- Venue: Eden Park
- Date: 8 February, Wednesday
- Time: 7:30 AM IST
- League: India tour of New Zealand
Team India will be coming to Eden Park on the back of crushing, or rather highly unexpected defeat, courtesy Ross Taylor and Tom Latham, whose valiant efforts with bat finally brought New Zealand back to winning ways. After posting a colossal total of 347 for four on the board, it was a defeat very few saw it coming. Horrible fielding and undisciplined bowling in the middle overs have let the team down.
Shreyas Iyer scored the first century of his international career and did a magnificent job of anchoring the innings after India lost both their openers in quick succession at Hamilton. Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal, both debutants were unable to convert their start into something majestic, but there’s no reason the team management will not give these youngsters another chance to add some more runs. There’s a very little probability of Indian team making any adjustment in their batting order.
The bowlers, including ever-reliant Jasprit Bumrah, had a forgettable outing at Hamilton, as Ross Taylor and Tom Latham went berserk on them. Kuldeep Yadav was battered effortlessly by Kiwis batsmen. He might have to pave the way for Yuzvendra Chahal. It would be interesting to see whether India play Navdeep Saini or persist with Shardul Thakur, who gave 80 runs in nine overs at Hamilton.
Having overturned such deficits in recent times, Team India will fancy their chance to level the series in Auckland and play a decider later at Mount Maunganui.
New Zealand Preview
Ross Taylor’s valiant tonne, coupled with a fine cameo from Tom Latham, guided New Zealand to chase down their biggest ever target in ODI cricket at Hamilton. For New Zealand, successfully chasing such mammoth target would have reinstalled a sense of resurgence and mental fortitude that was missing in them for quite some time.
Henry Nicholls too played a significant part, built a solid base with Guptill as an opener and scored 85 before getting run-out from a superb effort by Virat Kohli. There were too many speculations and doubts lingering in the air about the fragility of their batting order. As of now, all such doubts have been laid to rest by the kiwis’ batsmen.
Mitchell Santer will be replacing Ish Sodhi who was only selected for the first ODI. Scott Kuggeleijn is very unlikely to play due to illness, and thus Kyle Jamieson is going to make his debut for the Black Caps. Apart from playing the role of a balling all-rounder, Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme will also provide some raw powers to whack Indian bowlers in a small ground like Eden Park.
Nowadays, India losing a series is in itself a huge event for the cricket fraternity. And if New Zealand manages to gain an unassailable lead of 2-0 in Auckland, it would provide them with a major confidence booster.
India to win the match.
Earlier this year, India overturned their 1-0 deficit against Australia to win the series by a margin of 2-1. So it would be a gross mistake to count them out. Expect them to level the series at Auckland.
Fantasy Team Tips
- Eden Park means run-feast, and Martin Guptill knows this very well. So we can anticipate some madness from him on his favourite ground. And the same can be said about Prithvi Shaw, who loves to stand and deliver.
- Virat Kohli hasn’t been at his best in this tour. He will be looking to go big by capitalizing on the relatively shorter dimensions of Eden Park.
- There isn’t much on the pitch to offer any assistance to bowlers. They will be having a tough time here, as always. But still, Jasprit Bumrah and Navdeep Saini will be a better option as both of them have toe-crushing yorkers in their armoury.
- Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme should be the first-choice all-rounders, ahead of Ravindra Jadeja.
Fantasy Team Prediction
- Wicket-Keeper – Tom Latham, KL Rahul
- Batsmen – Ross Taylor, Virat Kohli, Martin Guptill, Prithvi Shaw
- All-rounders – Colin de Grandhomme, Jimmy Neesham
- Bowlers – Kyle Jamieson, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah
- Captain – Virat Kohli
- Vice-Captain – Ross Taylor