IND vs NZ: Four areas to work on for India in the second ODI

image-ld5kn05wTeam India in action [Source: AP]

On Saturday, India will cross swords against New Zealand in the second ODI of the three-match series. 

The hosts have got a crucial 1-0 lead following their narrow 12-run win in the first ODI in Hyderabad. So, moving on to this encounter, the Men in Blue would like to continue their home dominance and clinch the series. 

However, considering how the game panned out in Hyderabad, India's task won't be easy. So, ahead of this fascinating clash, let's analyse and find out the areas the hosts need to address in this face-off. 

Death Bowling

image-ld5ko9z1Mohammed Shami let India down in the first ODI [Source: AP]

Despite reducing New Zealand to 131 for six at one stage, Indian bowlers allowed Michael Bracewell and Mitchell Santner to stitch a mammoth stand and take the game to the very last over. 

Although Mohammed Siraj showcased his brilliance, Mohammed Shami and Hardik Pandya collectively conceded 65 runs in six overs towards the end. 

Their hesitance to bowl yorkers was evident, as they kept pounding it short time and again, making things easier for the Kiwi batters. 

So, the Indian think tank must be hoping for a better show from the pacers in the slog overs.  

Washington Sundar, the bowler, must step up

New Zealand had five left-handed batters in their top eight. So, ideally, India's solitary off-spinner, Washington Sundar, should've finished the game with impressive numbers. 

However, contrary to expectations, Sundar had a forgettable outing, conceding 50 runs in his seven-over spell

With Kuldeep Yadav being used as an attacking option, the hosts would like Sundar to at least restrict the run-flow when they enter the field on Saturday. 

Indian batters must convert their starts

image-ld5kq8uuVirat Kohli got out for 8 in Hyderabad [Source: AP]

Despite a batting beauty being dished, none of the Indian batters apart from Shubman Gill crossed the 50-run mark in Hyderabad. 

While Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav failed to convert their starts, Virat Kohli got out for a single-digit score. 

So, these three names, along with Hardik Pandya, would want to register big scores when they go out to bat on Saturday. 

Bring Umran Malik in place of Shardul Thakur

image-ld5krchbUmran Malik's exclusion surprised many [Source: AP]

Since his debut, Umran Malik has grabbed a million eyeballs through his lightning pace and incredible wicket-taking abilities. 

However, in a strange move, India replaced Umran with Shardul Thakur in the first ODI to strengthen their lower order. 

Although Shardul got a good start with the ball, he struggled a lot towards the backend, conceding 41 runs in his last 2.2 overs. He looked clueless and seemed to have run out of variations. 

As Umran is a genuine wicket-taking option, India must bring him back in this face-off. His extra pace is advantageous and can help them quickly clean the Kiwi tail. 

Also, if India bowl first, the abrasive home conditions will allow Umran to reverse the ball in the middle overs. 

All in all, if a team has the luxury of a genuine wicket-taker, they should prefer him over someone who can strengthen the lower-order batting, that too to the bare minimum extent. 

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