After surviving a mighty scare from all-rounder Michael Bracewell in a successful defence of 349 in the first match, India will be aiming to overcome New Zealand challenge in the second ODI and clinch back to back 50-over match series at home here, which will be Raipur’s debut as an international cricket venue on Saturday.
The Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh Cricket Stadium, with a crowd capacity of 49,000, is all set to become the 50th venue in India to host an ODI match. The stadium had hosted two IPL games of Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) in 2013 and 2015, and also played host to eight matches of the now-defunct Champions League T20.
In this huge backdrop, the capacity crowd being treated to India clinching an ODI series for the second time in 2023 will add more stars to the occasion. But there are some glitches which the Rohit Sharma-led side would look to overcome in Raipur.
First is, allowing the opposition to claw back in the match with the bat. In their last six ODIs, India have allowed batters like Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Dasun Shanaka and more recently, Bracewell to hit centuries.
Also, after reducing the opposition to tatters, they haven’t been able to close out matches with the bowlers looking flat, clueless and under immense pressure. India would be hoping that this chink in their armour gets a solution in Raipur.
With the bat, Shubman Gill was excellent in his maiden ODI double century at Hyderabad. Apart from other batters, who have shown to be in form, eyes will be on whether Rohit Sharma can convert a good start into a big total.
Rohit has looked good every time in ODIs this year, before squandering the good start. Once known for his big-daddy centuries in the format, a three-figure mark has continued to elude Rohit since slamming 119 against Australia at Bengaluru in January 2020.
On the other hand, New Zealand would want for their inexperienced bowling attack to come good in the absence of Tim Southee and Trent Boult. Henry Shipley, Blair Tickner and Lockie Ferguson were expensive in Hyderabad.
If leg-spinner Ish Sodhi has recovered from ankle injury, it will be interesting to see in place of which player he comes in the playing eleven.
The visitors’ top-order has to put up some fight as Bracewell and Mitchell Santner won’t be putting up stunning rescue acts every single day, provided if India’s bowling isn’t put under the pump in Raipur on Saturday.
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, KS Bharat (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Rajat Patidar, Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Umran Malik.
New Zealand: Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham (captain & wicketkeeper), Michael Bracewell, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Blair Tickner, Jacob Duffy, Doug Bracewell, Mark Chapman and Henry Shipley