White Ferns vs India: Damn, What's Doing!?

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While the slump that Aotearoa's Blackcaps have found themselves in is a bit of a shock, the White Ferns' slump is more a case of the status-quo against the world's better nations continuing. The second ODI between Aotearoa and India finished in an 8-wicket win to India as the kiwis were again unable to do enough with bat or ball to make the contest genuinely competitive.

Remember that this comes after India enjoyed a 9-wicket win in the first game. Aotearoa again fell short of 200 batting first as skipper Amy Satterthwaite took on the responsibility of putting up some sort of decent target, hitting 71 off 87. Only one other batswoman scored 20+ and that was Leigh Kasperek batting #7 as she chimed in with 21 off 47 as the White Ferns stumbled to 161 all out.

The defence of their target started nicely as spinner Anna Peterson - who replaced Holly Huddleston from game one - took a wicket in the 2nd over. Then Lea Tahuhu got in on the action, taking a wicket in the 5th over, but from then on it was all India as Simriti Mandhana backed up her 105 (104) in game one, with 90 (83) in this game. That's two big innings from Mandhana, both coming with strike-rates over 100.

There are no shortage of issues in the White Ferns at the moment and based on what we have seen in these two games so far, I'll probably work my way through a few trends after the third game. One trend that I'll chuck up here reflects the fortunes of the White Ferns team and tells their story, while perhaps pointing to a minor lack of depth/competition for spots in the middle order.

Amelia Kerr has been bumped up to bat #5, which in fairness is most likely due to the absence of Katey Martin. Maddy Green has been batting #6 and in the ODI arena, there isn't a whole lot of substance to the work of Kerr and Green as key figures outside of the big three.

To be straight up; they are both dining off of big scores vs Ireland. These came last year with Kerr banging 81*, 29 and 232* while Green had scores of 122 and 50. For both Kerr and Green, these are their only 50+ scores in their young careers and in the five games (three vs England, two vs India), neither has scored 30+ having both batted in all five games.

Outside of those two 50+ scores vs Ireland, Green has scored 30+ just once in her 23 ODI innings. This was a 46 vs South Africa back in 2016 and you can boil this down to Green scoring 30+ in just 3 of 23inns.

It's the same for Kerr, who has a knock of 30 to go with her two big knocks vs Ireland. That means 3 of 15inns with 30+ scores for Kerr. None of that makes for good reading and while there is definitely an argument to be made in having faith in young players to suss out international cricket, these trends over a medium-sized sample are contributing to an underperforming White Ferns team.

There are of course other trends, I just wanted to highlight Kerr and Green. They are not alone in underperforming, although the work of Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine and Satterthwaite has tended to cover over these issues. The failings of Kerr and Green are also notable considering that experienced batswoman Kaite Perkins was recalled to the White Ferns squad for this series.

Perkins doesn't have an amazing ODI record herself, however she's got 63 games in the bag and without Martin, one would have thought that experience would be useful in this series. Perkins earned this return to the White Ferns ODI squad through scoring 176 runs @ 88avg/90.72sr via 4 not-outs as one of the best finishers in the domestic 50-over competition. Yet she hasn't played a game vs India, coinciding with two big losses.

Much like Kerr and Green not being the only problem, Perkins isn't the saviour. These are a few of many issues at the moment and are reason to be concerned as kiwi cricket in general faces challenging times at the hands of India.

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Peace and love 27.