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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

India vs New Zealand: Virat Kohli & Co look to continue dominance in decider

Virat Kohli-led India will take on New Zealand in the third and final ODI at Green Park, Kanpur, on Sunday. The series is currently tied at 1-1.

india-vs-new-zealand-2017 Updated: Oct 28, 2017 18:50 IST
Sharad Deep
Sharad Deep
Hindustan Times, Kanpur
Indian cricketers during a practice session ahead  of the third and final T20I against New Zealand in Kanpur.
Indian cricketers during a practice session ahead of the third and final T20I against New Zealand in Kanpur.(PTI)

India square off with New Zealand in the ODI series decider in Kanpur on Sunday, with the conditions being completely different from Mumbai and Pune, where the first two matches were played.

The Green Park stadium pitch here wears a fresh look after a long rainy season and seamers would hope to make the most of it in the day-night game as evenings are generally cool in this part of the country. Dew can also become a crucial factor in this game. Along with Kanpur’s notorious smog, it can make things difficult for the side fielding second.

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Even in such a scenario, Virat Kohli and Co. would be targeting to continue their winning streak at home. They are a win away from clinching the seventh ODI series on trot.

The third ODI also holds special significance for Kanpur as it is the first-ever 50-over game under lights at this venue. It is also probably the last international encounter at this venue, in the shorter format, as the action is likely to shift to Ekana International cricket stadium in Lucknow after this game.

History in favour of hosts

Going by past record, India hold an edge over the rivals as India never lost an ODI bilateral series against Black Caps at home, winning all five series against Kiwis in India so far. This would be another landmark in their kitty, if they win on Sunday.

Any change in India’s strategy of winning seems unlikely, especially after their success in Pune, where the hosts dictated terms after being thrashed in the opening tie of the series at Mumbai.

READ | India vs New Zealand: Buzz around Kuldeep Yadav as local boy lands for Kanpur ODI

Bowlers’ good show

First, it was the pace duo Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, who set the tone before being effective in death overs too. Their effort saw the Blackcaps score only 230.

The two were ably supported by spinners Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal, who shared two wickets between them with the latter making life difficult for in-form Tom Latham, who along with Ross Taylor had went on thrashing the Indian spinners with his sweep shots in the first ODI.

Thereafter it was the batsmen’s turn with opener Shikhar Dhawan (68) and seasoned campaigner Dinesh Karthik (64*) ensuring that the hosts face little resistance from the New Zealand bowlers.

Certainly, Karthik’s showing at number four in the series is a big positive for the side, and his style of batting would be a treat to watch as the pitch here is expected to be conducive for him.

READ | India vs New Zealand: Kanpur officials stifled by security after Pune pitch row

Kuldeep unlikely

Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, who was smacked for 64 in 10 overs in the first ODI, is unlikely to make a comeback in the side for the third game on his home turf as Kohli would like to go with an unchanged playing XI. The tie would throw an opportunity for a struggling Rohit Sharma to regain his confidence, especially after making 20 and seven in the two games so far.

Teams winning the toss would love to bowl first as batting second on this surface would be easier in such conditions.

It would be interesting to see that how Kiwi batsmen like Ross Taylor and Latham grab the opportunity. A match-winning 200-run stand between the two at Mumbai is still etched fresh on the mind of the Indians. In the bowling department, the duo Trent Boult and Tim Southee has the ability to put India on the back-foot for yet another time this series before the T20 series, starting next week.

First Published: Oct 28, 2017 17:12 IST

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