India cannot afford to be complacent

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India cannot afford to be complacent

Posted on : Thursday 20th of October 2016

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Just over a month ago, New Zealand began its tour optimistic of dealing with India’s arsenal in both formats of the game.

The warm-up game at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground against Mumbai did not exactly give the team much to be thrilled about. What followed was a whipping in the three Tests and a comprehensive defeat in the first of the five One-Day Internationals.

On Thursday, the Kiwis will be back at the Kotla keen to square the series. Its batting is yet to flourish on this tour. Optimistically, the Kiwis believe that the ‘law of averages’ is firmly on their side. Should the Kiwi top-order fire, the host could be pushed on the defensive.

Opener Tom Latham has looked the most consistent batsman on the tour so far while the duo of captain Kane Williamson and Corey Anderson are capable of tearing into any attack.

The experience of Ross Taylor can also come in handy. In this format, the ability of a struggling opener Martin Guptill and the unpredictable Luke Ronchi cannot be undermined.

Tim Southee, having enjoyed a charmed life with the bat in the company of Latham at Dharamshala, will be looking to strike in tandem with his regular new-ball partner Trent Bolt, should the latter regain his place in the playing XI.

After all, the New Zealand side has not played to its potential on this tour. In the shorter format, the finalist of the last World Cup can prove to be a handful.

The Indian attack, though came good at Dharamshala, lacks experience to deal with crisis. It should not come as a surprise if the visiting side pulls one back either here or in the third match in Mohali.

India, riding high, cannot afford to be complacent against a wounded opposition. Though Umesh Yadav, debutant Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav struck with almost unbelievable regularity in the series-opener, the quality of these bowlers is yet to establish itself.

Change in batting order

Batting is clearly India’s forte but change in batting order can be expected depending on whether the team is required to set a target or chase one.

Rohit Sharma, after some consistent showings in Tests, can be expected to make amends for his low score in Dharamshala. Manish Pandey will also be keen to come good. Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and M.S. Dhoni looked in good touch, though in varying degrees.

With Suresh Raina ruled out for the second successive match owing to viral fever, the Indian team is unlikely to shake the batting line-up.

Among the bowlers, depending on the kind of pitch offered at the Kotla, medium pacer Dhawal Kulkarni and young off-spinner Jayant Yadav will have to keep fingers crossed.

The teams (from):

India: M.S. Dhoni (capt.), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Jayant Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni and Mandeep Singh.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt.), Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Bolt, Matt Henry, Anton Devcich and B-J. Watling.

Play starts at 1.30 p.m.

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