India v New Zealand, Warm-up game: Talking points!

India was thrashed by New Zealand in their first outing in England ahead of the World Cup. It was Boult and Neesham who did the damage for India and Jadeja’s knock of 54 is the only innings of note. Other than that, it’s a pretty ordinary match for the men in blue.

Points on focus: It should be noted that India did miss two of their batters, Kedhar Jadhav and Vijay Shankar. Of course, the presence of both the players would have had an impact. Coming back to the match, The Indian openers’ struggle against the left-arm pacers continues, and the conditions assisted Boult very well today.

Virat Kohli will have a close look at his dismissal and will be kicking himself. So will be Dinesh Karthik. It was a golden opportunity for Dinesh Karthik, and he couldn’t manage to get a decent start. Is it a worrying sign for the experienced batsman? Once again, Virat Kohli opting to send Pandya ahead of Dhoni and Karthik shows how important Pandya is going to be in the World Cup, and Karthik is still not seen a perfect middle order batsman but as a finisher in the team (if he is selected).

Also, KL Rahul at number four didn’t work out once again, and it will be interesting to see how Vijay Shankar goes to perform at number four in the World Cup.

Earlier at the nets, the coaches made sure that the tail-enders got sufficient batting practice as well and the way Kuldeep Yadav played today alongside Jadeja is a plus. India, in a way, will be happy that all their players had a bit of time out there in the middle that is a major plus for the team. Though they got out cheaply, the team is super talented that they hopefully can learn from their mistakes soon.

Coming to the bowling part, Bumrah, as usual, proves why he is the best in the business, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar isn’t at his best but Mohammed Shami is the most improved in recent times.

The pitch wasn’t assisting the spinners much and India opted to go with Chahal, Kuldeep ( I believe Kuldeep must bowl a bit slower through the air) and Jadeja instead of allowing the pacers to bowl.

This actually is good when you look beyond the loss, the match practice and bowling in a surface like this might help out the spinners in the future. Overall, despite the loss, it is a wake-up call for India, and they do have a lot to work on as well. Though there are a few positives to take from the match, most importantly, everyone got the match practice, something New Zealand lacked. I know it would sound crazy, but I would have opted to provide batting for the lower order batters, the all-rounders. Considering the fact that this is just a warm-up game, it was equally important that Neesham and Grandhomme got enough batting but yes, every time has their own strategy. New Zealand not making Matt Henry play today showing the faith they have on Lockie Ferguson. What’s more, it is indeed a convincing win for New Zealand but as far as the team practice and exposure is concerned, India did a better job; at least I believe so. Still, the vulnerability in the middle-order of the Indian team is pretty evident and something they must do about it.