Wednesday, 4 March 2009

NZ vs India - 1st ODI - Napier

Ouch, that hurt. We got pumped yesterday, we weren’t good enough and we felt the full strength and abilities of the Indian team.

Dan lost the toss, yeah, we were quite surprised too and we were asked to bowl first; with rain forecast for later in the day it wasn’t the worst thing to be batting second knowing what you need when disruptions and recalculations happen. It just so happens that we let them score too many runs that when the recalculations happened, the task in front of us was a pretty steep mountain to climb.

We bowled well below par yesterday. The plans that we had kept pretty tight to in the two T20’s worked; yesterday we didn’t stick to those plans enough and gave destructive batsmen deliveries in their areas, not ours. Our plans are right, we reviewed yesterday’s game and plans, extensively, this morning with the aid of the ‘Hawk Eye’ data that showed us that when we were in the right areas the scoring was limited and when we missed, we got pumped.

There are some positives that come from last night’s hiding though. We bowled poorly and India pumped up. How is that a positive? Well, had we bowled well and got pumped then where would we have to go; it’d have to be a whole drastic rethink. And when we did get it right we did cut their scoring shots and reduce their scoring abilities.

I felt good last night, at times, and then at other times I just couldn’t get it to the right spots when I needed to. My first over was a maiden, it wasn’t quite right, but I’ll take that first up. My run up felt smooth and it was feeling easy at the crease. I didn’t have to try too hard to let it go, the rhythm was good; which annoys me even more as I didn’t bowl well enough consistently enough.

We came off for rain and were off for quite a while; this reduced the overs back to 38 for each innings. Now we really needed to come out and bowl well; not to be! We had got through 4.3 overs before the break. It’s always the way when you take your boots off the rain clears up, but you want to keep them on so that you’re ready to get back out there as soon as possible. This was the case last night. I had kept my boots on for quite a while and went and changed them to my trainers while there was a heavy shower coming down. As soon as I came back out the rain stopped. I should have just kept my boots on and the rain might have stayed and saved us a thumping!

Soon after we came back out I bowled to Sachin, he dropped to about silly mid on and I ran through to try to effect a run out. This is where things get interesting. I clipped Sehwag’s leg on the way though and tripped him up, completely, face first into the deck. I picked up the ball and threw it at the stumps not knowing he had ended up in a crumpled mess on the floor; I thought I had just clipped him and he had kept on running. If my throw had hit I know for certain that we would have not pursued the appeal. The next ball got smashed back over my head very hard indeed. At the end of the over I went to Sehwag and gave him a pat on the back, no hard feeling pal!

At drinks, while we were fielding, a message came out to us that the Sri Lankan cricket team’s bus had been bombed and shot at. We heard that there were injuries, and some serious, but to who was unknown. It felt weird at that point, a little like it was in Australia when the bush fires we killing families there. We’re out here playing a game we love and so many people are hurting and it’s not their fault. I had to concentrate really hard on the game from this point on not letting too many thoughts about the Sri Lankans float around.

In August we had a training camp back in NZ, I had traveled back from the UK to attend. This camp was in preparation for the Champions Trophy that was to be held in Pakistan. During this camp a team from the ICC held an ‘it’ll be safe over there, you’ll get amazing security’ presentation. Even the then Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson came with the ICC group to assure us of the safety. After we had pounded the ICC group with questions and scenarios, we were given guarantees that ‘Cricket’ would never be the target! How could you ever make guarantees like that? We were accused of pontificating, when in reality we were just stating our fears, yes from safe little ol’ NZ, but that’s just what they were.

Back to last night’s game, huh!! We were set 278 after the score was adjusted because of the break in the innings. The opening Indian bowlers did what we didn’t do. They bowled great lines and lengths and in the evening air got the ball to swing. They tied down our openers until they both fell trying to break the shackles; on other grounds in NZ, Baz would have had a six, not here in Napier with its long straight boundaries. A couple of medium sized partnerships followed with Gupy, Rossco and TS, and then it started to rain again. In the rush to get as many runs before the rains set in TS was run out by a good throw from the boundary and as the 3rd umpire was making his decision the covers were brought back onto the field. This interruption left us needing 15’s for the eight overs; this was going to be a tough ask. It meant we needed, almost, to go from the first ball bowled. Either way there was going to be fireworks, runs or wickets. Unfortunately it was wickets. This meant I got my first bat in ODI cricket. I joined Dan and we decided on a simple plan “see the ball, hit the ball”; I, of course, tried but without too much success. I did get a message from a mate today saying I played every shot in the book, well, yeah I might have, just didn’t quite come off!!

