Mount Maunganui (New Zealand): After a near perfect beginning, India would look to tighten the noose around a struggling New Zealand with a barrage of spin in the second ODI to be played here, Saturday.
New Zealand batsmen looked all at sea against India’s spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in their own backyard following a fiery spell from pacer Mohammad Shami in the opening ODI played, Wednesday.
The hosts seemed rusty against a team coming off a historic tour of Australia and know beating an in-form India will be steep climb at the Bay Oval ground here. Both the wrist-spinners hunt in a pack and would be itching to have another go at the Black Caps.
India are yet to finalise their middle-order ahead of the World Cup but are unlikely to tinker much with the playing XI after just one game.
Hardik Pandya has left India to join the squad in New Zealand, but it is highly unlikely that he will play in this game. However, sources close to the team said that he is a certainty for the third ODI.
The team management played pace all-rounder Vijay Shankar at McClean Park but depending on the conditions, it can bring back Ravindra Jadeja.
Ambati Rayudu is expected to get another opportunity following a not so productive run in the ODIs against Australia. For India, however, the biggest plus to come out of the first ODI was Shikhar Dhawan regaining some form with the bat following a lean run Down Under.
“It was a very important innings for Dhawan. We spoke about how he needed to finish games for India, to keep his confidence and if he’s in that mindset, he can be a great asset,” skipper Virat Kohli had said after the eight-wicket win.
New Zealand won the previous home series against India 4-0 but could be heading towards a reverse if they don’t up their game. “We were severely outplayed the other day,” said pacer Trent Boult here, Friday.
“Batsmen are looking to correct a few wrongs, come out and set a good platform and obviously put a good target on the board and see what happens from there,” he added.
Match Starts at 7:30 am.