Veteran New Zealand pacer Mitchell McClenaghan stated that the cheap dismissals of middle-order batter Suryakumar Yadav and Rishabh Pant hurt India in the first ODI against New Zealand in Auckland on Friday, November 25. While refusing to criticize the Indian openers for not showing much aggression, he applauded Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill for laying a solid foundation as well.
However, Team India lost to New Zealand by seven wickets in the first ODI of the three-match series. While batting first, they posted 306/7 on the board. While Dhawan and Shubman Gill scored half-centuries, they finished their innings with strike rates of 93.51 and 76.92, respectively as well.
After Tom Latham hit 145* off 104 balls in the chase, questions were raised over whether Team India’s openers were too conservative or not. McClenaghan said to ESPNcricinfo:
“Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill batted beautifully at the top. With the two new white balls, you do need to build a base at the top. They set an exceptional platform. You wouldn’t have expected Suryakumar Yadav to get out third-ball. He’s been the most in-form batsman around the world. And then Pant (got out) as well. Those guys had the platform to kick on.”
Sharing his views on Team India’s batting performance, Wasim Jaffer added that the loss of four wickets in the middle overs cost them a lot.
“When you have a good partnership going, one batsman has to be super aggressive” – Wasim Jaffer
He elaborated: “120/0 was a perfect setup for a score like 320-330. But then it became 160/4. Surya got out. If you want to make 320-330, you want Surya there for some time. Shreyas Iyer and Sanju Samson played a great part.”At one stage it looked like they might get 260-270, but Washington Sundar played that cameo and they reached 306. But losing those four wickets from 120 to 160 set them back.”
While denying blaming the Indian openers for not scoring quickly, Wasim Jaffer admitted that it’s an area they need to work on. He continued:
“When you have a good partnership going, one batsman has to be super aggressive. Both batters can’t play in the same manner. It puts you behind the game. Both Indian batters were looking to get aggressive, but got out pretty close to each other.”