Ranchi ODI: India lose against New Zealand by 19 runs, Dhoni backs youngsters

With series level at 2-2, final will be played on Saturday in Visakhapatnam

India lost the fourth ODI match against New Zealand by 19 runs. India were chasing 261 runs. But they got all out at 241 runs. In the end, Dhawal Kulkarni and Umesh Yadav tried to put up a last-wicket stand. But Indian innings came to an end when Yadav was dismissed by Trent Boult. The series hangs in balance with both the teams winning 2 matches each.  New Zealand and India will play the decider at Visakhapatnam on Saturday.

During match presentation, Dhoni backed the inexperienced middle-order, saying they should be allowed to play their shots. He said if they were asked to change their game, they would get into their shells and it would difficult to come out of that.

“The Nos 5 and 6 are quite new, they will learn their own way. Some will play big shots, some will take it deep. Cricket has changed, people like to play big shots,” PTI quoted him as saying.

India came in soup after MS Dhoni got out on 11 runs. It had come on local boy MS Dhoni and lower order to steer Indian team to win in the fourth ODI vs New Zealand. But the local lad was cleaned up by an unplayable delivery by Neesham. Dhoni departed when team score was 135 runs. After Dhoni, India’s middle-order almost collapsed.  Manish Pandey got out at 12 runs. Kedar Jadhav couldn’t open his account. Hardik Pandya also got out cheaply at 9. Axar Patel, who came after Dhoni departed, shared a promising partnership with Amit Mishra. The partnership broke when Mishra got run-out at a personal score of 14 runs. Patel followed him in the dressing room as Trent Boult bowled a quick delivery on to his pad that eventually got him cleaned bowled.

Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane’s partnership placed India in a strong position with hosts looking favourites to clinch the match and the series. However, team came in deep trouble after Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane got out in quick succession. While, Kohli departed on 45,  Rahane scored 57 runs.

Indian vice-captain Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane gave India a solid start after the early loss. Indian opener Rohit Sharma failed to perform once again with the bat as he fell for just 11 runs. India lost their first wicket at the score of 19 when Sharma was caught by Watling on Southee’s bowling.

Earlier, the Indian bowlers made a strong comeback and contained New Zealand from scoring big in the last few overs. India will be chasing 261 to win the match.

Anton Devcich made a run-a-ball 11 before he was caught by Pandya on Yadav’s bowling. The Kiwis lost momentum while trying to maximise in the dying overs. Taylor was run-out by a magnificent backhand throw from MS Dhoni. Taylor added 34 runs from 58 balls with NZ’s score being 223/6.

Kulkarni got his first wicket in the form of BJ Watling who scored 14 runs from 21 balls. New Zealand were 217/5 when the wicket fell. Kohli took a blinder to dismiss James Neesham for 6 runs from 9 balls. Amit Mishra picked up his second wicket with New Zealand being 192/4.

Skipper Kane Williamson made runs 41 from 59 balls. Williamson was caught by Dhoni on the bowling of Amit Mishra. New Zealand are 186/3 in 36 overs as James Neesham joins Ross Taylor in the middle. Danger man Martin Guptill was dismissed by Hardik Pandya. The batsman scored 72 runs and was caught behind the wicket by local boy MS Dhoni.

Earlier, Martin Guptill reached his 50 in 56 balls and helped New Zealand to a solid start. The Kiwis were 100-1 in 18 overs. Left-handed batsman Tom Latham was the first wicket to fall after he was caught by Rahane on Axar Patel’s bowling for 39 runs from 40 balls.

New Zealand openers thrashed Umesh Yadav and Dhawal Kulkarni as the duo added 50 runs on board in the 8th over. Martin Guptill struck five boundaries for his 30* from 25 balls while Lantham hit two for his 18* from 18 balls. Umesh Yadav and New Zealand’s first over was a maiden.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson would have thanked his stars after he finally won the toss today. Having been in India for over a month, it was the first time that Kane Williamson and his company won a toss. As the two captains – MS Dhoni and Kane Williamson walked out in the middle at the Jharkhand States Cricket Association International Cricket Stadium in Ranchi, Williamson’s fortunes changed.

Williamson called for Heads as Dhoni tossed the coin and Heads it was. After having lost 6 tosses in a row, Williamson finally had his say. The Kiwis have opted to bat first as hosts India would be chasing again. An outcome that Dhoni wouldn’t mind as India like chasing anyway.

The Indian team made one change as Jasprit Bumrah made way for Dhawal Kulkarni. The Indian team comprises of Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Dhawal Kulkarni and Umesh Yadav.

New Zealand have gone in with three spinners as Luke Ronchi has been left out. The team line-up for the Kiwis includes Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson, BJ Watling, Anton Devcich, Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Ish Sodhi.