India vs NZ: Can NZ clinch series?
The Hindu

New Zealand has given itself a chance to bring down India in its own backyard in a ODI series and emulate a feat achieved by A.B. de Villiers’ South Africa two years ago. Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis and de Villiers scored a century each as South Africa posted a formidable 438 to win the fifth match by 214 runs at Mumbai and the series 3-2.

Kane Williamson’s team, playing a short three-match series, has already taken the lead outplaying India at Mumbai in the first skirmish. But India has lost just four series out of 20 it has played at home in the last 10 years and with a number of tremendously gifted players in its ranks, the team has the weapons to hit back and level the series.

Bowling coach Bharat Arun said they have seen the videos of the first match and have worked out a different plan for Ross Taylor and Tom Latham who took the match away from India.

After its splendid win at the Wankhede, the focus right now is on New Zealand, which lost last season 3-2 and appears to be keen to do better this time around.



Its ambition was reflected in Taylor and Latham getting together to turn the first match on its head three days ago. The expert hands of Taylor steadied a ship that was rocked by the departure of Williamson, but it was Latham who made some telling cross-bat blows and scored his first century on Indian soil.

India may consider itself a trifle unlucky not to get a breakthrough after seamers Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah and spinner Kuldeep Yadav removed the top order and had probably sniffed victory. It appeared that Kuldeep and Yuzvendra Chahal would get into the act, but in the course of 31.3 overs, the right-handed Taylor demonstrated soft-hand skills and southpaw Latham showed extraordinary ability to employ a variety of sweep shots to rotate the strike.

India had a workout under a hot sun here on Tuesday, but with its seamers given a rest and captain Virat Kohli staying away. The team has a third spinner in left-arm slow Axar Patel but it is not known if he would come in at the expense of one of the wrist spinners.

“The two [Chahal and Kuldeep] have done exceptionally well and we would like to take a good look at them before we come up on a combination for the World Cup. So far they have shaped exceptionally well. If you look at the overall percentages, we are happy with the way they have shaped up, so one odd match shouldn’t trouble us,” said Arun.

Talking about the match here, Arun said, “We look at it as a big challenge right now. New Zealand compete exceptionally well; they had a fantastic partnership and they went on to win that game. It is a bigger challenge for us to come back; we know we have our plans in place and it is good testing ground for the team as to how it can come back from behind and do well in the series.”



The teams (from): India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, M.S. Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Axar Patel, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, and Shardul Thakur.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain) Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Adam Milne, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Glenn Phillips, Ish Sodhi, and George Worker.



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