India made a stupendous start to their five-match ODI series against New Zealand. At the Eden Park in Auckland, the Men in Blue chased down a mammoth 204 with an over to spare courtesy Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul’s blitzkrieg. It also happened to be the Black Caps’ eighth defeat in their last nine matches at the very venue. The teams would again be facing off in Auckland on Sunday, January 26.
The Black Caps have to turn their wretched fortunes around at the Eden Park next time around. A defeat would make their last three matches must-win affairs. India, on the other hand, are brimming with confidence and would be highly satisfied satisfied with how their batters turned up under pressure. In fact, India are unbeaten in Auckland, though, having played only a couple of contests.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitch in Auckland turned out to be a bowler’s graveyard last time around. The short boundaries made life even tougher for the bowlers as runs flowed at an alarming rate. Dew is most likely to play a part and hence, chasing should be the way forward on the batting paradise. There are no chances of rain with the temperature around 22 degrees Celsius. The humidity will be in the high 70s.
The Kiwis may think about bringing in Scott Kuggelejin in place of Hamish Bennett, who didn’t have much success the other night. Tickner went for a few, but he got the prize wicket of Virat Kohli at a critical stage of the game. A lot will depend on Sodhi, who was their standout bowler the other night.
The hosts don’t need to tinker with the batting. Martin Guptill and Colin Munro looked decent, albeit the latter can be a little more aggressive. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor are in ominous touch, being their most experienced batsmen. Tim Seifert and De Grandhomme needs to make amends.
Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Tim Seifert (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner, Hamish Bennett/Scott Kuggelejin.
The visitors may not change their winning combination. Rohit Sharma started with a six before he skied one off Mitchell Santner. He has to find his rhythm soon. KL Rahul didn’t die wondering and gave India a good start with a 27-ball 56. Iyer was equally effective as well, scoring 58 off 29 balls.
The likes of Shivam Dube and Ravindra Jadeja have to be on top of their game as well. India may think about roping in Navdeep Saini, replacing Shardul Thakur, who was the most expensive bowler of the day. Shami may retain his place even after getting slaughtered for 53 runs in his four overs.
KL Rahul (wk), Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, Shivam Dube, Manish Pandey, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini/Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah
Probable Top Performers
Ross Taylor – New Zealand |Virat Kohli– India
TV – Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD
Match Timings – 12:20 IST, 19:50 local time and 06:50 GMT.
The prediction is for the team, batting second to win the match.
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