Daijiworld Media Network
Hamilton, Jan 22 : Hello and welcome to the second ODI between India and New Zealand at Hamilton.
With their top dog ODI status at stake, India will have to summon their A-game to the table after losing the series opener by 24 runs. Though New Zealand are ranked a lowly 8th, they are a dangerous side, more so in home conditions. Brendon McCullum and his boys are itching to cash in on the momentum and rattle the Indians.
Mitchell McClenaghan's aggressive bowling was key to New Zealand's success. Corey Anderson was the other chief protagonist, shining with both bat and ball. Meanwhile, Adam Milne, who consistently clocked 150kph, has been ruled out of the remainder of the series after the side strain he sustained on Sunday. Senior pacer, Kyle Mills is all set to comeback into the team.
Virat Kohli played a special innings which went in vain as the middle order came a cropper against well-directed short pitched stuff. The likes of Suresh Raina and Ajinkya Rahane will have to pick up the pieces and show application to survive in these alien conditions. The bowlers were quite good, barring Ishant Sharma, who returned shoddy figures of 1-72.
A steady drizzle interrupted India's practice session yesterday but the weather seems to be better today. Toss and team information to follow shortly. Do stay tuned folks.
India have won the toss and have opted to field
India (Playing XI): Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni(w/c), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar
New Zealand (Playing XI): Martin Guptill, Jesse Ryder, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum(c), Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi(w), Nathan McCullum, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills, Mitchell McClenaghan
New Zealand came up with a determined performance in the opening ODI against India to take a 1-0 lead and the hosts will look to continue in the same vein when they take on the sub-continent team in the second game at Seddon Park, Hamilton. The Indians, meanwhile, will be hoping to put on an improved showing to level the 5-match series.
While the openers did not contribute much, the Black Caps middle order made up for that with a collective effort with the bat to power the hosts to a sizeable total in the opening game. Three fifties were scored in that game and all three were very different in nature. Corey Anderson's aggressive fifty came after Kane Williamson had scored a well-paced one while Ross Taylor had to bat patiently for a half-century after the openers' departure. Brendon McCullum and Luke Ronchi coming up with quick-fire knocks further boosted the New Zealand scorecard. Having seen how the Black Caps batted in the first ODI, it is clear that they have a very balanced order capable of adapting to different situations. The hosts will be hoping that they continue their good showing while they will also be eager for the openers to come good.
Mitchell McClenaghan was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers in the first game, and although the left-arm pacer went for a few runs, he picked up important wickets to tilt the match in favour of his team. Tim Southee and Anderson also did a good job with the ball. In the spin department, Nathan McCullum went wicket-less but conceded less than six an over while Williamson, who bowled only 1.3 overs, managed to pick up a wicket. The Black-Caps will be looking forward to another disciplined performance from the bowlers and count on the pacemen to trouble the Indian batsmen.
Virat Kohli almost single-handedly pulled it off for India but his 18th ODI century went in vain as India lost key wickets towards the end. Apart from Kohli, MS Dhoni did a fairly good job with the bat and showed his willingness to fight. Shikhar Dhawan, who failed in South Africa, showed some promise in the first game. He failed to convert his start into a big score, the left-handed opener will be hoping to make amends in the upcoming games. There was nothing great to speak about the rest of the batters though. Rohit Sharma who was in the form of his life last year, experienced a slump towards the end of 2013 and failed in the first ODI as well. Suresh Raina too has not been doing well of late and his weakness against the short-ball has been constantly exploited by the opposition teams. India will be hoping that these two find form quickly while they will also count on Ajinkya Rahane to do a good job with the bat.
India's bowling was mediocre yet again although they did prevent New Zealand from registering a score in excess of 300. Ishant Sharma had another expensive outing, and despite bowling a tight last over, he was the most expensive bowler in the first ODI, conceding 8 an over. Mohammed Shammi, despite giving away a few runs, was India's best bowler as he picked up a four wicket haul while Bhuvneshwar Kumar came up with an economical performance. The spinners did not find any help from the pitch and were handled easily by the New Zealand batters. A better bowling performance will be India's focus as they look to level the series.
New Zealand suffered a blow ahead of the second game with Adam Milne suffering a strained abdominal muscle which according to team physiotherapist Paul Close requires a six-week rehabilitation period. In his absence, experienced pacer Kyle Mills is almost certain of making it to the eleven while the hosts are likely to stick with the rest that played the first ODI. As far as India is concerned, MS Dhoni made it clear that he will not go in with a four-pace attack despite the spinners coming up short and the visitors are unlikely to make any changes to their line-up.
Pitch and conditions:
Former New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor was of the opinion that the conditions in Hamilton could suit the Indians better than Napier. He mentioned that the Seddon Park wicket is the slowest one in New Zealand and might favour the visitors more. As far as the weather is concerned, rain is forecast which means that the D/L method might come into play and hence, the captain winning the toss is likely to field first.
14: The number of 280 totals posted against India since January 2013. Out of it, 10 are 300 scores.
186: The number of runs MS Dhoni requires to reach the 8000 milestone in ODIs.
4: The number of wickets R Ashwin requires to reach the mark of 100 ODI wickets.
2: Tim Southee requires 2 wickets to get to the 100 wickets milestone in ODIs.
We have a few power hitters in the lower order so if I can come out with some donkey work helping them to express themselves, it's very well: Ross Taylor is happy to play the anchor role.
I pretty much like a battle but I have realised the use of words is not necessary all the time and I'd rather let my bat do the talking now: Virat Kohli is eager to concentrate on his batting.