After some dominating performances in recent cricket, India suffered a destructive defeat against the hosts New Zealand in the Hamilton ODI on Thursday (31 January).
Leading the five-match ODI series by 3-0 and also securing the series already, India came to play here but the visiting side provided an unexpected disaster performance as they were bundled out for just 92 runs in 30.5 overs.
Talking about the game, the Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar said, “If you look at the cricket we have been playing in the last few months, we have played good cricket and such matches come after some time. So it is a kind of reality check what we can do and improve in the next matches.
“We were confident after winning the series but things didn’t go our way. I don’t want to take credit away from these guys (New Zealand bowlers). They bowled really well and outplayed us.”
New Zealand pacers Trent Boult played the magnificent role in the game as he won the Player of the Match award for his lethal bowling spell of 10-4-21-5. Also, the pace-bowling all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme provided good support with the bowling figures of 10-2-26-3.
When Kumar was asked whether the Kiwi pacers have exposed their weakness in this game, he replied, “Not really, we have played in England, South Africa and Australia, and we have done really well. I would say they bowled really well, bowled some amazing and unplayable balls and yes overall, they outplayed us.”
Also watch: 5-wicket Haul Of Trent Boult In The Hamilton ODI
After playing the first three ODIs of this tour where India secured the ODI series, the Indian skipper Virat Kohli has made himself unavailable from the remaining tour of the game. The 19-year-old Shubman Gill made his international debut on Thursday after replacing Kohli and scored 9 runs off 21 balls (only four).
Speaking about missing Kohli in this ODI, Kumar said, “See you always miss him (Kohli) in such kind of wickets but at the same time it was an opportunity for Shubman Gill who came in his place. What he (Kohli) has done is amazing but we always don’t want to depend on him.”
Also watch: Trent Boult Surprised Shuman Gill With A Bouncer
Despite suffering the destructive defeat, Kumar is focusing the learning side to bat on the tough wicket.
He added, “We can’t say that from just one match. It was a tough wicket to bat. It wasn’t a lost opportunity but it is a learning for all of us.”
Admitting Boult and Grandhomme’s superb bowling effort, Kumar also added that he was surprised with that wicket’s nature as he didn’t expect that.
Kumar said, “I was a bit surprised, if you look at the wicket, it shouldn’t play the way it played. But yes, but that’s how this game is, it is unpredictable. The way Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme bowled was quite beautiful.”
India will return to this venue to play the final T20I of three-match T20I series which is scheduled to be played on 10 February.
When he was asked whether this experience can help them in the T20I game, Kumar added, “Yes, of course but the format will be different and I am sure we won’t get this kind of wicket but in the one-day matches back home we can take a few things from here.”
Chasing down that tiny total, New Zealand lost just two wickets before winning the game in 14.4 overs. Kumar took both the wickets in that innings as his bowling figure was 5-1-25-2. He is performing well since the ODI series during the Australia tour.
Feeling positive, Kumar said, “Ya, it (rhythm) is back but more important is that I am getting wickets. It helps your confidence which you can carry in the next few matches. So yes rhythm is back and pace is up there where I wanted.”