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New Zealand vs India 2nd ODI Preview: Men in Blue’s Team Combination in Focus in Must-Win Encounter

The New Zealand vs India 2nd ODI will be played at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday, February 08. India’s tour started at this very ground with two back to back wins against the Kiwis in the T20Is. However, India lost the first ODI in Hamiton against New Zealand and thus find themselves in a must-win situation in the second ODI. They need to win the game to stay alive in the series. They went with a wrong team combination in the first game, which costed them the game. The likes of Shivam Dube and Kedar Jadhav, who are designated all-rounders in the Indian team failed to perform their role to perfection. Therefore, heading into the second ODI, finding the right team combination is the focus of the team management. 

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This is the third series since the 2019 ODI series against West Indies, when India has lost the first match of an ODI series. They lost the first ODI against the West Indies with Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope putting an end to India’s hopes of winning the game. In India’s next ODI series against Australia to start the new year, David Warner and Aaron Finch had a record stand of 258 runs to hand India a defeat in their first game in Mumbai. Against Kiwis in Hamilton, Ross Taylor together with stand-in skipper Tom Latham batted India out of the game. While seeking the perfect team combination is the urgent need of the team, the bigger picture is actually understanding the reason behind losing the first ODIs of three back to back ODI series.

Also Read: New Zealand vs India 2020, 1st ODI Preview

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By playing Kedar Jadhav in the first game, India missed a specialist bowler in the XI. All of India’s bowlers went the journey in the first ODI with Jasprit Bumrah having a rare off day at office. Ravindra Jadeja also went wicketless giving 64 off his spell. Kuldeep Yadav, who played his first game of the tour in Hamilton went for 84 as Taylor and Latham swept him off his length. India missed the services of Yuzvendra Chahal who was effective for his team in the T20Is. Going into the New Zealand vs India 2nd ODI, India needs to go with an extra bowling option and play Chahal and Kuldeep together. Jadhav might be replaced by the wrist-spinner to add to the depth of India’s bowling attack, which required him in the last game. With Virat Kohli specifying that KL Rahul will bat at number five in the series, this means that Manish Pandey, despite being an option at that spot, will be benched. 

Also Read: IPL 2020: Previous Purple Cap Winners in the IPL

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Meanwhile, the Kiwis will continue to miss the services of regular skipper Kane Williamson in the New Zealand vs India 2nd ODI. Tom Latham, who batted and led them beautifully in Hamilton, will continue to lead them. New Zealand, having won the first game, ideally would like to tinker with their side except for Ish Sodhi who is not a part of the squad for the final two ODIs. Mark Chapman, who was earlier named as Williamson’s replacement for the first two games might get a game as well. Kyle Jamieson, the six-foot six inches tall and lanky 25-year old pacer who was named in the squad might also get a debut. So there are options for the Kiwis to choose from. 

The playing conditions and the pitch at Eden Park are ideal for batting as the two T20Is in the series proved. The pitch used is a drop-in pitch with the stadium hosting other matches during off-seasons. Another high-scoring encounter is on the cards in the New Zealand vs India 2nd ODI. Out of 76 ODIs in the ground, 46 have been won by the team batting second. Thus, very evidently, chasing is the way to go in games at Eden Park. 

Squads for New Zealand vs India 2nd ODI


 Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli(c), Shreyas Iyer, Lokesh Rahul(w), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Manish Pandey, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, Rishabh Pant, Shivam Dube

New Zealand 

 Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham(w/c), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Hamish Bennett, Kyle Jamieson, Mark Chapman

Here are some of the key stats ahead of New Zealand vs India 2nd ODI. 

1) India have won only three out of eight ODIs at the Eden Park in Auckland. They have lost four while the other one ended in a tie (in 2014)

2) Martin Guptill’s 739 runs at the Eden Park are the most runs for any player in ODI format at this venue. 

3) Virat Kohli has 13 fifty-plus scores in ODI cricket against New Zealand, joint-most with Sachin Tendulkar

4) India have now lost the first game of an ODI series for the fifth consecutive time since 2017.

5) Ross Taylor (3986) is 14 runs away from completing 4000 ODI runs at home. Martin Guptill (3942) is 58 runs away from reaching the same feat. 

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