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Ind vs NZ: India look to extend series lead in second ODI at Delhi

India Would Look To Continue Its Winning Spree When They Take On New Zealand In The Second Match Of The ODI Series At Feroz Shah Kotla,Delhi On Thursday.

PTI | Updated on: 19 Oct 2016, 01:18:42 PM
Virat Kohli - File Photo (Getty)

New Delhi:

India would look to continue its winning spree when they take on New Zealand in the second match of the ODI series at Feroz Shah Kotla,Delhi on Thursday.

The hosts would come into the match with a lot of confidence after their comprehensive win over the Kiwis in the opener at Dharamsala.
Limited over captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who has been under the scanner for his batting, shall be looking for yet another win from his team.

Dhoni who quite relished his new role of playing high up the order in Dharamsala ODI shall look to contribute with the willow too.
Meanwhile, Virat Kohli would eye another smashing knock at his home ground when favourites India lock horns with an hapless New Zealand in the second ODI.

It may be just another ODI in a bilateral series, but there is lot at stake for Dhoni, who has been under pressure after Test skipper Virat Kohli led India to the number one ranking following a 3-0 whitewash.

With India up 1-0 in the five-match series, Dhoni and his men would like to reassert themselves at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in order to further consolidate their lead.

It is expected that Dhoni would not tinker much with theplaying XI from last game with Suresh Raina, who missed theopening match, being ruled out of the second ODI as well afterfailing to recover from a bout of viral fever.

At the face of it, there is apparently no danger toDhoni's captaincy since the team is still winning matches. Butif one digs deeper, Virat has slowly and surely been the maneveryone is looking forward to as a leader.

A 'Clean Sweep' in Test series with a career-best doublehundred, followed by an effortless 85 Not out in first ODI,Kohli has time and again showed as to how it is done "leadingfrom the front."

For Dhoni, it's now about showing the world that he isfar from being dubbed as a spent force in limited overs afterearning sobriquet of 'Best Finisher" some years back.

While Kane Williamson's 'Black Caps' is struggling tostay afloat in the series, India's 'Captain Cool' is fightinga different battle to remain the 'supreme' commander' of 'MenIn Blue'.

Dhoni is still supremely fit and agile behind the stumps.His captaincy acumen cannot be questioned. Testimony to thatis Hardik Pandya opening the bowling and Kedar Jadhav fillingin the role of a part time off-spinner.

But then runs aren't exactly coming from his bat. The bighits aren't being executed with perfection that used to be hishallmark a few years ago.

He was run out for 21 in the last game and although thatdidn't affect the outcome of the match in any way, but theskipper knows only too well that he has to play a few impact innings in coming weeks.

No wonder Dhoni's intensity while batting at Kotla netsduring an optional session was there to be seen. For therecord, he needs another 61 runs to complete 9000 ODI runs.But there must be a lingering shadow of Virat standing rightbehind him.     

A 3-0 Test series victory has set a benchmark. Now Dhoniwould like to ideally win the series 5-0 against a New Zealand side. A blip here or a hiccup there would invite morecriticism as people take it for granted that India will winhands down against New Zealand.

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First Published : 19 Oct 2016, 01:13:00 PM