Team India faced a crushing seven-wicket defeat from New Zealand in the first One-Day International (ODI) of the three-match series at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday. The tourists did well after posting 306/7 in 50 overs, but Tom Latham and Kane Williamson partnered for a double-century stand and handed India a big defeat.

After the game, Indian skipper Shikhar Dhawan, who was the second-highest run-scorer (72) in the Indian innings, revealed exactly where the Men in Blue lost the game. Dhawan cited the 40th over of New Zealand’s innings bowled by Shardul Thakur as the turnout and felt expensive over shifted momentum towards hosts.

Notably, the 40th over was the most expensive one for India as Thakur ended up conceding 25 runs, including one six and 4 fours. Dhawan further mentioned that the bowlers’ plan to go short of length to Latham didn’t work, as the left-handed batter made full use of short deliveries and punished the bowling unit.

“We felt good about the total. First 10-15 overs, the ball did a lot. It’s a bit different than other grounds. Have to plan accordingly. Today we’ve bowled short of length, and Latham attacked us there. That’s where he took the game away from us, especially in the 40th over. That’s where the momentum shifted,” said Dhawan during the post-match presentation.

When Latham and Williamson joined hands, the Black Caps were struggling with three wickets for 88 in 19.5 overs. The duo then took charge and never really looked back, forming an unbeaten 221-run stand for the fourth wicket to help the home team register a memorable victory. While Latham remained undefeated at 145, Williamson stayed not out at 94.

Dhawan admitted that his team is relatively young and will learn gradually. He mentioned the team would try to execute plans more wisely and ensure the bowlers don’t make the batters play on their strength.

“They’re all young boys and lots of learning for them. Bowling side and fielding side as well (what areas need improvement?). We need to implement our plans more wisely and make sure we don’t make the batsmen play on their strength,” added Dhawan.


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