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Mon Jan 6 2003
Issue No: 147

India lose ODI series with dismal loss at Queenstown

The changes were rung - the batting order played musical chairs, a specialist wicket-keeper was drafted into the side, four seamers were played instead of three. And yet India played exactly the same tune, bowled out for a measly 122 on a track that could brook no complaints. Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag opened the batting, and at 55 for one, India appeared to have bucked the demon of collapse. But Andre Adams, returning to the side after an injury hiatus, snapped up five for 22 in 8.4 overs, and broke the back of the middle-order, sending them hurtling to yet another humiliating total. And try as Javagal Srinath - with his three for 35 - did, he could not prevent New Zealand from marching to a seven-wicket win in just 25.4 overs. Stephen Fleming, persisting with opening the batting, finally got some runs under his belt, and Matthew Sinclair's unbeaten 32 saw New Zealand to a win that gave them the ODI series with three matches still to go.

India need to find the magic formula to regain form - Ganguly

India were letting everyone down, the side's beleaguered captain Sourav Ganguly said after his side lost the one-day series to New Zealand, who took an unbeatable 4-0 lead at Queenstown. "We're letting the team down, we're letting our coach down, the physio down, the trainer down, the people back home down and the people who come to watch us play," he said.

The side needed to find some way to stop the rot in the next three games, he added. "It was a great one-day wicket, but we are in very, very poor form." The run of losses has been the worst since he took over as captain of the side.

But Ganguly was hopeful that the poor form would not continue into the World Cup, a new tournament in new conditions and therefore likely to result in a different response from the players.

Ganguly also explained that the change of wicket-keeper from Rahul Dravid to teenager Parthiv Patel, who made his one-day debut in the game, was an attempt to avoid losing wickets early.

By contrast, New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming said that while the win had been very comprehensive, the feeling in the dressing room afterwards had been fairly flat. The side was delighted but not really satisfied.

Man of the Match Andre Adams was back in the side after a relatively long hiatus, and his performance of taking five for 22 was an encouraging return to international play for him. Adams said he hadn't bowled as well as he should have. His back, he said, still wavered a little, and his timing and rhythm were not quite right, but it was just a case of getting overs under his belt.

McMillan dropped, Bond returns for fifth ODI

Craig McMillan has been dropped for the New Zealand side to play India in the fifth ODI at Wellington on Wednesday, while fast bowler Shane Bond will return to the side. McMillan has been out of form and will play domestic cricket in an attempt to find his feet at the crease. Selection convener Sir Richard Hadlee, "Craig has been struggling for form with the bat and has some technical issues to address. We would like him to concentrate on rectifying these, and we think it would be easier for him to do this at a domestic level where there is less pressure." Hadlee said Cairns would play again for Canterbury tomorrow and was likely to be considered for the last two matches in the series in Auckland on Saturday and Hamilton on Sunday.

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Born on this day in 1959 was one Kapil Dev Nikhanj, a Haryanvi lad who would go on to be named Indian Cricketer of the Century. And that he was. If the 434 Test wickets do not say it, and if the 5,248 Test runs do not speak for themselves, the numerous victories in both ODIs and Tests to which Kapil spurred India certainly do.

Another loss at Queenstown saw India lose the one-day series in humiliating fashion, and they have now little to play for except pride. Whether that is enough of a motivating factor remains to be seen. Can Ganguly get his men together for a few hurrahs before they leave the Land of the Long White Cloud?

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Javagal Srinath
Wickets in vain
© Reuters

Before Andre Adam's 5-22, who had the best ODI figures for New Zealand against India?

Previous Question

Before Daryl Tuffey's 10-2-11-2, who had the most economical ODI figures for New Zealand against India?

Answer:Ewan Chatfield

"With the seam bowlers dominating the Indian batsman to the extent they have so far in the series, Daniel has not been required to play much of a role with the ball." Richard Hadlee on Daniel Vettori's under-use

"I have been captain for three years and I have never felt this bad. We have really been poor this series and we need to play for pride now." Sourav Ganguly

"I felt Murali Kartik has been given a raw deal. Anil Kumble was flown to New Zealand but played just 1 ODI, so what was the point of having him here?" Praveen Nalam

With his debut at Queenstown, Parthiv Patel became the youngest wicket-keeper in ODIs, passing Tatenda Taibu by a margin of almost 100 days.

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