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Wednesday, September 30, 2020 03:35:51 AM
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Under-pressure India have task cut out against confident New Zealand

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08th-Feb-2020       
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Agency :
A game down at the beginning of a three-match ODI series is not an alien situation for Virat Kohli's India, only recently did they bounce back against Australia to win the series 2-1. It's a similar situation in New Zealand and Kohli will need his troops to pull up their socks, especially in the field.
India's poor fielding was a major problem in the first ODI in Hamilton and it paved the way for Ross Taylor who led the New Zealand charge.
At Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday in the second T20I, where the ground is smaller, the advantage will be with the batsmen and adjusting lengths for the bowlers will be extremely crucial.
India, who won both their T20s here earlier, are in a must win situation and the skipper will need his bowlers to share the responsibility with Jasprit Bumrah.
It is the over-dependency on Bumrah that needs to be addressed immediately and one expects changes in the playing eleven.
Shardul Thakur, who had a horror of a game in Hamilton, could face the axe for the young speedster Navdeep Saini. Left arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav didn't have a good outing either and Yuzvendra Chahal will be keen to make his case as well.
Kedar Jadhav, who added some crucial runs with the bat in the death overs, could be replaced by Manish Pandey as the latter is better fielder.
The general fielding standards have gone down since the Bangladesh series and there is a need for a collective all-round effort from the visitors to bounce back.
While the rest of the batting line-up picks itself, Kohli will want the new opening pair of Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw to stay in longer. The openers lasted 8 overs and put on 50 in the first ODI.
For the hosts, the change in format and players has worked well in what is their first ODI series since the 2019 World Cup.
Stand-in skipper Tom Latham's batting in the middle worked for them, and Henry Nicholls confirmed he will continue to open the innings with Martin Guptill. The experienced Ross Taylor has been in rampaging form and he will look to continue the good work on Saturday.
Latham does have a new problem apart from Kane Williamson as Scott Kuggeleijn is ruled out due to illness, opening the door for the six-foot-eight tall Kyle Jamieson to make his debut on his home ground.
Given the recent history, including the two T20Is, one can expect a run-fest at Eden Park and with the series on the line it is set-up for an absolute thriller of a contest.

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