Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar slammed the Indian bowling line-up after the Virat Kohli-led side lost the 2nd ODI to New Zealand by 22 runs to concede the three-match series 2-0 with the final match still to be played. After blanking New Zealand 5-0 in the T20Is, India lost back-to-back ODIs in Hamilton and Auckland as the hosts New Zealand made a roaring comeback to take the ODI series.
In the second ODI at Auckland, New Zealand put up 273 for 8 riding on half-centuries from Martin Guptill (79) and Ross Taylor (73*) after India captain Virat Kohli opted to bowl first. It was a seesaw battle, New Zealand got off to a brilliant start and were at one stage 142 for 1 when India made a comeback through their spinners and fielding. In a dramatic collapse, New Zealand lost 6 wickets – 2 of them run outs – for 45 runs and were reduced to 187 for 7. Southee too was dismissed soon after and New Zealand were 197 for 8 when Ross Taylor and debutant Kyle Jamieson put together an unbroken 76-run stand for the 9th wicket.
Shoaib Akhtar blamed the Indian bowlers for this loss and came down heavily on them. “India deserved this lesson. You cannot win ODIs by playing such poor cricket,” Akhtar said on his Youtube channel after the match.
“No one had an answer to Taylor’s innings. I don’t understand how you can let the game slip from reducing the opposition to 7-8 down. I’m repeatedly saying India are missing a strike bowler. Chahal came in place of Kuldeep, he did well but they lacked someone who could put his hand up when they needed wickets,” said Akhtar.
“This is a learning curve for India, they need to show character,” Akhtar signed off.
India will face New Zealand in the third and final match of the ODI series on Tuesday at Mount Maunganui.