Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
January 26, Saturday; 07:30 IST
Live on Star Sports, streaming on Hotstar
The main picture
The standout aspect about New Zealand’s eight-wicket loss is they were badly exposed on the very first occasion they came up against a stronger outfit. However, what happened to the Blackcaps can happen to any team, including India, who are close to the perfect ODI team. And so, the talk in the host’s camp will be to not read much into what happened in Napier and start the second ODI as if the series were to begin now.
We had said before the first ODI that the battles between the top three batsmen and the new-ball bowlers will be crucial. And Mohammed Shami’s twin strikes up front, removing Martin Guptill and Colin Munro, essentially shaped the match. This will continue to be a key tussle for both teams, but particularly for New Zealand, whose batsmen have historically struggled against spin. And looking ahead, losing early wickets will not do New Zealand any good because their middle order might have to remain circumspect against India’s spinners.
India have been exceptional in three of the four ODIs they have played this year and they will have no complaints about the first one-dayer. Shikhar Dhawan had not had a substantial score for nine ODIs and the way he batted in Napier (his strike rate was 72.81, which, even though India were chasing only 157, was low by his standards) suggested he was keen to address the problem.
Bay Oval pitch report and weather forecast
The two ODIs between New Zealand and Sri Lanka earlier this month produced an aggregate of 600 runs each. And the pitch for Saturday’s match is likely to be good for batting again.
The forecast says that the weather will be clear in the afternoon, with the temperature at night dropping to 16 degree Celsius.
Predicted India vs New Zealand 2nd ODI playing 11
Possible New Zealand playing XI: 1 Kane Williamson (c), 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Colin Munro, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Tom Latham (wk), 6 Henry Nicholls, 7 Mitchell Santner, 8 Doug Bracewell, 9 Lockie Ferguson, 10 Trent Boult, 11 Ish Sodhi
Possible India playing 11: 1 Virat Kohli (c), 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Shikhar Dhawan, 4 MS Dhoni (wk), 5 Kedar Jadhav, 6 Ambati Rayudu, 7 Vijay Shankar, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Kuldeep Yadav
New Zealand are too good a team to not respond to India’s wake-up call. However, they need Guptill and Munro to provide a good start to ensure they don’t cede control early in the match.