The quest for series win started at the Green Park in Kanpur as the Indian cricketers made their way out to the middle on the eve of the third and final ODI on Saturday (October 28).
However, series didn’t started on a good note for the hosts, a team which faced meagre struggles in brushing opponents aside lately as New Zealand team adapted well in Indian conditions which forced the happening of a decider. They have never beaten India in a bilateral ODI series in India, despite the fact that they had come close last year, where also the last ODI was a decider in Vishakhapatnam. But in quite the anti-climatic finish, as the visitors were bundled out for 79 and handed India a thumping win of 190 runs. It could be a similar end to the series, but visitors must be excited to turn the table this time around.
In the last ODI that was played here in 2015 between India and South Africa, Kanpur saw two of its highest ODI totals scored on the same day where South Africa managed a five-run win after setting India 304. AB de Villiers’s unbeaten 104 was over-shadowed Rohit Sharma’s 150. Adaptability will become a crucial factor, something which New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson had spoken of ahead of the three-match series.
Come Sunday, though, it’s not a new hurdle for New Zealand has been in a similar situation before. As for India, another series, and another chance to finish on a high to maintain their brilliant home run.
Pitch and Weather conditions
Kanpur’s pitch traditionally doesn’t have a lot of bounce and it also supports spinners as well. Yet, given the climatic conditions that differ enormously from Pune or Mumbai, and the winter chill just setting in, the pacers might be able to extract some swing early on, especially in the 2nd innings.
The conditions in Kanpur will assist swing, which could be a plus not just for Bhuvneshwar Kumar, but also the New Zealand opening pair of Tim Southee and Trent Boult. It could just as well come down to who starts better that directs the fortune of the match.
Another sunny day in Kanpur is on the cards. There were negligible amounts of grass on the pitch that is plugged to be played on Sunday. Dew will be another factor that will come into play which could determine what teams choose to do at the toss.
India is not expected to make any changes to their line-up, including maintaining Dinesh Karthik at No.4. Karthik scored his highest ODI score against New Zealand after a gritty knock of 64* should see him retain that spot, for now.
New Zealand would be overjoyed to bring in legspinner Sodhi into their eleven, who spent a while bowling in the nets. The absence of grass on the pitch too could be intriguing, replacing Adam Milne. However, like Tim Southee said, the conditions and wicket will determine how they go about the series finale.
Some interesting stats:
- This will be the first day-night ODI at Green Park in Kanpur which has previously hosted 14 ODIs. India has won seven out of their last nine matches at this venue.
- Virat Kohli needs 35 more runs to go ahead of 1381 runs tally in 2011 – the most by him in a year in ODI cricket.
- Kane Williamson averages 30.36 from 12 innings in ODIs in India and has gone past 50 only once.
- Jasprit Bumrah needs one more wicket to become the second fastest Indian bowler to take 50 ODI wickets after Ajit Agarkar (23 ODIs).
India: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), Tim Southee, Colin de Grandhomme, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult, Mitchell Santner, Henry Nicholls.