The way India started their tour of New Zealand, not many would have predicted such a finish to the same for the Virat Kohli-led side. The Men in Blue started the tour with a bang by sweeping the five-match T20I series. However, everything went downhill for them as they suffered whitewashes in ODIs and Tests.
The Black Caps swept the three-match ODI series before winning both the Tests. The Test series ended on Monday with New Zealand beating India by seven wickets in the second Test in Christchurch. India were thoroughly outplayed in the Test series as they suffered their first series defeat in the ongoing Test Championship.
One of the biggest reasons behind the dismal performance was the performance of the batsmen. In four innings, India managed to cross the 200-run mark just once when they scored 242 in the first innings of the second Test. In the second innings of the same Test, they were all out for just 124 to set New Zealand a modest target of 132. In reply, New Zealand chased down the total with ease by losing just three wickets.
Rohit Sharma’s absence is the reason?
As the Indian team-management try to decode the reason behind the poor performance, former Australia skipper Ian Chappell said that Rohit Sharma’s absence might have hurt India. Rohit Sharma missed the ODI and Test series after injuring his calf in the fifth and final T2oI. Writing in his column for ESPNCricinfo, Chappell pointed out that India have not won a single game since Rohit left the team.
“The problems started in the ODI section of the tour and they have continued in the Test series. It may just be coincidence but they haven’t won since aggressive opener Rohit Sharma limped off the Bay Oval in their fifth successive T20I victory,” wrote Chappell.
Chappell further reminded India about the upcoming tour of Australia later this year while stating how New Zealand were thrashed by them. He also criticised the Indian batsmen’s approach in New Zealand as they failed to deliver.
“India have a tough tour of Australia looming next summer and New Zealand were just obliterated by Australia under their home conditions.
“New Zealand, much like England’s seaming surfaces, is a place where caution is required more often than in Australia, where most pitches are extremely true. Whatever the cause, at the Basin Reserve it was an abysmal batting effort from the No. 1-ranked Test team, who failed to reach 200 in either inning (with regards to the Wellington Test),” wrote Chappell.
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