Team India managed to score 314 runs at the loss of nine wickets against New Zealand in the 3rd ODI. One of the exciting ODI games has ended in a tie, leaving India with still a possibility of squaring the series, if they win the last two matches. Today’s tie also ensures that they don’t lose the No. 1 ranking in ODIs for the time being. India looked down and out when Dhoni fell, but a super counter-attacking stand of 85 between Ashwin ande Jadeja tilted the game in the visitors’ favor, before the game took another twist with Ashwin’s wicket.
New Zealand seemed to be the favorites when India needed 18 off the last over with just the one wicket remaining, but big hitting from Jadeja brought it to 2 off 1 ball. The final delivery though brought just a single and if the same thing had happened in a T20I, there would’ve been a Super Over, but we don’t have that luxury in ODIs yet. So the result will remain a tie. Perhaps a fitting result, for both sides didn’t deserve to be on the losing side after such a humdinger.
Corey Anderson, was the star for the Kiwis with the ball, registering his maiden five-for, but he would be a touch disappointed that he couldn’t do the job with 18 left in the bank off the last over. But one has to rememeber that the boundaries at Eden Park are ridiculously small for a cricket ground and there was always bound to be pressure on him, bowling the final over, irrespective of the match situation.
So many ifs and buts one can discuss from the game. Going back to the first innings, Bhuvneshwar dropped Southee in the 48th over, and then the fast bowler went on to make 23 after that. What if Southee had been caught, Indian fans would say. In the 2nd innings, Williamson failed to hit direct on at least three occasions with Jadeja short of his crease, what if those had gone the Kiwis’ way. Then most crucially, Bennett misjudged a skier off Jadeja when 22 still were required. If only Bennett had caught that. These are all history now and that’s why this game is such an unpredictable one. It throws up a surprise everytime, when you least expect it.
One must say though that, India and especially Ravindra Jadeja were very lucky as the Kiwis buckled under pressure as the chase became hot. Run-out chances were missed left right and centre, even the normally world-class Williamson felt the pressure getting to him as he couldn’t hit the stumps on many occasions. Couple of brilliant moments in the field though from the home side – the catches by Southee and Guptill were brilliant, with the latter’s simply astounding for the calmness shown under pressure.