Blackcaps vs India: NZ hammering a 'reality check' - Bhuvneshwar Kumar

After a crushing eight-wicket defeat against the Blackcaps in the fourth one-day international, Indian paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar says the loss should serve as a brutal "reality check" for his side before the Cricket World Cup.

India dominated the opening three matches with wins by eight wickets, 90 runs and seven wickets to clinch the series, but the wheels fell off in Hamilton on Thursday, as they suffered an eight-wicket hammering of their own at Seddon Park.

The visitors were bowled out for just 92 runs and the Blackcaps chased down the total with 212 balls to spare to hand India their biggest defeat by balls remaining, beating the loss they suffered to Sri Lanka in August 2010 (209 balls).

Kumar insists there is no need to panic, but admits they must improve in the fifth ODI in Wellington.   

"If you look at the cricket we have been playing in the last few months, we have played good cricket and such matches come after some time," he said. "So it is a kind of reality check what we can do and improve in the next matches.

"We were confident after winning the series, but things didn’t go our way. I don’t want to take credit away from these guys - they bowled really well and outplayed us.

"We have played in England, South Africa and Australia, and we have done really well. I would say they bowled really well, bowled some amazing and unplayable balls, and, yes, overall they outplayed us."

India struggled against the perfect bowling of Trent Boult, who claimed 5/21 in his 10 overs.

Trent Boult took five wickets.
Trent Boult took five wickets. Photo credit: Photosport

Yuzvendra Chahal top-scored for India with 18, as seven of the 11 Indian batsmen failed to reach double-digit scores.

India were without regular captain Virat Kohl, who has been rested for the remainder of the series, which didn't help their cause, but that is still no excuse for Kumar.

"You always miss him [Kohli] in such kind of wickets, but at the same time, it was an opportunity for Shubman Gill, who came in his place.

"What he [Kohli] has done is amazing, but we always don’t want to depend on him. We can’t say that from just one match.

"It was a tough wicket to bat. It wasn’t a lost opportunity, but it is a learning for all of us."

Kumar praised the bowling of Boult and Colin de Grandhomme, as the pair took eight of India's 10 wickets.

"I was a bit surprised, if you look at the wicket, it shouldn’t play the way it played. But, yes, that’s how this game is - it is unpredictable.

"The way Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme bowled was quite beautiful."

Following the tour of New Zealand, India host Australia in another five-match ODI series and they will play a World Cup warm-up fixture against the Blackcaps in May.


Join us at 3pm Sunday for live updates of the fifth Blackcaps vs India ODI in Wellington.