Blackcaps vs India: Opening capitulation leaves NZ plenty to fix

An underdone Blackcaps outfit have plenty of questions to answer, before they take on India in the second one-day encounter of their five-match series in Mt Maunganui on Saturday.

Fresh from a high-scoring sweep of Sri Lanka earlier this month, the New Zealand side were never in the hunt against their rivals in the opening encounter at Napier's McLean Park, capitulating for a meagre 157 runs on batting wicket.

After play was delayed during the Indian reply, the target was reduced by one run and the tourists easily reached the mark in the 35th over, with the loss of just two wickets.

Captain Kane Williamson was the only batsman to put up any resistance to the Indian onslaught, compiling a patient 65 runs off 81 balls, before he was eventually caught off the first ball after a drinks break.

Openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro were gone within the first four overs, and spinner Yuzvendra Chahal ripped the guts out of the Blackcaps order, when he had both Ross Taylor and Tom Latham caught and bowled within five overs.

They faced the embarrassment of failing to bat out their 50 overs, falling more than 12 overs short, and were forced to bowl before the tea break, usually scheduled between innings.

The pitch was expected to produce a high score - probably more than 300 runs - but New Zealand had dismally failed to capitalise on those conditions.

India knocked off 40 runs by dinner and even the loss of opener Rohit Sharma, caught in the slips off Doug Bracewell's bowling, immediately after the resumption failed to stall their march to victory.

Operner Shikhar Dhawan brought up a half-century and eventually finished unbeaten on 75, while skipper Virat Kohli was the only other victim, snaffled out by Lockie Ferguson for 45.

Ferguson should have had a second wicket, when he beat incoming batsman Ambati Rayudu with the very next ball, but no-one appealed for Latham's catch behind. Subsequent replays showed Rayudu made contact, but lived to hit the winning run.

While India came into the series fresh off a series win over Australia last weekend, the Blackcaps enjoyed a two-week break after dispatching Sri Lanka and that sojourn may have robbed them of their good form.

"It certainly wasn't our best effort," admitted Williamson afterwards. "We expected [India] to be good and they were very good today.

"It wasn't the traditional surface that we expected, but it was still a good one if you applied yourself and tried to get through some of the slower bowling that the Indians provided.

"I do think the lengths they hit were quite immaculate, and made life difficult for us and didn't allows us to get any momentum."

Williamson admitted the break between series was often helpful, not a hindrance, but his team had failed to adjust to a pitch that required more graft.

Mt Maunganui's Bay Oval is more of a known quality for the New Zealand players - they faced Sri Lanka there twice and put up big mid-300 scores, before bowling their rivals out.

Ranked second in the world - one spot above the home side - India won't be the same pushovers.


Join us at 3pm Saturday for live updates of the second Blackcaps vs India ODI at Mt Maunganui.