Middle-order flops as India lose ODI series to New Zealand

New Zealand exorcised the ghost of a nightmarish T20 whitewash with a series-clinching 22-run victory against India in the second ODI on Saturday as the visitors paid the price for poor shot selection. Revenge as they say is a dish best served cold and on a chilly Auckland night, New Zealand defended a total of 273 by restricting India to 251 in 48.3 overs taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. 

The victory also completed a hat-trick of ODI wins for the Black Caps starting from their World Cup semi-final win in Manchester last year. The win was more creditable as regular skipper Kane Williamson along with top bowlers Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson were unavailable. 

New Zealand's 6 foot 8 inch debutant Kyle Jamieson (2/42 and 25 off 24 balls) got the 'Player of the Match' award for his all-round show. "I'm impressed with how we finished. We let things slip away from 197-8 to 270 plus in the first half but came back strongly with the second half of our batting. We were in trouble with the bat, but Saini and Jadeja played really well, as did Shreyas," skipper Virat Kohli said at the post-match presentation. 

In fact the skipper felt that ODIs are less relevant in a T20 World Championship year. "ODIs aren't too relevant this year compared to Tests and T20s, but to find people who can play that way under pressure is a big revelation for us and a big plus." 

Ravindra Jadeja (55 off 73 balls) along with Navdeep Saini (45 off 49 balls) raised visions of pulling off an improbable win with a 76-run partnership, which ended in vain. Tim Southee despite running temperature (2/41 in 10 overs) was brilliant with the new ball as his incutter got rid of Virat Kohli but it was poor shot selection from a set Shreyas Iyer (52) and Kedar Jadhav (9) in the middle overs did cost India dearly after the inexperienced pair of Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw had a second successive poor day.