India aim to bounce back against rejuvenated Kiwis
After losing the first ODI in Hamilton, Team India will look to bounce back and take the ongoing three-match series into the decider when they take on New Zealand at the Eden Park on Saturday.
Auckland : After losing the first ODI in Hamilton, Team India will look to bounce back and take the ongoing three-match series into the decider when they take on New Zealand at the Eden Park on Saturday.
On Wednesday, India couldn't manage to defend a stiff 348-run target as New Zealand rode on Ross Taylor's unbeaten ton to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
However, Virat Kohli and boys will feel confident in their abilities to level the series and set up a decider as they did the same against Australia at home, wherein they bounced back from a 10-wicket opening defeat to take the series 2-1.
The main area of concern for Kohli will be their bowling which has been a touch expensive. Both spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja went for plenty in the first game and even pacers, including Jasprit Bumrah, failed to put pressure on the Kiwi batters.
While the visitors have been able to pull the game back in the death stages, the Men in Blue would be more advantaged if they are able to maintain the intensity more uniformly through the course of the innings.
At Seddon Park, India was provided with a decent start by debutant openers Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal. It was their inexperience that led to the fall, but the middle order proved its worth.
Captain Kohli has been amongst the runs, but will be craving for a big one. Shreyas Iyer, who scored his maiden ODI ton, is also in great form while K.L. Rahul is currently at the top of his game.
Thus, it would be about making improvements in bowling which can see them level the series.
For New Zealand, Saturday would provide them with a solid chance to win their first bilateral ODI series against India in six years. They last won a series in January 2014, defeating India 4-0 in a five-match series at home.
Their openers Henry Nicholls and Martin Guptill seem to be in good knick and the middle-order too, which comprises of ever-reliable Taylor and stand-in skipper Tom Latham, is too in great touch.
All that the Black Caps need to work upon is to hold their nerves in the dying stages of the game and make sure they keep their calm, just like Taylor did in Hamilton.
Thus, fans can once again expect a thriller of a contest at a flat Eden Park pitch which has short boundaries, thus once again promising the game to be a run-fest.
Squads: India: K.L. Rahul(wk), Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli(c), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Prithvi Shaw, Kuldeep Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Kedar Jadhav, Shardul Thakur.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham(wk/c), Mark Chapman, James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Hamish Bennett, Ish Sodhi, Tom Blundell, Kyle Jamieson, Scott Kuggeleijn.