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India in a do-or-die situation against New Zealand

Friday, 24 January 2014 - 10:38am IST | Place: Auckland | Agency: PTI

Their campaign in tatters after two consecutive defeats, India need to regroup quickly and find the right combination as they go into a must-win match against a gutsy New Zealand in the third cricket one-dayer here tomorrow.

Down 0-2 and having lost the world no. 1 tag, the Indian team would be desperate to make amends and stamp their authority in what will be their last chance to make a come back into the five-match series.

If Dhoni's men fail to win here tomorrow, it will be their second consecutive series loss after South Africa outside the subcontinent.

The visitors lost the first ODI at Napier by 24 runs and then went down in the second one-dayer by 15 runs (D/L method) at Hamilton, which dethroned India from the number one ranking in the ODIs.

Overall, Dhoni and Co. have lost four of their last five One-dayers, all of which were played outside the sub-continent. This has undoubtedly opened up a number of points for the concerned team to ponder upon.

The fact that the Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni likes to chase, opting to bowl first in both matches so far, the size of Eden Park here should be another worry for him.

The Indians have looked to contain the batsmen in the middle of the innings before restricting the damage in the death overs, and this strategy has so far backfired. It is because not many wickets have fallen until the 35th over.

Only three wickets fell before the 35th over in Napier, with Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor batting since the eighth over. It was much the similar case in Hamilton.

R Ashwin has not taken a single wicket in the last two ODIs. But the blame doesn't lie with him alone, since Dhoni uses his main bowlers in short bursts and makes them bowl during the powerplays as well as death overs. If the idea is to contain runs rather than taking wickets, it is precisely where the Indian bowling is failing.


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