New Zealand v India, 2nd ODI, Hamilton January 21, 2014

Aggressive NZ aim to push India off top


Match facts

Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Start time 1400 local (0100 GMT)

Big Picture

In Napier, New Zealand made it clear that they were going to go hard at India. It's a series they have waited long for, quite nervously too, given the BCCI's reluctance to honour the FTP and accountability to none. Now that it has arrived, New Zealand are out to make full use of the shortened version of the tour.

It is shaping up to be an evenly matched series: for all their aggression with the bat and the ball, and the brilliance in the field, New Zealand will still need their best at all times to get better of India, as was evident from how Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni nearly won a lost match all on their own. There was a lot of back and forth in the first ODI with both sides showing tenacity at various points of the match. If they can keep that up for over the next 10 days, we might be in for a memorable ODI series.

After the Napier win, Brendon McCullum and Mitchell McClenaghan, the bowler who did the most damage, have both said they were glad at how the bouncers worked against India - four specialist batsmen fell pulling - and that there will be no let-up despite the absence of Adam Milne, who consistently bowled around 150kmph in his first spell. Hamilton, however, might be the closest to home for India. It has slowed down recently, has been helping spinners, has short boundaries, and should bring India good memories of comfortable wins in both the Test and the ODI on their last trip to New Zealand.

There is added incentive for India to win in Hamilton. If they don't, they will momentarily lose their No.1 ranking to Australia.

Form guide

New Zealand WLWWL (last five completed matches, most recent first)

In the spotlight

McClenaghan is all set to become the second-fastest man to 50 ODI wickets. He currently has 47 in 19 games; Ajantha Mendis reached 50 in 19 ODIs. It's McClenaghan's strike rate, though, that is stunning. He gets a wicket every 20.4 balls. The next-best strike rate for anyone who has taken a minimum of 47 wickets is 27.1. It's McClenaghan's ability to take wickets, never mind the runs he might concede, that New Zealand will look forward to.

Interestingly, and some might be stunned by this, among Indian bowlers who have taken a minimum of 50 wickets, the best strike rate belongs to Ishant Sharma. His economy rate of 5.7 is similar to McClenaghan's 5.8, but Ishant doesn't compensate enough with a strike rate of 32.9, which happens to be India's best, though. As usual, Ishant, the trooper that he is, will keep fighting with the heat on him. Despite bowling that superb last over, Ishant was the worst bowler in the first ODI, going at eight an over. It won't be long before India look past the spirit of Ishant. He needs a big performance some time soon.

Teams news

New Zealand have been hit by the injury to Milne, and they are almost certain to bring in Kyle Mills.

New Zealand: 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Jesse Ryder, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Brendon McCullum (capt.), 6 Corey Anderson, 7 Luke Ronchi (wk), 8 Nathan McCullum, 9. Kyle Mills, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Mitchell McClenaghan

India don't discuss their XI before a match, but there are two places that will be debated: Suresh Raina's and Ishant's. The recent slowness of Seddon Park should give the two spinners another go. Unless India make an extremely bold move of playing Stuart Binny ahead of a specialist batsman or bowler, it is unlikely he is getting his debut here.

India (possible) 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suresh Raina/Ambati Rayudu, 5 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 6 Ajinkya Rahane, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Ishant Sharma, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Pitch and conditions

The groundsman Karl Johnson is not sure why it is happening, but Seddon Park is observing a recent trend of slowness and assistance for spinners. However, it has rained heavily on the two days leading into the match so there could be something in there for the quicks too. It is going to be interesting to observe the pitch's behaviour, especially if it is overcast on match day too.

Stats and trivia

  • R Ashwin has taken only one wicket in his last 80 overs in international cricket.
  • The Napier win was New Zealand's first in the last seven attempts against India.
  • New Zealand have won only one of their last five ODIs at Seddon Park.


