NZ vs Ind 2nd ODI Preview – Visitors aim to bounce back
After suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of hosts New Zealand in the 1st ODI at Napier, Team India will be looking to amend their batting woes as they go into the 2nd ODI at Hamilton on Wednesday.
Chasing a stiff target of 293, the World's No.1 ranked team collapsed like a pack of cards against a No.8 side. Apart from Virat Kohli's sparkling hundred and MS Dhoni's short cameo, none of the batsmen seemed comfortable against the Kiwi bowlers. Suresh Raina's struggle continues to be worrying, while the openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have failed to give their side a flying start.
India will also need to re-look at their bowling attack, with the exception of Mohammed Shami who had a promising start with 4 wickets in the opening game. The New Zealand batsmen were hardly troubled by the Indian bowlers as they strolled their way to a big total. Ishant Sharma's form and R Ashwin's bad patch remains a concern. The bowling line-up may well see a couple of changes, if the team management decides to do so.
As both teams lock horns at Hamilton, the visitors would be hoping to improvise from the last game as far as batting is concerned. The over-reliance on Kohli needs to stop, though the team's performances have been heavily dependent on him lately. Out of the 46 times he has scored a fifty or more, India have won on 32 occasions. Kohli's liking for a second-innings hundred is well known, with 11 of his 18 centuries coming in successful chases.
The key to India's success will be the top order, which needs to click at the right time. Both Sharma and Dhawan are at their best when they play together and can give India a huge boost at the start. The middle order too, needs to make the most of their opportunity, especially young Ajinkya Rahane, who has the appetite as well potential to score big.
With consistent rain at Hamilton over the past two days, the weather is likely to come into play in the 2nd ODI. Team India will only hope the rain gods stay away as they prepare for a juicy encounter at Seddon Park.