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Preview: New Zealand vs India – 5th ODI

India look for desperately needed momentum ahead of Tests


Final ODI of the five-match series between New Zealand and India


Friday, January 31, 2014, (14:00 local | 01:00 GMT | 06:30 IST)


Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand

The Teams


The series has been lost but the importance of a win in the fifth ODI is immense for India. MS Dhoni’s young team has been winless in their overseas season so far, which must be eating away at their morale. A win under their belt before going into the Test series is immensely important.

It’s about time the opening batsmen and fast bowlers, in particular, stood up and be counted. The length and line need to improve – be a lot fuller and straighter – for the bowlers and batsmen must put a high price on their wickets.

Dhoni made a few changes in the fourth ODI, dropping Suresh Raina and Shikhar Dhawan for Ambati Rayudu and Stuart Binny. The Indian captain might reconsider his ploy of sending Virat Kohli to open the innings as it seemed to have disturbed the rhythm of his most in-form batsman – Virat scored 2 off 10. Also, if Binny is retained in the XI, he should be given more than a solitary over to bowl.

New Zealand

Brendon McCullum described the series win as “incredibly satisfying” and urged his boys to enjoy the achievement of defeating the world champions. A 4-0 result will be the perfect icing on the cake, and also a huge morale booster ahead of the Tests.

New Zealand left their ace all-rounder, Corey Anderson out in the last game for Jimmy Neesham. Given his superlative performance in the series so far and the fact that he is included in the Test squad, Anderson might take field in the fifth ODI.

Key Players


Virat Kohli’s form was disturbed in the Hamilton game when he was asked to open the innings. It will be crucial for him and India that he regains his mojo, batting at his own position.

New Zealand

Brendon McCullum’s return to form couldn’t have come at a better time for New Zealand. After two successive ducks, the Kiwi skipper is back to his swashbuckling ways as suggested by his whirlwind knock in the last ODI (49* off 36 balls; four 4s and three 6s). He has given India one more thing to worry about.


Matches at Wellington (Westpac)






New Zealand













Result summary:

Won by side batting 1st

Won by side batting 2nd


Overall (20)




Last 5 matches








Pace vs Spin

(last 5 matches)

















Average first innings score*



Last 5 matches



* excluding incomplete innings



Kane Williamson has scored a fifty in all the four matches of the series so far. Another fifty and Williamson will become only the second batsman in ODIs to score a fifty in all the five matches of a bilateral series after Pakistan’s Yasir Hameed who did so against New Zealand in 2003-04.

In the 16 matches India have played after the series against Zimbabwe, the average total conceded by them is 300.

The Squads

India: M.S. Dhoni (Capt/wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra,  Ishwar Pandey, Stuart Binny, Varun Aaron.

New Zealand:  Brendon McCullum (capt/wk), Corey Anderson, Martin Guptill, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Hamish Bennett, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson.

Shirin Sadikot & Rajneesh Gupta

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Report: Ranji Trophy Final - Maha vs Kar, Day 1

Bawne, Khurana half-centuries help Maharashtra to 272/5
Report: Ranji Trophy Final - Maha vs Kar, Day 1

Anchoring the innings, Ankit Bawne took Maharashtra to 272 for five at stumps on the first day of the Ranji Trophy 2013-14 final against Karnataka. He was batting on 89 with Sangram Atitkar on 29 at the end of day’s play.

Earlier, Maharashtra elected to bat first at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium at Uppal in Hyderabad and lost Harshad Khadiwale with just 24 runs on board. Karnataka skipper Vinay Kumar trapped the opener leg-before to give his team an early breakthrough. Eight overs later, S Aravind sent back Vijay Zol to leave the Rohit Motwani-led team on 42 for two.

Maharashtra’s in-form batsman Kedar Jadhav then joined the opener in the middle to help stabilize the innings. Both batsmen were scoring at a steady pace as the lunch break neared. However, with the partnership on 48, an Abhimanyu Mithun delivery travelling down the leg-side was caught by CM Gautam behind the stumps spelling the dismissal of Jadhav for 37.

With three wickets lost in the first session of the first day, it was imperative for Maharashtra to see the day through without losing too many wickets. Khurana, who had held up one end through the morning, then took his team to lunch at 95 for three along with Ankit Bawne. The pair continued to rally on in the second session, until Karun Nair ended the partnership. He dismissed Khurana for 64. However, Bawne continued to hold up one end. With his skipper for company, the middle-order batsman saw the team through to the end of the second session taking Maharashtra to tea at 195 for four.

The pair had stitched a 71-run partnership for the fifth wicket, until Motwani edged Mithun to the wicketkeeper and departed for 17. Six overs into the third session, Sangram Atitkar took guard opposite Bawne and ensured that Maharashtra did not lose any more wickets in the final session of the day. Atitkar, who came into the game on the back of a 168-run knock in the semi-final, bided his time at the crease as the duo worked its way through the session. The partnership was unbroken on 57 when play ended on the first day.

BCCI Staff

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