2nd ODI, Preview: India Look To Continue Winning Momentum vs New Zealand
India are one-up in the five-match ODI series, having won in Napier by eight wickets.
India clinched the first ODI in Napier convincingly, thanks to a Shikhar Dhawan masterclass. Now the entire Indian set-up is headed to Mount Maunganui, eyeing a 2-0 lead in the five-match One-day International series versus New Zealand. In Napier, the New Zealand batsmen looked all at sea against India's spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in their own backyard following a fiery spell from pacer Mohammad Shami. The hosts seemed rusty against a team coming off a historic tour of Australia and know beating an in-form India will be steep climb at the Bay Oval. Before the sun stopped play for more than 30 minutes in the series-opener, the Indian bowlers made merry with Kuldeep and Chahal sharing six wickets.
The two wrist-spinners usually hunt in a pack and would be itching to have another go at the Black Caps.
India are yet to finalise their middle-order ahead of the World Cup but are unlikely to tinker much with the playing eleven after just one game.
Hardik Pandya has left to join the squad in New Zealand after the Committee of Administrators (CoA) revoked the interim suspension on him and KL Rahul but most likely, he will be available only third ODI onwards.
The team management played pace all-rounder Vijay Shankar at McClean Park but depending on the conditions, it can bring back Ravindra Jadeja. Ambati Rayudu, who scored an unbeaten 13 off 23 on Wednesday, is expected to get another opportunity following a not-so-productive run in the ODIs against Australia.
For India, the biggest plus to come out of the first ODI was Shikhar Dhawan regaining some form with the bat following a lean run in Australia.
The southpaw scored an unbeaten 75 in the team's comprehensive win and in the circumstances, it was a crucial knock.
"It was a very important innings for Dhawan. We spoke about how he needed to finish games for India, to keep his confidence and if he's in that mindset, he can be a great asset," said skipper Virat Kohli after the eight-wicket win.
More changes can be expected in the eleven after Kohli takes a break following the third ODI on January 28, creating an opening for the likes of Shubman Gill to make their India debut.
New Zealand won the previous home series against India 4-0 but could be heading towards a reverse if they don't up their game.
It seemed captain Kane Williamson was batting on another surface as the batsmen struggled at the other end.
Teams (from): India: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Vijay Shankar, Shubman Gill, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, Khaleel Ahmed, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Martin Guptill, Colin de Grandhomme, Trent Boult, Henry Nicholls, Doug Bracewell, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Colin Munro, Ish Sodhi, Micthell Santner, Tim Southee.
Match Starts at 7:30 am IST.
(With PTI inputs)