After losing the 1st ODI of the 3-match series against New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium, Team India turned the tables with their own counter-tactics, on a pitch with just enough grass on it to allow their fast bowlers to bowl a traditional good length in the 2nd ODI at Pune.
Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar finished the game with three wickets and Jasprit Bumrah with two, the duo conceeded just 83 runs in their 20 overs as New Zealand set India a meagre target of 231 to level the series. The chase becomes easy for the men in blue, with Shikhar Dhawan and Dinesh Karthik scoring half-centuries to help India cross over the line.
New Zealand’s pacers didn’t look lethal as Trent Boult and Tim Southee routinely bowled short balls short in their new-ball spells. Rohit Sharma fell early, flicking Boult in the air, but regular flow of boundaries meant New Zealand never put any pressure on the second-wicket pair of Dhawan and Virat Kohli, who added 57 off 56 balls.
Kohli was dismissed in the 14th over by Colin de Grandhomme, and Karthik walked in at No. 4. He began his innings with a boundary, guiding de Grandhomme between backward point and short third man, and ended the match with another – a sweetly timed on-the-up drive through the covers.
New Zealand never managed wickets in pairs with Karthik a constant thorn at one end: he added 66 with Dhawan for the third wicket, 59 with Hardik Pandya for the fourth, and an unbeaten 28 with MS Dhoni for the fifth.
Despite the fact that Tom Latham was at the crease, who scored unbeaten hundred in Mumbai, the sweep had been his most productive stroke, fetching him 26 runs off 16 balls and putting India’s pair of wrist spinners off their lengths. Kedar Jadhav’s spell kept Latham in check, and by the time he was at the crease New Zealand only managed 91 runs in 22.1 overs. The sweep appeared more frequently but he failed to cover for Axar Patel’s switch to left-arm around.
The arrival of de Grandhomme increased the rate of New Zealand’s scoring, the all-rounder playing a number of eye-catching shots as he added 47 for the sixth wicket at 5.42 per over with the more dull Nicholls.
Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah gave away just 12 in the last four overs of the second Powerplay, and which built extra pressure on de Grandhomme, who fell while trying to push the pace off Yuzvendra Chahal. Chahal’s next ball was a slider, which caught Adam Milne plumb in front.
The third and the final ODI will be played in Kapur and it will also decide the winner of the series and after the performances in the 2nd ODI, the hosts seem to be favorites again.
Brief scores: New Zealand 230/9 in 50 overs (Henry Nicholls 42, Colin de Grandhomme 41; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3-45) defeated by India 232/4 in 46 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 68, Dinesh Karthik 64*; Adam Milne 1-21) by 6 wickets.