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Saturday, February 8, 2020

India loses Auckland ODI and Series too ~ Luke Ronchi on field !!

·         Desperate Auckland homeowners are having to wait at least a month to replenish their water tanks, and demand for water is surging across the region. Many suppliers are having to turn away new bookings because they can't keep up. It's all hands to the pump as delivery tankers rush to quench thirsty households.

·         Auckland's controversial bed tax has survived a legal challenge in the High Court after a claim the multimillion-dollar rate is unlawful was rejected. Auckland mayor Phil Goff's policy was under attack from four major hotel owners who went to court claiming the rates were unfair. But a recent  judgement released by the High Court ruled in favour of the targeted rates.  The tax applies to hotels, motels, serviced apartments and online accommodation providers like Airbnb if they're rented for more than 28 nights per year.

You are reading all these – as India lost the 2nd ODI at Auckland and lost the Series too – after that whitewash in T20I !  - hence the subject matter of the post is a ‘fielder’ !

India legend Sachin Tendulkar has confirmed he would come out of retirement in order to face just one over during Sunday’s Big Appeal double-header at the Junction Oval. The former India batsman has accepted the challenge issued by Australia women team’s star allrounder Ellyse Perry. Sachin Tendulkar is currently in Australia for the upcoming Bushfire Cricket Bash. A number of legendary cricketers including Yuvraj Singh will play the match which is a 10-over per-side affair. In the innings break, Perry will bowl an over to Sachin Tendulkar with 10 of her Aussie teammates in the field.

Way back on Sunday, June 2, 2013 – I had posted this :

Even at a time when so much flowed in IPL and National channels busy with match fixing report and the temporary stepping aside of N. Srinivasan,  there is some excitement of Champions Trophy ~ the 8 Nation ODI tournament set to begin in England on 6th June 2013. For more on Champions Trophy : Champions Trophy 2013. Before you read further can you group :  WE Midwinter, Nawab of Pataudi Sr., Gul Mohammad, Amir elahi, John Traicos, Kepler Wessels, Ed Joyce, Eoin Morgan,  DP Nannes…………….

With many practice matches between the touring sides going on in England as a prelude for preparation of Champions trophy, England is playing touring Kiwis in an One day International and is all set to lose…. New Zealand made 359/3 with Martin Guptill making 189 not out in 155 balls in ODI no. 3361. That is not to be the highest in ODI… Virender Sehwag tops the list with 219; Sachin Tendulkar is the only other  double centurion with exactly 200 N.O.; Coventry of Zimbabwe made 194*; Saeed Anwar made 194 at Chepauk ~ Vivian Richards made the same 189 at Manchester in 1984; and Sanath Jayasuriya too made 189 at Sharjah……………

Guptill opened with Luke Ronchi………… would sound strange for regular Cricket follower ~ I thought Ronchi was an Aussie and played for Mumbai Indians earlier in IPL………..  Ronchi was actually born in New Zealand but raised mostly in Australia.  His first international incarnation came for Australia in the West Indies in 2008 when he stood in for the injured Brad Haddin in four ODIs and a Twenty20. Later he was dropped and was overtaken by Graham Manou, Tim Paine and Matthew Wade. At the end of 2011-12, he decided to try his luck in his country of birth and secured a contract with Wellington. His performances were strong enough to earn him a call-up to the New Zealand ODI side once he had qualified in 2013 and against England in May he debuted, becoming the first man since Kepler Wessels nearly 20 years earlier to represent two full ICC member nations.

The list in 2nd para is some of the players who have represented more than one country…

Today the scorecard of 2nd ODI at Auckland reads :  New Zealand 273 for 8 (Guptill 79, Taylor 73*, Jadeja 1-35) beat India (Jadeja 55, Iyer 52, Saini 45, Southee 2-41) by 22 runs.

The match looked gone and Indians were out – Saini came and we had heard that he would bowl fast.  He was not at all connecting but was swishing at everything early.  Then .. .. he started hitting runs – a bouncer was despatched over point for 6 and next bent on one knee, he scooped seam bowlers for 4.  So from a hopeless 153/7, chasing 274, Saini made it look as if it could be possible.  Ravindra Jadeja battled like he had been to the future and seen that he would score a half-century himself. Nothing he did, or said, or presented gave even the slightest hint that he ever thought a match-winning hand was beyond him. This after a 10-over spell where he gave away only three boundaries.

New Zealand were docked for bowling their overs too slowly in the second ODI. New Zealand were fined 60% of their match fee, with match referee Chris Broad ruling that Tom Latham's side were three overs short of the required target with time allowances being considered. New Zealand's ninth-wicket partnership scared up 76 runs in 51 balls. India's eighth wicket-partnership - at the height of an impossible chase - made 76 off 86.  While Jadeja was taking singles, Saini strained every nerve to hit runs. 

The equation reduced to 85 off 60. By now, New Zealand had run out of fit players - Mitchell Santner and Scott Kuggeleijn were unwell and many of their first-choice picks including Kane Williamson, who was at the ground, and Trent Boult were still recovering from injury. So their assistant coach Luke Ronchi was yanked out of the dressing room and stuck on the field.  We have seen substitutes – long long ago, there would be local substitutes for visiting teams (Sachin reportedly was once on field for Pakistan !) – today the man who had once played for Australia and later NZ but way back till 2017 came out to field against India at Auckland.

New Zealand assistant coach Luke Ronchi came out to field against India in the second ODI at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday with no player in the squad fit enough to replace Tim Southee in the outfield. Southee was reportedly ill but chose to play the match with the likes of Scott Kuggeleijn and Mitchell Santner reportedly unavailable with flu and a stomach bug respectively. Due to his illness, Southee ran through his 10 overs pretty early and went off the pitch and a few overs later, with no player there to replace him, Ronchi came on to field. The 38-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman last represented New Zealand in 2017 and is their assistant coach now.

Interesting !

With regards –S. Sampathkumar
8th Feb 2020

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