to bat first. The Kiwis side having Luke Ronchi, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Tim Southee, BJ Watling, Doug Bracewell, Trent Boult, Tom Latham, Ish Sodhi, Corey Anderson, James Neesham, Anton Devcich, Matt Henry and Mitchell Santner and being captained by Kane Williamson seemed having equal chances of sealing series, especially post beating India at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi by 19 runs.

New Zealand had to win the 4th ODI to keep their hopes alive in the tournament and they did the same. Thanks to two-two victories in the pocket of both the hosts and guests, interest in the series decider increased. Visakhapatnam was crowded while hosting the game. The two cricketing countries eyed for strong performance and both tried to do the same as much as possible. Objective of the Indian team was to pocket a lot of runs as the Black Caps being capable of chasing the humongous runs. When India could only score 269 runs for the loss of six wickets in 50 overs, it was anticipated that troubles may be faced by them. A good partnership was expected from opening batsmen Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma, who finally played an innings that must have boosted his confidence, which will be of great help in the coming series.

Stint of Rahane was short this time. His dismissal at a score of was due to an amazing delivery by Neesham and catch by Latham. Kohli and Sharma built a partnership that was required to keep India strong. Sharma’s wicket fell in the 22th over, as a result of Boult’s bowling. He had to leave the crease at a score of 70 attained in 65 balls. His innings was studded with five boundaries and three sixes. Dhoni arrived on the crease a bit early this time and stayed there to take his team at a position from where logging win can be assured as much as possible. Before getting his legs before wicket in Santner’s over, he played an innings of 41 runs in 59 balls, together with four 4s and a six. From this point, story changed slightly as Manish Pandey was out for a duck by Ish Sodhi.

Virat Kohli too lost his wicket to Sodhi after some time, getting 65 runs in pocket while facing 76 deliveries. His innings consisted of two boundaries and a six. Axar Patel looked in hurry to get runs that resulted in 24 runs off 18 balls, with a six and four. Boult got his wicket when the last over of India’s innings was in progress. Kedar Jadhav was not out at a score of 39. He faced 37 balls and hit two shots and a biggie too. Jayant Yadav was not out at a single. Jadhav’s knock was important as it came at a time. If truth be told then by the time, India were batting, it seemed as if that they are some runs short but nobody had any idea that Kiwis batting lineup is going to crumble much before than anybody expected.

Not to forget that the invitation to field first was well executed, keeping in mind the kind of play India can present having Kohli, Dhoni and Sharma. They waited for good results, which demanded finer show with the bat as well. But that did not come any time since New Zealand openers failed to weave a partnership that could have helped their side to be robust while chasing the target of 270 runs. Yadav brought the breakthrough in the first over, sending Martin Guptill back to the pavilion on a naught. Here is to remind that he was the one to play a significant innings of 72 in the 4th ODI, setting foundation for his team’s success. Tom Latham who was in good form on the tour of India wasn’t impressive this time given that Bumrah dismissed him when he was batting at a score of 19 (4 x 3).

Indian bowling lineup did not have to strive for wickets as these came in their way one after the other. Kane Williamson lost his wicket to Axar  at a score of 27 (4 x 4).  Ross Taylor was dismissed by Mishra on 19 runs. Pressure was such that he took 32 deliveries to get this much runs, which included a four as well. James Neesham also succumbed to Mishra on 3 runs. BJ Watling did not understand the mood of the delivery by Mishra and had to go back to the dressing room without opening his account. Corey Anderson was lbw by Jayant Yadav on zero too. The visitors did not rise afterwards at all since Axar got wicket of Mitchell Santner on 4 runs, while Tim Southee was stumped by Dhoni in Mishra’s over. Ish Sodhi’s dismissal was thanks to a good bowling by Mishra who made the batsman go back to the pavilion on zero runs.

Trent Boult was not out at a single. The visiting team needed a few strong partnerships to stay in the game but that did not come ever. The home squad is confidently looking forward to the series against England that is to begin from November 9. England tour of India is going to be long as the stint would come to an end on February 1. 3 ODIs, 5 Tests and 3 T20 matches are to be played between English cricket team and India, who will try to not let opponents heave a sigh of relief right from the beginning. The series will kick off with 1st Test at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot. 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Tests are to be hosted at Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam, Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali, Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai and MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

ODIs will take place at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune, Barabati Stadium in Cuttack and Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Green Park in Kanpur, Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground in Nagpur and M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru are the venues that have been selected for T20 International matches. What challenges are going to come in front of both teams will get clear in the coming days but both sides have got to perform better on each track to stay in form. The Test side of England will be captained by Alastair Cook and have Moeen Ali, Zafar Ansari, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Gareth Batty, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Haseeb Hameed, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Jos Buttler and Ben Duckett.

If an eye on stats is to be given then most runs in all series are pocketed by Sachin Tendulkar. In 53 innings, he got 2535 runs. Most wickets went into the pocket of Bhagwath Chandrasekhar of India. Players of the current period will have to work very hard to see their names in top ten in various categories for instance highest individual scores, average, strike rate, hundreds, fifties, four and sixes. Same is applicable in the group of best bowling figures, most five-wicket hauls and best economy.

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