A pity it had to end like this

Sehwag and Tendulkar, in the time they batted after M. S. Dhoni won the toss, provided rich entertainment, before the match was abandoned due to rain, writes S. Ram Mahesh.

The second ODI at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington was abandoned after persistent rain. It was great pity, for Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, in the time they batted after M.S. Dhoni won the toss, provided rich entertainment. Sehwag was the first to detonate, and he did it differently, relying on the pull stroke, a weapon he doesn’t always bring out. After he was dismissed — incorrectly adjudged caught-behind off Ian Butler, who impressed — Tendulkar assumed the mantle of quick run-making. Unfortunately, the rain intervened. Play resumed briefly, and India lost two wickets for 21 runs in a five-over period, marked by some astute captaincy from Daniel Vettori. But there was another interruption, a smattering of play, and the final stoppage.

“You can’t do anything… unless you have an indoor stadium,” said Dhoni. “I think it’s tough for the batsman who is in, especially when it rains on and off, every time he has to set himself before going for the big strokes. I am happy the batsmen played well… whatever limited opportunity they got they scored runs and what else… there’s nothing much I can say.”

Dhoni’s counterpart, Vettori, expressed similar sentiments, saying India would have been disappointed with the abandonment, for it had started so well.

But he refuted the argument that Sehwag was beginning to intimidate New Zealand’s seam bowlers. “I wouldn’t say intimidated, but you are fearful of what’s going to come,” said Vettori. “You are never sure what he is going to do, he is that good a player that he can hit all around the park. I suppose the guys run in and maybe second-guess what’s going to happen. I guess we have got to tell ourselves that we have got to bowl in our area, and if we get hit from there we can live with that.”

The Scores Second ODI, Wellington, March 6. No result.

India: V. Sehwag c McGlashan b Butler 54; S. Tendulkar lbw b Vettori 61; G. Gambhir c Elliott b O’Brien 30; Yuvraj Singh c Taylor b Mills 0; M. Dhoni (not out) 23; S. Raina (not out) 13; Extras (lb-3, w-4) 7. Total (for four wkts., in 28.4 overs) 188.

Fall of wickets: 1-76, 2-139, 3-142, 4-166.

New Zealand bowling: Mills 7-0-46-1; O’Brien 6-0-44-1; Butler 7-0-38-1; Oram 4-0-29-0; Vettori 3-0-14-1; Ryder 1.4-0-14-0.