Friday, January 25, 2019

2nd ODI: New Zealand aim to ground high-flying India Team

Bay Oval could offer a different template, so India will be wary of a backlash.

2nd ODI: New Zealand aim to ground high-flying India Team
2nd ODI: New Zealand aim to ground high-flying India Team

New Zealand have pin-pointed two “obvious” areas where they need to improve for Saturday’s second one-day international against India – batting and bowling. India exposed a huge gulf between the world’s second- and third-ranked sides when they strolled home by eight wickets in the series opener at Napier on Wednesday.

Shikhar Dhawan, who finished unbeaten on 75 as India chased down the 156-run target, said there was pressure on all the tourists to perform if they wanted to make the squad.

“The competition is always there in our side,” he said Friday on the eve of the second ODI in Mount Maunganui. “Everyone has been performing really well. Our strength (of depth) is very good.”

While India have the nice problem of a surfeit of talent, New Zealand swing bowler Trent Boult noted the home side’s issues in the two key areas. “I think it’s obvious we know where we went wrong,” he said. “We were severely outplayed the other day.”

After winning the toss and electing to bat, New Zealand were rolled for 157 in 38 overs. The match was shortened to 49 overs – and India given the slightly reduced target – after glare from the setting sun forced a delay of more than half an hour. Boult said New Zealand needed to set a good platform at the start of the innings “and obviously put a good target on the board… it’s about batting in partnerships and taking the game deep so we can really cash in in those later overs.”

Mohammed Shami whipped out the New Zealand openers in his first two overs but Boult and new ball partner Tim Southee were unable to make a similar breakthrough.

“We know that early wickets in this format kind of kill you,” Boult said, saying New Zealand needed to be aggressive with the new ball. “If we can get three wickets in the first 10 overs, we know what pressure that puts on the rest of the team in the shed. They are human and they do make mistakes.”

New Zealand played Mitchell Santner as their sole spinner in Napier but may add Ish Sodhi to the line-up for game two following the success of India’s spin pair Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, who took six wickets between them in the opener of the five-ODI series.

After putting up scores in excess of 300 in three straight ODIs against Sri Lanka this month, New Zealand were dealt a blow in the series opener against India and now face a stiff challenge to push the second-ranked team in the second match at Mount Maunganui’s Bay Oval.

Returning to the venue at which they recently piled up 371 and 319 could act as some sort of inspiration for New Zealand, but for a change in results they will have to bat exceedingly well against one of the most potent bowling attacks in the game. Kane Williamson  has called for a smarter batting display from his team after they were beaten by nine wickets in the opening ODI. Having opted to bat, Williamson top-scored with 64 out of a sorry total of 157 in 38 overs as Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal combined to confuse the hosts. That the Blackcaps managed middle-order alliances of 34, 24, 31 and 26 speaks of the way India dominated.

In three days, New Zealand won’t have to worry about Virat Kohli but there are still two innings to try and contain him.

India’s bowlers will be on a high after an exemplary display in Napier, and in particular the new-ball burst from Shami was a big plus. Getting such efforts from Shami, Bhuvneshwar and the wrist-spinners will all shape India into a tougher side with the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup on the horizon, but equally these matches in New Zealand are critical for the middle order. (ALSO READ: Run-filled Bay Oval not a concern for India, insists Shikhar Dhawan)

Bay Oval with its run-filled reputation could offer a different template after a surprisingly slow Napier track, so India will be wary of a backlash.

Date: January 26

Venue: Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui

Time: 07:30 IST

Weather: Partly cloudy with a high of 24 degrees

Team News

New Zealand

The hosts dropped the legspinner Ish Sodhi for the last game, while India added a second wrist-spinner. Sodhi could slot back at the expense of Doug Bracewell, unless New Zealand opt for Colin de Grandhomme to bolster the lower-order batting.



It may not be a bad idea to push Tom Latham up to open with Martin Guptill, but the management appears to have faith in Colin Munro.

Probable XI: 1 Colin Munro, 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Henry Nicholls, 6 Tom Latham (wk), 7 Mitchell Santner, 8 Colin de Grandhomme/Doug Bracewell/Ish Sodhi, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Trent Boult, 11 Lockie Ferguson

India

Hardik Pandya has been allowed to return to cricket, but as he has not landed in New Zealand he is out of the reckoning. India are unlikely to make any changes.

Probable XI: 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Vijay Shankar, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal

Statistics

– New Zealand have three of six ODIs at Bay Oval. India have not played here.

– Seven ODIs at Bay Oval have produced a 3694 runs. The last two ODIs played there this month resulted in over 1300 runs.

Quotes

“I feel I’m an experienced player now. I came here few years back as well. With experience, you take things with ease and you know what to do and what not to do. I back my technique and instincts more now.” – Shikhar Dhawan

“I think they did perhaps expose us in some areas – I think the length they bowled was outstanding, it did make scoring hard to achieve.” – Williamson

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