Sat, 02 Dec 2023

Hamilton [New Zealand], November 26 (ANI): India will take on New Zealand in the second ODI of the three-match ODI series here at Seddon Park in Hamilton.

The hosts have won all five of their previous encounters with India and each of their last 13 home ODIs.

New Zealand have participated in the second-fewest number of ODIs (16) of any side competing in the current World Cup Super League. But with just one more victory, they can displace India atop the standings. The odds favour them to do it given that they have won all 13 of their ODI victories at home.

As they prepare for the 2023 World Cup, the hosts appear to have established a strong foundation after appearing to go past Trent Boult and Martin Guptill. Despite his excellent recent performance, Michael Bracewell isn't a lock to start, and even James Neesham's injury couldn't stop them from easily defeating India in the series opener in Auckland.

Their four fast bowlers provide both pace and movement, and Neesham, Bracewell, and Mitchell Santner round out the all-around group as their final members. Given that they cannot accommodate all of their all-rounders and Tim Southee's recent decline in performance, New Zealand's one big issue may be their batting depth.

Meanwhile, India is still looking for a sixth bowling option. Due to the absence of Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel from their squad for this series, they also lack experience in the lower middle order. None of the top six batters who competed in Auckland bowled.

By adding Deepak Hooda to their lineup, they could try to solve the sixth-bowler problem, but then they would have to decide who to leave out. However, they can afford to experiment because they have already secured the right to host the World Cup in 2023. However, they still need to win the series, which would require them to win on Sunday and snap a five-match losing streak to New Zealand.

Kane Williamson has only participated in seven ODIs since the 2019 World Cup, five of which have been played this year. Due to a problematic elbow and the Covid-19 pandemic, he was only able to play in seven innings, and only one score of at least fifty runs came from those innings. That occurred on Friday at Eden Park when he selflessly continued to give the dangerous Tom Latham the strike and ultimately fell six short of a century. With less than a year till the World Cup, New Zealand will be hoping that their skipper not only puts his fitness concerns in the rearview mirror and plays more frequently in ODIs, but also that he continues to produce huge scores as often as he used to.

Yuzvendra Chahal has taken 21 wickets at an average of 27.09 in ODIs this year, ranking third among spinners from Full-Member nations. But lately, he hasn't had the best of times. Chahal, who sat out the whole T20 World Cup, made his debut on this tour of New Zealand, where he has received some criticism. He went for 35 in three overs during the third T20I, which was tied, and he started this series of ODIs with a wicketless 10 overs that went for 66 runs. Prior to the 2023 World Cup, there will be fierce competition in the spin department, so Chahal needs to quickly get back to his best if he wants to continue being one of India's top alternatives.

Team NewsDue to a problem, New Zealand was compelled to evacuate Neesham in Auckland. They might be faced with a challenging decision if he comes back. While they will appreciate the additional batting depth he provides if he takes the place of one of the four specialist quicks, they may need him to bowl the complete ten overs as Glenn Phillips and Daryl Mitchell have recently been used extremely rarely.

New Zealand squad: Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson(c), Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham(w), Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Matt Henry, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Michael Bracewell and James Neesham.

India may choose to use Hooda as a sixth bowling option, but doing so would force them to bench Suryakumar Yadav, who hasn't yet successfully translated his T20I success into ODIs. His highest score in his past seven ODI innings has been just 27, and he was the only one of India's top seven players to be removed for a score under ten in Auckland. Deepak Chahar might take the place of one of India's three fast bowlers because they wereIndia squad: Shikhar Dhawan(c), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant(w), Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal, Deepak Hooda, Kuldeep Yadav and Deepak Chahar.

Wicket and conditionsSince 2020, only three ODIs have been played in Hamilton's Seddon Park, with two of those games recording first-inning scores of above 330. In one of them, India scored 347, but New Zealand easily overcame it thanks to a Ross Taylor century. Come Sunday, anticipate another high-scoring contest. Nevertheless, with showers expected all afternoon and into the evening, there is still a significant potential that play may be halted by the weather.

Statistics and triviaIn the last two outings, India have suffered heavy defeat here at Seddon Park. India were bowled out for a meagre 92 in 2019 and suffered another drubbing after having scored 347 in 2020.

Tim Southee went past the 200 wickets mark when he grabbed 3/73 in the previous ODI played in Auckland. He is two wickets shy from going past prolific all-rounder Chris Harris and will become New Zealand's third-highest wicket-taker in ODIs.

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli get more accolades. However, Shikhar Dhawan too has scored more than 6000 with a consistent strike rate of more than 90. (ANI)

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