They are not looking the same team they were earlier: Aakash Chopra slams New Zealand

image-ld5m3xtcGlenn Phillips and Michael Bracewell preparing on the eve of Raipur ODI

India and New Zealand will be facing each other on Saturday as Raipur's Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket Stadium will be making its international debut.

Despite Shubman Gill's double ton and Mohammed Siraj's sensational four-wicket haul, New Zealand almost chased down the target of 350 runs in Hyderabad. 

For the Blackcaps, Michael Bracewell played the innings of life, however; the southpaw wasn't accompanied at all by the top-order batters. 

Criticising the visitors' approach to this tour of India in a World Cup year, former India Test opener Aakash Chopra has questioned the Kiwis.

"New Zealand have gone down in the last 12 months. You can see Tests or any other formats, they are not looking like the same team they were earlier. Not a great sign," Chopra said. "Their bowling is still good if they come with full strength. They have players in batting as well but it is not the full team." 

The runners-up from the last ODI World Cup are without their regular skipper Kane Williamson and seamer spearheads - Trent Boult and Tim Southee, who have decided not to travel to India - which will the venue for the upcoming World Cup.

"The New Zealand team is slightly weak because they don't have Tim Southee and Kane Williamson has also not come. No one is giving that much importance to the bilateral series, which is slightly sad. Everyone is managing workload and Trent Boult is playing ILT20."

Raipur is about to become India's 50th venue for ODI cricket. In limited domestic and IPL matches; the pitch at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh stadium has been seen be a batting paradise, with a tad bit of assistance to the spinners.

If the Men in Blue win the second fixture, it will be their 23 series win out of the 25 played at home since 2010.

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