3 Changes India must make in the second ODI against New Zealand to level the series

3 Changes India must make in the second ODI against New Zealand to level the series

Needing a win in the next game for avoiding series defeat, Virat Kohli’s men will be determined to come back stronger at Auckland on Saturday.

Tom Latham and Virat Kohli
Tom Latham and Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After a dominating performance in the five-match T20I series, India suffered a four-wicket defeat in the ODI series opener at Seddon Park, Hamilton. Put in to bat after Tom Latham won the toss and opted to bowl, the Men in Blue put up a commanding total on the board (347-4), courtesy Shreyas Iyer’s sensational century apart from the half-centuries from KL Rahul and skipper Virat Kohli. Given the bowling attack of Team India, it was expected that the visitors would go 1-0 up in the three-match ODI series especially having scored heavily batting first.

But Ross Taylor’s unbeaten century apart from the half-centuries from Henry Nicholls and Tom Latham helped the Blackcaps to chase down the massive target of 348 runs in just 48.1 overs at the loss of six wickets. It wasn’t a memorable day for the Indian bowlers who failed to capitalize on the good work done by their batsmen.

Needing a win in the next game for avoiding series defeat, Virat Kohli’s men will be determined to come back stronger at Auckland on Saturday. To have any chances of winning at Eden Park, they must take some bold decisions.

On that note, let us look at three massive changes Team India must make in the second ODI to level the series:

1. Navdeep Saini in for Shardul Thakur

Navdeep Saini
Navdeep Saini of India. (Photo by RANDY BROOKS/AFP/Getty Images)

Thakur was exceptional in the five-match T20I series finishing it as the highest wicket-taker with eight scalps to his name. But his slump in the form when it comes to ODIs is quite evident with the 28-year-old being left out of the playing XI for the second and third ODIs against Australia last month after proving costly at Wankhede Stadium in the series opener.

ODI cricket is a different ball game where to end-up on a high a bowler must maintain his consistency for another six more overs (compared to T20s). The Mumbaikar hasn’t quite lived up to the expectations with the ball in the 50-over format despite contributing runs low down the order. At Hamilton, the Chennai Super Kings pacer was taken to the cleaners as he registered dismal figures of 1/80 in his nine overs.

With a quality pacer like Navdeep Saini warming-up the bench, Team India must keep in mind the format change and refrain itself from justifying Thakur’s selection just because he can contribute down the order as the batting-order already looks formidable. Saini who played just two T20Is in the recently concluded series deserves a spot in the second ODI.