Ind v NZ, 2nd ODI: Host cannot afford to be complacent

The Indian attack, though came good at Dharamshala, lacks experience to deal with crisis.

India cricket coach Anil Kumble (centre) and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (right) with the teammates warm up during a practice session on the eve of the second One Day International (ODI) cricket match between India and New Zealand at the Ferozshah Kotla Ground

India cannot afford to be complacent against a wounded opposition.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

New Zealand's cricket players at the practice session on eve of the second one-day international cricket match against India in New Delhi on Wednesday.

New Zealand may not have played to its potential on this tour, but in the shorter format, the finalist of the 2015 World Cup can prove to be a handful.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Just over a month ago, New Zealand began its tour optimistic of dealing with India’s arsenal in both formats of the game. The warm-up game at the Ferozeshah Kotla against Mumbai did not exactly give the team much to be thrilled about. What followed was a whipping in the three-Test series and a comprehensive defeat in the first of the five ODIs.

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On Thursday, the Black Caps will be back at the Kotla, keen to square the series. Its batting is yet to flourish on this tour. Optimistically, New Zealand believes that the ‘law of averages’ is firmly on its side. Should the top-order fire, the hosts could be pushed on the defensive.

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Opener Tom Latham has looked the most consistent batsman on the tour so far while the duo of captain Kane Williamson and Corey Anderson are capable of tearing into any attack. The experience of Ross Taylor can also come in handy. In this format, the ability of a struggling opener Martin Guptill and the unpredictable Luke Ronchi cannot be undermined.

Tim Southee, having enjoyed a charmed life with the bat in the company of Latham at Dharamsala, will be looking to strike in tandem with his regular new-ball partner Trent Bolt, should the latter regain his place in the playing XI.

New Zealand may not have played to its potential on this tour, but in the shorter format, the finalist of the 2015 World Cup can prove to be a handful.

The Indian attack, though came good at Dharamshala, lacks experience to deal with crisis. It should not come as a surprise if the visiting side pulls back here.

India, riding high, cannot afford to be complacent against a wounded opposition. Though Umesh Yadav, debutant Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav struck with almost unbelievable regularity in the series-opener, the quality of these bowlers is yet to establish itself.

Batting is clearly India’s forte, but change in batting order can be expected depending on whether the team is required to set a target or chase one.

Rohit Sharma, after some consistent showings in Tests, can be expected to make amends for his low score in Dharamshala. Manish Pandey will also be keen to come good. Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Mahendra Singh Dhoni looked in good touch, though in varying degrees.

With Suresh Raina ruled out for the second ODI owing to viral fever, the Indian team is unlikely to shake the batting line-up. Among the bowlers, depending on the kind of pitch offered at the Kotla, medium pacer Dhawal Kulkarni and young off-spinner Jayant Yadav may be called in.

Squads:

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt.), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Jayant Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni and Mandeep Singh.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt.), Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Bolt, Matt Henry, Anton Devcich and B. J. Walting.

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