New Zealand clutches victory in World Cup opener…

It was a contest that was one of its kind- Cricket won! Although one could have reckoned a better game from India but it was that genre of the game that gets dictated by the conditions more than anything else. New Zealand got the upper hand right at the toss by making an intelligent guess and contemplating the wicket better as eventually it turned out to be a rank turner, provoking the competence of the opposition to confront spin bowling to the core and India was incapacitated at the hands of the condition.

It was difficult for one and all to make sense of dropping all the three seasoned seamers in Boult, Southee and McClenaghan at once and opting for the inexperienced spinners. The selection raised many brows at first but Williamson answered all the doubts at the back of some scintillating performance by his bowlers. The Kiwi spinners made full use of the conditions by merely holding a line to bowl at and allowing the wicket to do the rest. The odd one turned square and ensured regular blows to the Indian side.

It’s ought to be irking for the home team for they were no match in their own game. Indians are the masters of facing spin bowling and hence it was baffling to witness India kneeling before the ordinary spinners. The batsmen lacked application to some extent and were guided by the stimuli on more occasions than one. Quite similar to the game against Sri Lanka in Pune, the batsmen neither respected the conditions nor the opposition bowlers and were made to pay for it. Afterall, losing 4 wickets well within the Powerplay can’t win you games.

However, there are still couple of positives that could be drawn from this game. The bowlers put up a good show and conceded miserly yet again even at the death which is a great sign for the team. Now that people are disputing as to why didn’t our bowlers extract significant purchase from the wicket as the Kiwis did, one must then understand the part of toss. With no dew coming in, the wicket kept on getting drier and hence the team bowling second had all the advantage as they could make the optimum use of the cracks.

For India, the back is now towards the wall and there is only one direction to head to. It’s good to lose right at the start if at all a loss is granted so as the weak-links get addressed and the team can play at the strength from here. It would now be absorbing to see which of the two trends crash to the floor-India not losing to Pakistan in a World Cup game or Pakistan not losing to India at the Edens. Hope Eden Gardens set India on the winning track. Awaiting a thrilling encounter on Saturday. Till then, cheers!

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