Kanpur: After two one-sided matches, it’s all down to the decider to be played in Kanpur when India lock horns with New Zealand once again with the series at stake at the Green Park Stadium on Sunday.
In the first match, India were visibly outplayed by the Kiwis, in all departments of the game. Although, the hosts did put up a fighting total with skipper Virat Kohli notching up his 31st ODI hundred, the rest of the batting didn’t perform to their potential and in the end, Tom Latham and Ross Taylor toyed with the Indian bowlers to register a dominant win and take an unexpected lead in the series.
But the Men in Blue fought back strong and hard and were clinical in all aspects of the game in the second ODI in Pune. Restricting the batting heavy New Zealand side to just 230 runs is not an easy task especially with guys like Taylor and Latham in form but the Indian bowlers did the job for the team while the batsmen cruised to the total with no real difficulty.
Now the stage has been set. Both the teams have dominated and have won a game each and all eyes would now be on Kanpur for the final ODI. India would still be the favourites, going into the match purely on the momentum and consistency but New Zealand cannot be counted out of the equation so soon.
The likes of Trent Boult and Tim Southee have shown that they can do some serious damage up front and Virat Kohli and his men would well be wary of the threat they would pose. It was Boult’s wonderful opening spell in the first game in Mumbai that had pushed the hosts on the backfoot from where they found it really difficult to make a comeback.
India on the other hand would be happy with their batsmen ahead of the decider. Although the target to be chased in the last match was an easy one, both Shikhar Dhawan and Dinesh Karthik hit timely half-centuries to reinforce the belief that they perfectly fit in this ODI setup, especially when Kohli and the team management is looking forward to build a squad for the 2019 World Cup scheduled to be played in England and Wales.
Local boy Kuldeep Yadav, who made way for left-arm spinner Axar Patel in the last match is expected to get a game.