When I got home from the HRV Cup final last night, I hit the pillow knowing that the next day would see the main event of our cricket summer finally get underway.
In just over an hour, the Blackcaps kick off their ODI Series against world champions India, and while many will think that the 5-match series could be a walkover, to me there is a lot of reason to be hopeful at least about the chances of our national team.
The problem for the Blackcaps is consistency, hasn’t it always been that way?
They failed to close out the ODI Series against West Indies, but came back and dominated much of the T20 Series, and let’s not forget about the performance in the Test Series a few weeks earlier.
Martin Guptill needs more consistency, but he hits the ball so cleanly during all his hit outs at the crease. I think he is not far off a big ton, perhaps multiple tons in this Indian series. Jesse Ryder is in typical Ryder form, hit the ball long or get out, I think he should stay just there for now, but let’s be honest most of the batting lineup for our Blackcaps needs to be more balanced, and perform well on a more regular basis. I don’t want to sound like I am negative because I really feel that we have a chance in this series, but India are a whole different animal than the lackluster West Indians were.
How good was it to see Luke Ronchi get up and put on back to back good innings with the bat? He has no justified his selection which was questionable at best prior to the T20 series last week.
Despite so many class names not touring our shores, players like Laxman, Sewag, Tendulker, Yufraj, and more, this Indian side is still absolutely booming with hard hitting, match winning power. I am terrified of what the likes of Kohli and Raina will do when they bat, and Ishant can be deadly with the ball on his day, so the Blackcaps are certainly up against it but we always perform decently well at home.
In short, India are the unchallenged superstars of cricket. That is a huge mountain to try and climb.
I think the Blackcaps may just get up for this one, I am going with a series win 3 -2, India won’t start well in game 1 today, but look for a major comeback in games 2 and 3, before the Blackcaps win games 4 and 5.
Looking forward to it. Of course I am predicting that the boys in black will get up and win, I have to support my own country!