Lessons Almost Learnt

GAME 2:

New pitch, new intent and a new result.  However the same mistakes, same reliable players standing up and same frustrations.

Most of the cricket web sites will cover the match details so hopefully a few additional points to give you an insight into how these two teams are approaching this series and who’s who in zoo.

Firstly, there was no surprise when Raj won the toss and chose to bat. I can’t see this changing for any coin toss for the remaining games unless weather intervenes. It won’t be game defining, as we saw in game two, but the old runs on the board and some additional assistance for the spinners second innings will add some weight.

India:

India’s game taught us a few things but also left a few questions unanswered.

For the first time this series we got to see MD Thirushkamini after illness kept her out of game one. She certainly gives India some impetus opening with the young left hander in Mandhana. She deals mainly in boundaries and even when tied up, as Satterthwaite did, she didn’t waver from her game plan. A good strike rate when batting with senior players it will be interesting to see if she can lead a decent partnership with a young player. As cramp struck her when India needed her most, her fitness will also be a question mark around her ability to consistently perform at this level and play the style of cricket that India needs to adopt to stay in touch with the leading teams.

Mithali Raj’s form is the question unanswered. India’s best ever bat has had a poor run in the championships to date averaging only 19.40 pre series which is well short of her ODI average of 48. A classic catch by Perkins in game one off a full toss and a dubious LBW hasn’t helped but it will be interesting to see how she responds.

Jhulan Goswami should be an Ambassador for Organ Donation because she is the gift that keeps on giving! Time and time again she produces bowling spells that has resulted in her sitting in the #1 spot for the ODI bowling rankings. But it begs the question when you have the #1 bowler in the world in your team and two of the top ten batters in Raj and Kaur why can you only manage 2 wins from 7 games? What are the missing pieces?

White Ferns:

They played badly, they put their hands up, they returned and for the most part put things right. They would now be thinking that what got them the win is the baseline to build again.

It was spin that did the damage game one for the a White Ferns, game 2 it was seam. Tahuhu and Bates leading the breakthroughs. Tahuhu has been impressive in both games on two fronts. Firstly she has asked questions and put pressure in the openers by bowling in consistently good areas. Secondly when thrown the ball to break a partnerships at different stages of the game she’s done it.

Amy Satterthwaite’s shift from medium pace to off spin looks to be a good move and also gives a Bates a 7th bowling option. Handy when you can also add to the mix, series debutant in Kasperek, who has not put a foot wrong with bat and ball.

As clear as NZ’s game plan was to address the key areas that let them down game one – intent, singles, partnerships –  even clearer is that as a fielding unit they are taking more opportunities and sustaining pressure for greater periods.

Game Three:

Keep an eye out for India’s approach to Kasperek. Most teams would try and target the youngster, same for Ekta Bisht on the flip side.

Loving the captaincy battle between Bates and Raj and their affect on key moments and momentum shifts in the game. They’ll play another large role.

Last points up for grabs who will play with more freedom?

In General:

Surprised to hear of the 8 ODIs played at Chinnaswamy stadium that a team has only hit over 200 once. It’s a known run scoring ground however it’s off season and they play over 270 games here a year!

New Zealand has two teams for warm up’s when they play Turbo Touch – the Oldies v Youngies. Pleased to say the oldies (24 and over) are up 4-0. These teams may change to Hurricanes v Highlanders supporters in the lead up to the Super Rugby final this weekend.

 

Game 3 – 9am – FRIDAY 3rd JULY – Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru.

Live on Star Sport and Sky Sport NZ