India looking to extend winning run in Bangalore ODI

Monday, December 6, 2010

BANGALORE - India will look to extending their winning run when they meet New Zealand in the fourth cricket One-day International (ODI) here Tuesday.

The hosts have already taken an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

India’s second-string side, in the absence of regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and spinner Harbhajan Singh, have proved too good for the Black Caps who slumped to their ninth successive ODI defeat in Vadodara.

Their series loss follows the 0-4 drubbing against Bangladesh in October.

New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori has acknowledged playing against a “very good side” and has asked his team to stay positive.

“We need couple of top order batsmen to come good in the coming two matches. What we have to do tomorrow is to be clear in our minds and perform the roles that we need to do,” Vettori said on the eve of the match.

The visitors’ bowling attack has been made to look ordinary against the Indian batsmen especially stand-in skipper Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli. The two have scored 534 runs between them in three ODIs, with Gambhir stroking two successive centuries.

“We want to win all the five matches. Hopefully we will keep the momentum going. We need to maintain the same intensity with which we played the first three matches,” Gambhir said.

The New Zealand batting crumbled in the last ODI and only pacer James Franklin and offspinner Nathan McCullum showed the heart to fight. Brendon McCullum, who missed the first two matches with a back injury, returned to the lineup in Vadodara, but looked off-colour.

Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor failed to strike form in the three games and their form will be crucial if the Kiwis wish to avoid a whitewash.

Teams (From):

India: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Murali Vijay, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Sourav Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan, Parthiv Patel (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Vinay Kumar.

New Zealand: Daniel Vettori (captain), Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum, Jamie How, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Scott Styris, Gareth Hopkins (wicket-keeper), Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Tim Southee, Andy McKay, James Franklin, Grant Elliott.

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