India is hosting New Zealand for five-match One Day International series. The hosts have already taken 1-0 lead after conquering the visitors in the opening encounter at Dharamsala. The Black Caps stepped on Indian soil a few weeks ago and are still craving for their maiden victory of the tour. They suffered a humiliating three-match series whitewash at the hands of India prior to the first ODI.
In the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Tom Latham became the first New Zealand player to carry the bat through an innings. However, none of his compatriots clicked on the day. Only the tail-ender Tim South managed to grab his maiden fifty from his 100th ODI match. His side eventually managed to post 190 runs.
The home side was on fire as they easily achieved the target with six wickets and 101 balls to spare. The Test skipper Virat Kohli posted 85 off 81 and steered his side to glory. The Black Caps bowlers were under pressure as well since they managed only three wickets and leaked several runs in the match. In the Indian side, the debutant Hardik Pandya displayed spectacular figures of 3-31 and became only the fourth Indian to grab Man of the Match award on his debut.
Indian star bowlers Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were rested for the busy home schedule but the replacement will give a tough time for selectors to choose the side in future matches. Amit Mishra earned a recall as a result and he grabbed three wickets from the match as well.
The change of leadership from Kohli of the longer format to Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the limited-overs had no effect since the team carried their winning ways. The Blues are playing their 12th ODI at the Delhi venue and have lost only five.
Kane Williamson and his men on the other end needs to step up and re-ignite their home form. In the last ODI series, New Zealand clean swept India at their home by 4-0 with one match ending up as a draw. They are also ranked one place higher than India in the International Cricket Council ODI rankings and in order to retain their place, they need to find their winning ways. However, the Kiwis have never won ODI series in India and this is the home side’s eighth consecutive win against them. Adding further to their misery, they have suffered losses in their previous two clashes at Feroz Shah Kotla.
Suresh Raina has not fully recovered from the viral fever. He was seen practicing in the nets but will not make into the starting line-up.
Henry Nicholls may start the match after Ross Taylor’s dismal form. Martin Guptill might also be replaced by Anton Devcich.
It is expected to be sunny in Delhi with maximum temperature at 36 degree Celsius.