Auckland: Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe has lambasted some of the tactics adopted by Indian skipper MS Dhoni on the opening day of the first Test here. He was surprised at how easily the visitors let go of the initiative they had taken, having reduced the Kiwis to 30-3 in the 18th over.
In his analysis post the day's play, he told ESPNcricinfo: "I was calling the game on radio and was at odds to explain why Dhoni went back to Mohammad Shami and didn't let Ishant Sharma continue when he was bowling really well. He had taken 2-8 in six overs in a beautiful spell and could have kept the pressure up. One more wicket and he could have broken New Zealand's back."
Crowe could not fathom why Dhoni handed the ball to Ravindra Jadeja even though it was for one over before lunch. He, in fact, was flummoxed at Jadeja's inclusion in the XI ahead of off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. "I was surprised that Jadeja was considered over Ashwin. After all, Ashwin is a genuine spin bowler. From what I know, he was the fastest Indian bowler to reach 100 wickets."
He was surprised at Virat Kohli being given the first over after lunch. He was also worried that they didn't have a fourth fast bowler. Nevertheless, he believes not all is over for the visitors and they could still bounce back. "I don't think it will deteriorate. It's a drop-in pitch. India can be powerful in its reply. They aren't out of this game," he concluded.