Riding high on confidence after successfully chasing down 349 in the first ODI, hosts New Zealand will aim to close out the series with a game to spare when they face off in the second ODI in Auckland.
New Zealand v India, 1st ODI
Eden Park, Auckland
Saturday, 8 February, 3.00pm local, 2.00am GMT
Having won the first game in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand have given themselves a solid chance to win their first bilateral ODI series against India in six years. They last won a series in January 2014, defeating India 4-0 in a five-match series at home.
But New Zealand still have areas to work on. As they did in each of the last three T20Is, en route to being swept 5-0, the hosts again stuttered in the dying stages of the chase in the first ODI despite being in full control of proceedings. Fortunately for them, Ross Taylor kept his head about him to see them through. Still, the fact that they lost three wickets for 22 runs will remind them that they have work to do in that department.
India have reason to feel confident in their abilities to level the series and set up a decider. In their previous ODI series, against Australia at home, they bounced back from an opening defeat to take the series 2-1.
Their main area of concern will be in the bowling department, which has been a bit expensive at times. While the ability to pull the game back in the death stages is admirable, India will be more advantaged if they are able to maintain the intensity more uniformly through the course of the innings.
Remember the last time
Having lost their debutant openers Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal after a promising start, India's middle order proved its worth. Captain Virat Kohli set the foundation for the first innings with an excellent fifty, staging a 102-run stand with Shreyas Iyer before falling to Ish Sodhi.
A sensational 💯 from Shreyas Iyer, fifties from Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, and a cameo from Kedar Jadhav power India to 347/4 in the first #NZvIND ODI in Hamilton.— ICC (@ICC) February 5, 2020
Can Tom Latham's men chase down the target?
SCORECARD: https://t.co/ecd7GI5os8 pic.twitter.com/psEZBeH8xr
New Zealand would have hoped to cash in on that opening, but India were more than equal to the task. Iyer anchored the innings with a magnificent 103 – his maiden ODI century, while KL Rahul smashed a 64-ball 88 in another sign of growing confidence in his role as the No.5 batsman. The fireworks powered India to a formidable 347/4.
The hosts enjoyed a solid start to the chase, with openers Henry Nicholls and Martin Guptill putting on 85 runs together. But when Nicholls was dismissed for 78 in the 29th over, leaving the hosts at 171/3, India still seemed to be in the driver's seat. But Ross Taylor, and Tom Latham, standing in as captain for the injured Kane Williamson, forged a stunning 138-run stand for the fourth wicket to put New Zealand in complete command. The hosts lost a few quick wickets in the end, but Taylor kept his calm to take his side over the line, staying unbeaten on 109 off 84 balls.
Weather in Auckland is expected to be pleasant and clear. An at-times flat pitch and oddly-shaped boundaries can make for a run-feast in Eden Park, but conditions tend to produce swing at times to keep the fast men interested.