Our prediction is that India will secure the series with a win the third ODI against New Zealand at Bay Oval.
India seem to be all over New Zealand in the ongoing 5-match ODI series. New Zealand failed to put a target in the first ODI when they crumbled to below par 157. In the second ODI, they allowed India to get to a par score of 324 and then, were all out 90 runs behind.
Next match will decide the fate of this series and if New Zealand manage to lose third ODI as well they will have some serious questions to answer. The third ODI will be played at the same venue as that of the second ODI i.e. Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Monday.
While India managed five 40-plus scores in the second ODI compared to New Zealand’s one, that too by Bracewell batting at number 8. New Zealand need better application and strategic overhaul if they are to give a decent fight to this Indian outfit.
There is no shame to losing to a top ODI side like India. But New Zealand must be disappointed in the manner they are failing put up a fight, especially at home. Kane Williamson talked about his frustration in the post-match presentation where he emphasized the fact that New Zealand failed to gain control at any stage in the match and that they failed to keep wickets at hand.
Bowling first after losing the toss, New Zealand looked helpless against the opening partnership of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. At 154 for no wicket it looked like India could push on for 350 but Ferguson and Boult took out the openers in about 5 overs to push India back a bit. Ish Sodhi bowled well in the mid overs to keep the pressure up. But the late flourish by Dhoni and Jadhav ensured India reaching a par score of 324.
It was always going to be tough ask to chase this down against potent Indian attack, however, it seemed New Zealand attacked a bit more than they should have and lost wickets in the process. Late contributions from Bracewell co ensured New Zealand crossed 200.
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 are on a roll in the southern hemisphere. The win in the second ODI was their fourth consecutive victory on Trans-Tasman shores. This was also their fourth consecutive victory in ODIs against New Zealand. A win the next ODI would secure consecutive series wins for them.
Winning the toss batting first openers gave India a superb 150 start without a wicket. A couple of wickets in quick succession prompted a bit of consolidation by Kohli and Rayudu in the middle overs. However, a late charge by Dhoni and Jadhav ensured in reached a par score. This was Dhoni’s third consecutive not-out innings in ODIs and he missed the third consecutive 50 by just a couple of runs.
In defense, India followed the pattern. Seamers got early wickets and then the duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were all over New Zealand picking yet another 6 wickets among them. Jadhav also chipped in with a crucial wicket of Ross Taylor. If India can continue to play like this, they look set to secure the series in the third ODI.
Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Vijay Shankar, Ambati Rayudu, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Yuzavendra Chahal, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav.
This third ODI will be played at the same venue as that of the second ODI. This will be the 9th match at Bay Oval. New Zealand have 42% win rate in 7 matches at this venue. As can be deduced from the second ODI, this is a good batting surface. In last 5 matches, the average first innings score here has been above 300.
Thus, the team winning the toss should opt to Bat first and should look to get to a par score and then apply scoreboard pressure to force errors from the opposition batting lineup.
India is closing in on their best ODI combination. And the fact that they have multiple in form players for the same role suggests the bench strength they have. The wrist-spinning combination of Kuldeep and Chahal are making it a habit of getting 5 or more opposition batsmen out in the middle overs. New Zealand, on the other hand, look all over the place. There bowling isn’t clicking, and the batting is failing to apply.
Thus, Our prediction is that India will secure the series by defeating New Zealand in the third ODI at Bay Oval.
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