Cricket

IND vs NZ 2017: Kohli & Co. eyeing for another series win in the decider

[caption id="attachment_57139" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Kohli India to face New Zealand in the decider. Image Source: BCCI[/caption]

Kolkata: Virat Kohli & Co. would be eyeing to win the series decider when they will lock horns with New Zealand in the third and final ODI at Kanpur on Sunday.

The hosts were under enormous pressure after they lost the first match against the Kiwis, but they fought back well in the second game to register a comprehensive six-wicket win and leveled the series 1-1.

The Men in Blue would be aiming to win their seventh ODI series on the trot, when they will go to the field tomorrow. The Green Park Stadium would be hosting its first 50-over game under the lights.

"We look forward to challenges. We spoke about bouncing back, and we have bounced back here (in Pune). We would look to play a similar sort of game in Kanpur as well," said Kohli after the six-wicket win over the Kiwis in the second ODI.

Both teams arrived here on Thursday, giving themselves enough time to get used to the cooler conditions in the northern part of India.

The Indian team executed its plans perfectly in Pune, especially on the bowling front with in-form pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah doing the job early on as well as in the death overs.

The spinners bounced back well after an off-day in Mumbai. Yuzvendra Chahal, who failed to pick up a wicket in the first game, struck twice while Axar Patel, replacing chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, found the stumps of the in-form Tom Latham. Part-timer Kedar Jadhav bowled eight overs, conceding just 31 runs.

Kohli may not want to tinker with a winning combination, therefore, it remains to be seen whether Yadav gets a chance to play in front of his home crowd tomorrow.

On the batting front, a big positive for India in Pune was Dinesh Karthik delivering at No.4 with an unbeaten 64. The team management has tried as many as 11 players at the number four spot since the 2015 World Cup and Karthik certainly did enough to stake his claim in that position going forward.

He had batted at number five in the series opener but he himself said that four is his preferred spot.

Shikhar Dhawan getting a fifty plus score after six innings was also good news for India. The stylish southpaw struck the ball beautifully and would be hoping to give his team another good start in the must-win game tomorrow.

However, his opening partner Rohit Sharma is due for a big score after making 7 and 20 in the earlier games.

Three hundred has not been crossed in the series so far but that could well be the case here tomorrow. South Africa had posted 303 in the last ODI, played at Green Park two years ago and India fell short by five runs.

India also lost the T20 International played against England here in January this year.

Squads:

India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, George Worker and Ish Sodhi.

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