Shoaib Akhtar has slammed the Indian side for losing the second ODI to New Zealand by 22 runs from a strong position. Akhtar also raised the concern in India’s lack of a wicket-taking bowling option through the middle overs, but also credited New Zealand for their comeback after the T20 series-loss.
From blanking the hosts 5-0 in the T20Is to conceding the three-match ODI series with a game remaining, India have had a see-saw ride on their tour of New Zealand. However, what ticked off the former Pakistani speedster is that India lost the game after having the Kiwis struggling at 187 for seven — and 197 for eight. Ross Taylor then stitched together an unbeaten 76-run stand with debutant Kyle Jamieson. Taylor remained unbeaten 73 off 74 balls while Jamieson scored 25 off just 24 balls, as the duo took the momentum away from the Indians.
“India deserved this lesson. You cannot win ODIs by playing such poor cricket. India looked a very average side today. But Credit to New Zealand for coming back so strong after 0-5 loss in T20IS. That type of loss can be demoralizing for any team but they have made a solid comeback. This is a learning curve for India, they need to show character,” Akhtar said on his Youtube channel after the match, reported Hindustan Times.
The Men in Blue had made two changes to the side that lost the opening encounter in Hamilton — both in the bowling attack. While Yuzvendra Chahal, brought in for Kuldeep Yadav, was the pick of the bowlers for India with three for 58 runs, his spin-partner Jadeja returned the most economical with figures of one for 35. While Akhtar lauded Taylor’s second match-winning inning in as many matches, he pointed out that India missed a wicket-taking option through the middle phase of the game.
“No one had an answer to Taylor’s innings. I don’t understand how you can let the game slip from reducing the opposition to 7-8 down. I’m repeatedly saying India is missing a strike bowler. Chahal came in place of Kuldeep, he did well but they lacked someone who could put his hand up when they needed wickets,” Akhtar added.
The final match of the ODI series will be played on Tuesday at Mount Maunganui.
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