Former New Zealand middle-order batsmen Craig McMillan, has been one of the first big names back home to emphasize that his side's preparations for the World Cup are in turmoil. McMillam pointed out that the selectors are obviously having problems homing in on the right batting order, as the Kiwis innings in both the one-dayers so far have been less than impressive. The better batting is evidently lopsided in favour of the latter order and several batsmen are playing inconsistently.
"I don't believe the team is stable and I don't believe the selectors know what their best side is yet" said McMillan to the Dominion Post. "I don't think they've got the batting order correct with the best players in their best positions."
There is definitely truth in what McMillam says for New Zealand have not succeeded in getting off to a strong and steady start in both matches against India. The Kiwis have lost one opener within the first 7 overs, Williamson has failed to impress at No. 3 while Ross Taylor bats to far down for McMillan's liking.
"In subcontinent conditions you're largely chasing big totals so you need a good start. Taylor is not afraid to hit the ball in the air and the field will be up which allows him to play his natural game."
But more than the batting concerns, New Zealand's bowling as emerged as its Achilles' Heel. In the last game at Jaipur, three Kiwi bowlers - Kyle Mills, Andy McKay and Kane Williamson - went for over 7 runs an over each and picked up just one wicket between them. Such a toothless display doesn't stand the tourists in good stead, especially considering that the subcontinent's wickets favour the batsmen.
New Zealand have had a deplorable run in the recent past. With the two consecutive losses in the ongoing one-day series against India, the Kiwis have extended their losing streak to eight matches. Their last win came when they defeated India by a phenomenal 200 runs at Dumballa during the August tri-series which also included hosts Sri Lanka. Since then, they were whipped by the Bangladeshi's 0-4 in a shocking series.
New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori had looked at the series in Bangladesh and India as solid preparation for the World Cup since the tournament would be played in the subcontinent. But the negative string of results show that the Kiwis are no where near readying for a challenging campaign.