Jolted by the close six-run defeat at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi, India will look to get back towinning ways as they face the
Jolted by the close six-run defeat at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi, India will look to get back towinning ways as they face the Kiwis in the third match on Sunday. India should be extremelydisappointed with their batting effort in the previous match. They were chasing a target ofunder 250, and had they batted sensibly, would have got there with ease. But, a number oftheir batsmen got starts and got out, which hurt India to such an extent that they ended uplosing the match. New Zealand, on the other hand, will be pleased with their achievement, theperformance of their bowlers in particular, who were able to defend a below-par score.
India will know where they went wrong at Kotla and, to an extent, in the first ODI atDharamsala as well, and would want to set the record straight in the batting department.Ajinkya Rahane may have been excellent in the Tests, but he has failed to replicate the form inthe ODIs. With Shikhar Dhawan injured, he has got a chance to open in the series. But, while hehas got starts in both matches, he has failed to convert both. He must look to score big. The factthat the other regular opener Rohit Sharma has also not been among the runs too has hurt theteam. There is no update about the injury he picked up while playing the expansive drive thatled to his dismissal, so it can be assumed there's nothing serious.
The Kotla loss was also an eye opener as to how heavily dependent India are on Virat Kohliwhen it comes to chases, even if the target is not a huge one, as was the case at Delhi. Kohli gotout early in the chase, on one of the rare occasions in the previous match and India, with alltheir batting might, playing at home, failed. This is not a great sign. India need to demonstratethat they can win without Kohli. For that the middle order must stand up and grab theirchances. In the absence of the regular players, Kedar Jadhav and Manish Pandey have got theirchances. They have shown promise, but the big knock is missing, something they need to putpressure on the selectors.
There were some positives for India in the loss at Kotla. Their bowling was highly impressive forthe second game in a row. Umesh Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah have kept things tight at the top,while also claiming wickets. Bumrah's performance in the death overs has been something Indiahave been looking at for a while now. They would want that to continue. Amit Mishra may havebeen slightly expensive, but his ability to get wickets, especially running through the tail, is a bigplus. Axar Patel needs to show some improvements, but the all-round success of Hardik Pandyawould please India most. He was excellent with the ball at Dharamsala, and almost starred withthe bat at Kotla.
For a start, New Zealand will be pleased to just have a win under their belt. That the victory wasdelivered courtesy a fluent hundred by their skipper Kane Williamson was no surprise. He willbe the key for New Zealand for the rest of the series as well. The Kiwis however would bedesperate for contributions from Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor. Guptill got a couple of wickets
with the ball in the previous match, but the duo has been miserable with the bat. Tom Lathamhas been the one consistent batting performer for the visitors. In the bowling, Tim Southee andTrent Boult starred in the previous match. They would now hope for the spinners to join theparty.