Our prediction is that India will win the second ODI against New Zealand at Bay Oval.
India started the 5-match ODI series against New Zealand at Napier with a victory – as comprehensive as it gets – in the first ODI by 8 wickets (D/L). This is New Zealand’s fourth loss in the last five matches against India. The next ODI of the tournament will be played at Bay Oval on Saturday.
Winning the toss New Zealand elected to bat first and were bowled out for 157 in 38 overs. If not for Kane Williamson’s 64, New Zealand were looking at an embarrassing sub 100 score. They just could not take off against some disciplined new ball bowling by Shami and the wrist spin of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in the later stages. India, on the other hand, hardly put a foot wrong in the first ODI. They were relentless with the new ball and cunning in the middle overs. As the New Zealand team folded with 40 overs, the slog overs never came.
New Zealand have been in good form over the last year and would look to come back strongly in the second ODI. It would be interesting to see what tactical changes Kane Williamson makes to stop the Indian onslaught.
New Zealand must be disappointed with the loss to India not so much with the result but the application, or the lack of it, they have shown in the batting. This was one of those rare instances when Kane Williamson had a bad day as a captain.
First with the selection of Doug Bracewell over wrist spinner Ish Sodhi who must have watched in disappointment how the game unfolded for Indian wrist spinners. And secondly, deciding to bat first in the bowling friendly conditions early on at a venue where chasing teams have traditionally won more games. Also, asking India to chase anywhere is basically playing into their hands.
However, Kane Williamson batted well. He played brilliantly, after a reprieve on 20 by Jadhav, to reach 64 with wickets falling around him. However, after the drinks break, surprisingly, he decided to loft Kuldeep Yadav out of the park and was caught at long-on.
Another highlight was the pace of Ferguson who bowled consistently around 145 kmph and looked threatening in patches. New Zealand need to pick the XI for the condition and apply well in the batting if they want to challenge this Indian side in the second ODI.
Kane Williamson (capt), Trent Boult, Martin Guptill, Lockie Ferguson, Tom Latham (wk), Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.
India had a great start to the series against the Kiwis. Having asked to bowl first Mohammed Shami made early inroads by removing Guptill and Munro. Then the duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal combined to ensure India capitalized on the good start. The target of 157 did not prove much as India cruised to victory with 8 wickets to spare.
There were many positives for India. Mohammed Shami made a strong case for a World Cup spot. India has been struggling to play both Kuldeep and Chahal in the absence of Hardik Pandya as the all-rounder. But India played both in this match for the first time since champion’s trophy final. Kuldeep and Chahal hunted in pair against clueless Kiwis to pick up 6 wickets.
Shikhar Dhawan was averaging in the 20s in the last 9 innings, however, he came to his own and played composed innings of 75 in not so flat conditions against a potent attack.
Virat Kohli missed out on another half-century and is expected to be rested for last two ODIs. It will take some doing by New Zealand to defeat this Indian team.
Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Vijay Shankar, Ambati Rayudu, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Yuzavendra Chahal, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav.
Only 7 matches have been played at Bay Oval so far. New Zealand have 50% win rate in 6 matches whereas India would be playing its maiden ODI at this venue. This is a good batting surface where, in last 5 matches, the average first innings score has been around 300. The teams batting first have won 4 of the last 5 matches at this venue.
The team winning the toss should opt to Bat first and use the scoreboard pressure to force errors from the opposition batting lineup.
That first ODI displayed a bigger valley between the two teams than their ranking suggests. Was it an exception or a trend will be decided by how this series progresses. However, one thing is for sure that not many teams in the world are equipped to handle the pressure created by India's wrist spinning pair when they are on song. What happened in South Africa in last India tour is slowly becoming a pattern in ODIs. Ominous signs these for the teams around the world.
Thus, our prediction is that India will be able to build on the pressure created by the comprehensive win at Napier to defeat New Zealand in the second ODI at Bay Oval.
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