Pune: After trailing 0-1 in the three match One-Day International (ODI) series, India will look to bounce back when the hosts take on a confident New Zealand in the second match at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Wednesday.
Despite a brilliant knock from the India skipper Virat Kohli (121), New Zealand's Tom Latham and Ross Taylor joined hands to hand their team a comprehensive six-wicket victory. The duo contributed a 200-run stand for the fourth wicket as the visitors overtook India's total of 280/8 with six balls to spare. Apart for Kohli and Dinesh Karthik (37) no other batsman rose to the occasion.
Many experienced players got a start but could not convert it into a big score. Kohli also rued that the hosts fell 30 to 40 runs short and, in the coming match the hosts would like to improve in that department. In the bowling department, apart from medium-pacer Hardik Pandya (1/46) no other player made the mark as they only managed to take four wickets. The spinners, who had done well against the Australians, also failed drastically. India's bowling coach Bharat Arun said to level the series is a challenge and the team is ready for it.
"We look at it as a big challenge right now. New Zealand competed exceptionally well, they had a fantastic partnership (in Mumbai) and they went on to win that game," Bharat said. "It is a bigger challenge for us to come back, we know we have our plans in place and it is a good testing ground for the team (on) how you come back from behind and do well in the series, he added. New Zealand, on the other hand, has ticked most of the boxes in the first match. Their top-order batsmen clicked and the bowlers also did a good job. Experienced pacer Trent Boult (4/35) made his mark and the other bowlers supported him at the other end.
The visitors will now be aiming for a win again as it will give New Zealand their first bilateral series win in India, having lost all five preceding series while India will look to equalise. Teams: India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(captain), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, M.S. Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Mohammed Siraj. New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (captain), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wicketkeeper), Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Matt Henry, Glenn Phillips, George Worker, Tom Bruce, Ish Sodhi. (IANS)