New Zealand v India
Saturday 26 January 02:00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Kiwis need to improve
New Zealand will be desperately disappointed by their performance in the first ODI when, frankly, they didn't turn up. They were bowled out for just 157.
It was particularly galling because they were in the game at 107 for four and Kane Williamson had threatened to go big with a half-century. And they bat deep, too. All the way down to Tim Southee at No 9.
The Kiwis should resist the temptation for changes, though. Runs are the issue and the only tweaks possible are in the bowling unit, and they can hardly be responsible.
If there is a change it will be to bring in Ish Sodhi for Southee on a ground the spinner has done well on.
India were perhaps taken by surprise by the lack of challenge from New Zealand, which may explain their decision to rest Virat Kohli from the last two ODI. They would expect to have the series wrapped up by then.
Their bowlers were mightily impressive. Mohammad Shami, who is in terrific form, claimed three wickets and Kuldeep Yadav four. Yuz Chahal also notched two.
Both the spinners were mean and India, with one eye on the World Cup, may be able to claim they are the most multi-dimensional team out there. Can No 1 England claim to have as impressive a pace and spin attack?
Bat first, go big
There have been only seven ODI played at the Bay Oval, all since 2014. The first-innings scores (1-2 denote match won by team batting 1st or 2nd) read: 319-1/371-1/223-2/294-1/282-1/230-2/210-2. It does seem a bat first wicket with the surface ripe for a big score up front.
Retain faith in hosts
New Zealand have got problems if they are unable to counter the seam and swing of the India pacers and their spinners, too. And there will be plenty who reckon the 1.748/11 about India is value. Another win here and they'll be sub 1.705/7 for game three.
It is surely a lazy assumption, though, to say the Kiwis can't play spin. They looked strong against turn in the UAE recently and we're inclined to put the Napier loss down to a bad day at the office.
New Zealand are not immune from those types of performances and they often bounce back. They are strong and competitive for the most part. So we'll keep faith.
Guptill's ground form
Martin Guptill will be pleased to be at the Bay Oval. In six matches he has two tons and one fifty. Guptill is the 11/4 second jolly for top Kiwi bat (Betfair Sportsbook) behind Kane Williamson at 12/5. Ross Taylor has a good record, too, with three fifties in four. He is 4/1. Tom Latham catches the eye at 9s.
Rohit stands out
As per, Kohli is the 23/10 favourite for top India bat with Betfair Sportsbook followed by Rohit Sharma at 11/4 and Shikhar Dhawan at 7/2. We always like Rohit at those sort of odds. MS Dhoni's finishing and return to form in Australia will mean the 7s get a look in.