New Zealand vs India 2019: Men in Blue aim to seal series in 3rd ODI
The third ODI between New Zealand and India is set to take place tomorrow at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui from 0730 IST onwards.
The series is currently 2-0 in favor of India and the visitors would want to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in a bid to seal the series.
New Zealand, on the other hand, will be hoping to bring their A game and make a come back in the series that has been dominated by India thus far.
Leading into the 3rd match, the hosts have got a number of problems to deal with. Martin Guptill and Colin Munro have not been able to take the Kiwis off to a good start. The first and the second ODI saw both the openers share stands of 5 and 23 respectively. Individually too, both the openers have failed to deliver.
The poor performances of both New Zealand openers have allowed India to make early inroads into the middle-order pretty quickly.
The middle-order has not been able to control the game as well as they would have liked. Apart from Kane Williamson in the first ODI, not one Kiwi batsman have shown the will to take the game deep, anchor the innings or put up some fight.
The spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have been bowling brilliantly. But that doesn't take away the fact the New Zealand batsmen have played some very bad shots. They would like to apply themselves better in the middle-overs as the series enters a crucial phase.
New Zealand's bowling has also been surprisingly off-colour. In both the ODIs, skipper Willamson complained about the pitch being a tad slow. But that too doesn't justify the kind of bowling performance the Kiwi seamers have put up in both matches.
The Black Caps have just picked up a combined total of six wickets in both ODIs. India, on the other hand, have bowled the Kiwis out in both the matches under 50 overs. This is the testament to the fact that how dominant the Men in Blue have been.
Everything seems to be going well for the visitors. At the end of the match, Kohli talked about the need to get those extra 15-20 runs. So one thing that India would like to improve upon is getting more boundaries towards the end.
India looked well set to go past the 350-run mark in the last match. But no boundaries between 41-44 overs sucked the momentum out of the innings. They did well to reach 324 in the end though. However, considering the start they got, they would have liked a bit more on the board.
Hardik Pandya is available for selection and he might replace Vijay Shankar in the playing eleven. No other changes are expected for India. For New Zealand, Tim Southee could be back in the eleven considering the lack of wicket-taking options in the last match. They could also explore the prospect of playing two spinners in the eleven by bringing in Mitchell Santner.
So will India seal the series or will the Kiwis bounce back? Whatever the result, tomorrow promises to be one cracker of a day for all cricket lovers.