Internet Desk: India will be under immense pressure when they will face New Zealand in the second match of the three-match ODI series at Pune on Wednesday. It will be a do or die game for the Men in Blue as the Kiwis are leading the series 1-0.
After a long gap the Indian cricket team are finding themselves in a spot of bother where they will go to the field to ‘save the series’.
Many had thought that New Zealand won’t be able to put a fight against the hosts, but they proved everyone wrong at the Wankhede Stadium in the series opener. The Kiwis were playing their first ODI since the Champions Trophy, but they showed their characters and won the match emphatically with six wickets in hand.
A record 200-run partnership between Ross Taylor and Tom Latham helped the side to win the game against India.
Both the players tackled India’s wrist spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav really well, considering the Australians struggled against the same combination in the preceding series.
The hosts, no doubt, were off-colour at Wankhede but the Virat Kohli-led side is expected to come back hard at the Black Caps. Kohli led from the front on Sunday with his 31st ODI ton but did not get the support from his team. India head coach Ravi Shastri too would want the rest of the side to step up.
The dangerous opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma fell to the swing and accuracy of Trent Boult in Mumbai and they will now have to find a way to negotiate the left-arm pacer early on in their innings.
The Indian captain, who stuck a memorable hundred in his 200th ODI, would like to continue from where he left off. His role will be again crucial if the team has to set up a big total, provided it bats first.
Dinesh Karthik, batting at number five, played a decent knock in his comeback game, stitching a 73-run stand with captain Kohli before throwing his wicket away.
He is expected to make the playing eleven on Wednesday, leaving little possibility of Manish Pandey getting a game. More than 20 overs were left when MS Dhoni walked in to bat but he too could not capitalise after making 25 off 42 balls.
On the bowling front, the spin duo of Chahal and Yadav, who gave away 125 runs and managed a lone wicket, will be keen to make amends. They will have to find way to stop the likes Tom Latham from playing sweep and reverse sweeps at will. India are likely to retain the pacers from the first game.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, George Worker and Ish Sodhi.