Dan then decided that our goal was to not give Harbhajan four wickets for the innings, sure thing mate, maybe a little easier said than done! We both ended up not out but there were no celebrations, hugs and high fives as we ran through for the winning run because we were not anywhere near where the target.

Back in Wellington and I’ve just got back in from the worst meal I have ever paid for. It’s fair to say I won’t be going back there! I have a radio interview at 7.50am in the morning; there goes the big sleep in. Training tomorrow afternoon and then off to meet the Prime Minister. Then, Friday, the 2nd ODI from the Cake Tin and here’s hoping for a slightly better behaved crowd, just don’t throw stuff guys, it doesn’t help anyone!

I support the New Zealand Foundation of the Blind as a charity; I’ve got two auctions going from now that the Foundation will prosper from, so please bid and bid large. One is my signed shirt from this T20 series and the other auction is Bendon McCullum’s Man of the Match medal from last night’s match winning knock. Brendon will sign the back of it before I send it and I will send a photo with it of McCullum signing it as proof of authenticity.

New Zealand T20 Playing Shirt -Iain O'Brien -

Brendon McCullum's MoM Signed Medal -


Anonymous said...

Great blog as always Iain

Your bowling is looking good mate, even from the telly i can see the effort you put into it and the nip off the pitch is looking good.

When's the biography coming out?

Leg Break said...

Where was this worst paid meal you’ve ever had Iain?

I’m in Wellington; need to know.

Anonymous said...

JUst a question why do you call Grant Elliot TS?

Leg Break said...


Try Google.

Type in “Elliot” and “TS” and see what wonders await you.

Brat said...

Anonymous has extreme literary fail.

The game was a bloody frustrating one to watch.

Good luck on Friday, and good luck understanding what the hell John Key is on about.

Anonymous said...

if you see john key give him a cuff around his head from me

Anonymous said...

To be fair to Anon it doesnt really explain why they call him TS. Is he a good poet?

kassto said...

He was a good poet, but bloody depressing.

Anonymous said...

aww, tough luck this time Iain. But I'm sure you guys will come back. Good luck, hope it doesn't rain there and especially not Christchurch (cause I'm going to that one!). The forecast doesn't look good though.

Anonymous said...

Nice bowling Iain. Any chance you could put the MoM award from MSD for auction?

Anonymous said...

Ha Ian, you were smashed the other night, licking your wounds before you got your blog up?

I'm clicking on your adverts cause your not going to last to much longer in the team and your going to need the money.

Good bye Obrian!

Leg Break said...

Last Anon,

You're wasting your time clicking on the ads.

Take spelling lessons instead.

Anonymous said...

I would say good luck for tomorrow but in all honesty we all know when there's a match in NZ that means it will rain, and I have a funny feeling it's going to be rained out!

Mallesha said...

Nice article .. Definitely Bhajji will get 4 wickets in one of the 4 ODI's left !!!

Swatpulla said...

Do you bowl off spin ?? Cuz if u do....u will have more than one thing common with Murali !!

Pankaj Gupta said...

Nice blog Brieny.......
you guys got pumped, but things doesn't end won 20-20, and even clean sweeped champions!!!!! and now its India's turn to clean sweep you in One Days and also in Test Series...
But keep fighting that will at least keep series interesting...

Ram said...

Some very questionable team selection. Why would you play Neil Broom at No. 7, with a bowler short?
No. Oram is not a bowler with his present level of fitness.

P.S. Bring back Flynn. The guy plays great.

pappu said...

Hey Ian Great Blog...

By the way I liked this comment"
We bowled poorly and India pumped up. How is that a positive?"
get rid of Sehwag ASAP- he is a beast in the game nice man out of the ground.
good luck for the 2nd ODI

Sambit said...

Hi Iain,

No doubt you are one of the best fast bowlers that world cricket has today.

I just feel our (Indian) batsmen have to be a bit more careful while playing you. If they can get say fifty-odd out of you giving you no more than a wicket, they will have done their job.

I know that won't make you happy (ideally for somebody who sets high standards for himself, fify-odd runs are one to many.....but trust me, these bunch of Indian batsmen are capable of much more really.

You are yet to see Yuvraj in full flow.....who knows you might just see Yusuf Pathan as well coming up the order for a match and he is capable of scoring big, real big hundreds.

But all said and done, your current team is one of the best one day side in a long time from New Zealand.....We have already seen the glimpses of that in Australia and you guys can only improve.

That makes world cricket more and more exciting.

By the way.....what are the chances of getting a full match in Christchurch mate?

All the best.

Balaji S said...

why didnt you play the 3rd ODI mate?
Be care full against us(the Indians).Our guys may be rock the ODIs and Tests
though we lost the T20Is.

All the best