NZ eye series parity against upbeat India

Match details
Eden Park, Auckland
January 26, Sunday; 12:20 IST

The main picture

New Zealand will take the field on Sunday with the gap between matches about right after a damaging defeat. They will have had less time to dwell on Friday’s performance but the disappointment and frustration will still be fresh enough to motivate them as they chase a series-leveling win. India, though, seem unstoppable. Just as they were shaking off the jetlag, they produced the most clinical batting display they possibly could have, to romp home by six wickets and with an over to spare. The biggest takeaway for both teams is no target is safe enough at the Eden Park, and consequently, the bowlers need to step up after failing to exert control, more so the New Zealand bowlers.

The Blackcaps, you could say, paid the price for the lack of experience in the bowling department. Hamish Bennett was making his debut, while Blair Tickner, who should have dismissed Virat Kohli earlier when Ish Sodhi dropped a skier at third man, is relatively new to international cricket. The experienced duo of Tim Southee and Mitchell Santner, too, hemorrhaged runs while failing to take wickets. It is an area they will address ahead of the second T20 International. Expect Scott Kuggeleijn or Daryl Mitchell to replace Tickner. Kuggeleijn and Mitchell will offer depth to the bowling attack and are capable of clearing the boundary batting in the lower middle order.

New Zealand will take confidence from their batting performance, however, with Kane Williamson, in particular, providing a reminder of his T20 batting repertoire with a 25-ball fifty, while Ross Taylor and Colin Munro also made attractive half-centuries. With the Indian batsmen in good form, Williamson and co. must continue with their strong batting performances to challenge the tourists.

India captain Kohli said in his post-match interview that his team must improve their fielding after an overall poor display. Rohit Sharma completed a nerveless catch at deep square leg to dismiss opening batsman Martin Guptill, but India’s fielding went downhill after that. The Indian fielders were caught in no man’s land trying to cut down the angles at the odd-shaped Eden Park, with even the normally-reliable Manish Pandey mis-fielding on a couple of occasions. Leg-break bowler Yuzvendra Chahal was another who struggled as the ball followed him.

India included Shardul Thakur ahead of Navdeep Saini, who was reportedly still jetlagged during the first T20 International. With Thakur having struggled against Munro and Guptill, Saini might be drafted in his place. India, though, mean business and with their batting line-up in such good collective form, they appear to have the wood on New Zealand.

Eden Park Auckland pitch report and weather forecast

An aggregate of 407 runs were scored in 39 overs on Friday, and the pace and bounce off the pitch made it a batting paradise. It’s a drop-in pitch and its nature is unlikely to alter much between matches. That said, both the bowling attacks will need to adjust their lengths, in particular, after seeing the batsmen take advantage of the short straight boundaries. The bowlers must ideally bowl outside off-stump and force the batsmen to either hit across the line or play square of the wicket, in which direction the boundaries are longer.

The weather forecast says that Sunday will be clear with the temperature in the evening, when the match gets underway, a pleasant 18 degree Celsius.

India vs New Zealand 2nd T20 playing 11

Possible New Zealand playing 11: 1 Kane Williamson (c), 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Colin Munro, 4 Tim Seifert (wk), 5 Ross Taylor, 6 Colin de Grandhomme, 7 Hamish Bennett, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Scott Kuggeleijn/Daryl Mitchell, 11 Ish Sodhi

Possible India playing 11: 1 Virat Kohli (c), 2 KL Rahul, 3 Rohit Sharma, 4 Shreyas Iyer, 5 Manish Pandey, 6 Shivam Dube, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Yuzvendra Chahal, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Shardul Thakur/Navdeep Saini

India vs New Zealand 2nd T20I telecast channel

The second T20 International between India and New Zealand will be telecast on the Star Sports network and streamed live on Hotstar. The match can also be viewed on DD National.