"One thing I learnt in South Africa was when you are batting, whatever you are doing, you need to commit to it fully. Because people are bowling at you at 140-145 kph, there is not much time to decide and think later on, after the ball is bowled. Whatever you want to do, you got to read the length and commit to the shot. If you want to leave the ball, you have got to commit to that."
Virat Kohli on one of the challenges of facing quality fast bowling

"We're not going to be nice to them, we're going to get in their face and let them know that we're here and we're going to put our mark on the build-up to the World Cup."
Mitchell McClenaghan promises more aggression

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anthony on January 22, 2014, 2:27 GMT

    What a stubborn fellow this Dhoni is! He refuses to learn from past mistakes! His decision to continue with those players who are failing to perform on a consistent basis is simply perplexing.

    The openers are failing to give a good start, with Rohit Sharma looking more and more circumspect; Suresh Raina continues to have problems with the short ball while Ravindra Jadeja is not able to showcase his batting skills at all.

    The bowlers are equally listless, unable to make impact with the extra bounce in the track: Ishant Sharma is almost lethargic while Ashwin and Jadeja are unable to extract anything from it. Ashwin has taken only one wicket in his last 80 overs in international cricket and he can not be persisted in the team just on the basis of his batting, whereas Jadeja is occupying the 7th position in the team, which is of an all-rounder. But Jadeja has not been able score any runs at this position, raising a big question mark about his batting ability.

  • Dummy on January 22, 2014, 1:00 GMT

    India..what can we say...some teams can only play at home. Dusty, dead and lifeless tracks in India are there natural habitat along with crowds egging you on. It's been a while before the SA tour that India had been outside their comfort zone and it showed.

  • RAVINDER on January 22, 2014, 0:42 GMT

    After the final eleven news it is confirmed that we will loose no.1 ranking today probably never to regain it in future.Whats going on here with the selection??

  • Android on January 22, 2014, 0:20 GMT

    I don't think that New Zealand's true aim is to "push India off the top". Their real focus is not to bring other teams down the ranking but to raise themselves up. The Kiwi culture is far more relaxed and and less selfish compared to teams such as Australia and South Africa

  • Dummy4 on January 22, 2014, 0:09 GMT

    Rain? Warned you.... and with every over lost... the gangley, wirey Indians wil feel the heat of a Black Caps team that has bigger hitters and bigger frames. Boundaries and sixes (most hit) win 94% of all short form games - Fact. If this is 25 overs each way or something... I need only hark back to Queenstown. If reduced, they should play Neesham as floating hitter.... along with Corey (obviously)... fingers crossed for 2-0 and the respect we should have got from Indian fans after the first game. 11 Kohli hundreds chasing had won India 11 out of those 11 games.... but the 12th....? We still got you. That says something.... but if think series still a cakewalk India, I say good... you don't play these next few games like your lives depend on it, like we will, you will lose. Go the Black Caps!! Let's erase this Waikato hoodoo.... there are two games there after all (sneaky BCCI)l

  • Rawdy on January 22, 2014, 0:00 GMT

    replace raina with pujara. Find more all-rounders before WC 2015.

  • Marcus on January 21, 2014, 23:43 GMT

    India will belt NZ in the remaining ODIS and will win both tests, probably by an innings.

  • Dummy on January 21, 2014, 23:31 GMT

    With the performances in SA and now in NZ, and with Dhoni's team selections (read Ishant Sharma), India deserve to drop to no. 3 or even lower. Is Jadeja supposed to be a batting all-rounder?

  • Anit on January 21, 2014, 23:24 GMT

    As long as the Indian team has players like Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ishant Sharma, NZ can accomplish their goal of defeating India. Rohit Sharma is very tentative outside the off on seaming and bouncy wickets. Raina is undone by short balls. Since Ishant is bowling at around 132-135 speed with limited variation, he is a very average bowler who can be taken to cleaners.

  • John on January 21, 2014, 23:13 GMT

    If England lose today (possible) and Australia win the last two against England (likely), India's loss of the #1 ranking won't just be a temporary blip.

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