After an eye-opening 4-wicket defect against New Zealand on Wednesday at Hamilton, India now face a do-or-die situation on Saturday at Auckland. The men-in-blue will be looking to bounce back strongly after failing to defend mighty 347 against the black caps. As it is only a 3-match ODI series so a single defeat had put the pressure on them. But in the recent past Kohli’s men have faced this situation quite often against Bangladesh and Australia and they have clinched the series on both the occasions. This will surely give them a confidence to come back in the series and win.
Now here we will discuss about the factors on which Indian team needs to address in order to win the ODI series.
1)- Include Navdeep Saini in the XI
Navdeep Saini has been the new relevation in the Indian Cricket, a bowler who bowls at 145+ consistently and his wicket taking abilties in the middle overs are just outstanding. Kohli have to find a way out to include Saini the XI, either they should drop Thakur or Kuldeep. Saini with his sheer pace can be the X-Factor in New Zealand bowling conditions.
2)- Open With Rahul
Just over a month ago Rahul was the third-opener in the squad and mostly played under the injury clouds of Dhawan or Rohit but since second ODI at Rajkot Rahul has been placed at No.5 in the batting position to cater all the three in Dhawan, Rohit and Rahul. But now injury has ruled out both Dhawan and Rohit still Indian think-tank persisted with Rahul at No.5 and in the first ODI opened with Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal. The experiment hurted India a bit as both failed to convert their starts in their debut match. Thanks to the fighting century by Iyer and a gritty knock by Rahul, India scored 347 but still everyone was not okay with experimenting with both the new openers in a short ODI series overseas. India would need to open with Rahul and include Manish Pandey in the XI to give the batting lineup an experienced top and middle order.
3)- Drop Kuldeep
Since the World Cup 2019, there is a dip in Kuldeep’s form and that has been hurting India badly in the middle overs, maybe playing with Chahal or an extra pacer can help them more to stop the run flow and take wickets in the middle over especially. Kudeep needs to go back to domestic cricket include some variations to turn back into International Cricket now. With so much of video analysis the Kudeep affect has almost been nullified and the opposition are taking an undue advantage of that.
So considering the above factors the men in blue should do something different to make a comeback in this ODI series otherwise the Black Caps will not face much difficulty in winning the ODI series.