Riding high after cleansweep T20I series win over New Zealand, Virat Kohli-led India suffered a shock defeat in the first ODI against the Kiwis at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Wednesday. Despite posting a mammoth total of 347 on the board, the Indian bowlers proved to be expensive, and failed to curtail the run flow. The right-arm fast bowler Shardul Thakur, who was hammered for 80 runs in his 9 overs, was the least economical of the lot, giving away runs at an economy of 8.89.
Thakur became the 1st Indian to concede 80 or more runs in an ODI against New Zealand despite bowling less than 10 overs. So far, Shardul has been part of 9 ODIs for India and has bowled 6 innings out of 9 with the economy of above 6. With India set to play the 2nd T20I against New Zealand on Saturday, former world-cup winning captain Kapil Dev has an advice for skipper Virat Kohli.
In an interview, Dev said that he wants India to include youngster Navdeep Saini in the line-up. “You need a wicket-taking option. It is important to get Saini in the side not because India have lost the first ODI but he deserves a place in the side because of his pace and wicket-taking abilities. Look at Bumrah, he forces New Zealand to play him watchfully because whenever batsmen try to attack these bowlers can get wickets,” he said.
“Team selection should be never be based on liking or disliking. It should be on what the team requires and which combination can you win you games,” he further added.
Meanwhile, India fielding coaching R Sridhar criticised the fielding effort from the team in the first ODI in the pre-match press conference on Friday and said: “You can bargain four runs for a wicket and it was the best player who was there at that time. These things happen, you can’t look too deep into that.”
“…that catch should have been taken. Probably it was after his first over, maybe he was thinking about his previous over, could be anything. It could not be a technical aspect at all. We are trying to get better but we were average. There is no doubt about that. We can get better,” he added.