New Zealand are on the brink of a brilliant series win but India will be determined to bounce back. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
|Date||Saturday February 8|
|Venue||Eden Park, Auckland|
Virat Kohli's Indian cricket team had arrived in Hamilton for the first ODI on the back of a 5-0 whitewash in the Twenty20 Internationals. Shreyas Iyer's maiden century and a blitz from KL Rahul helped India reach 347/4. However, Ross Taylor's brilliant century and his 138-run stand with skipper Tom Latham helped New Zealand chase down the target and win by four wickets. The Indian Cricket Team would be ruing the fact that they conceded 118 runs in nine overs during the middle overs as Latham and Taylor took the attack to the Indian pacers. Virat Kohli's side did not help themselves by bowling inconsistent line and lengths as well as sloppy work in the field where Kuldeep Yadav dropped the catch off Taylor on 11. Although New Zealand almost botched up the chase, they hung in and managed to win the match.
Heading into the second ODI at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand now have a chance to come back on level terms but India have shown in the past that they bounce back quickly after a terrible game. During the previous series against Australia, India were hammered by 10 wickets in Mumbai only to bounce back in style for the second and third games in Rajkot and Bangalore. After the bowlers were taken to the cleaners in Mumbai, Kohli's side put on a solid display in all three facets of the game to win the series.
Eden Park has been kind to India in the last 25 years. They won the first two Twenty20 Internationals by comfortable margins and their record in ODIs has been very good at the venue, losing only two games in the last 26 years at this venue. In their horror tour of 2014 in which they failed to win a single game in New Zealand, India achieved some pride when they tied the ODI in Auckland. Barring the losses of 2009 and 2003, India have achieved good success and they will be determined to level the three-match contest.
The weather on match day is expected to be slightly cloudy with 20 percent chances of rain. There might be intermittent drizzles but that might not result in a lengthy delay. The high humidity of 64 percent, though, will influence the outcome of the toss as the dew factor will play a prominent role in the evening time.
A flat wicket, boundary dimensions which are close to 50 m or less! This is why Eden Park has always seen plenty of high-scoring encounters at the venue. The batsmen are expected to have a field day while the bowlers would be hoping to extract some help from the flat Eden Park wicket.
Virat Kohli and the Indian cricket team failed to press the initiative against New Zealand in Hamilton. (Image credit: Getty Images)
With Shardul Thakur going for plenty of runs, Virat Kohli might be tempted to bring in Navdeep Saini and go for all out pace. However, with the short boundaries at Auckland, Kohli might be tempted to not go for all out pace. With Kuldeep Yadav having a bad day in Hamilton, he might be benched for Yuzvendra Chahal who had a decent outing in Auckland during the T20Is. New Zealand, on the other hand, might be unchanged with Kane Williamson expected to be back for the third and final game at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.
Predicted XI: Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), Manish Pandey, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah
Predicted XI: Martin Guptill, Tom Blundell, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (C and WK), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Hamish Bennett
With the dew factor playing a big role in Auckland, teams have preferred chasing. In the last 10 ODIs at Auckland, teams batting second have won eight times. It is simple- the team that wins the toss on Saturday will definitely want to bowl first and then exploit the short boundaries at a time when dew is maximum in evening.
Eden Park has provided moments of glory for the New Zealand cricket team but they surprisingly have a poor record at the venue. In 74 ODIs that New Zealand have played since 1976, they have won 34 but lost 35. India, on the other hand, have an even record of 4-4 in 9 games at the venue with the 2014 clash ending in a tie. However, New Zealand achieved glory in 2015 when they defeated South Africa in the semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup to reach the final for the first time.
have shown the ability to bounce back quickly after a poor match. New Zealand have momentum after Hamilton but their problem has been in sustaining the momentum. With India's good record at this venue, they are favorites to win the Auckland ODI and level the series.
|Name||Matches||Most Wickets||Average||Five-Wicket Hauls|
|Highest Score||340/5 vs Australia 2007|
|Lowest Score||73 vs Sri Lanka 2007|