22 October, Mohali
After a batting collapse in the second One-Day International, India would like to make the full use of the batsman-friendly Mohali pitch when they take on a reinvigorated New Zealand side in the third One-Day International (ODI) cricket match here on Sunday.
After the bruising Indian batsman received at Ferozeshah Kotla in Delhi and many big names failed, it is probably not an ideal situation for Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni as they failed to chase down a 243-run target.
Usually the top order tends to finish games off but at Kotla they left the job to Dhoni and a set of batsmen not accustomed to finishing an innings.
India’s batting mainstay Virat Kohli, who failed to live up to his reputation in the last game will be expected to showcase his masterclass at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium.
So to make sure India do not suffer anymore unexpected setbacks, batsmen have to show some maturity to take the team out of a tricky situation.
On the other hand, New Zealand exploited that weakness and pulled off a six-run stunning victory to level the five-match series at 1-1. It was their first win in the ongoing tour and they will be confident going in to the third ODI.
Whoever wins the match will take the lead in the five-match series and that will be enough motivation for both the teams.
Skipper Kane Williamson led from the front and played a crucial role in the revival as well. He came to the crease in the first over and did not budge until the 43rd. By that time he had 118 runs off 128 balls.
But apart from him, no other batsmen stepped up to the occasion, so to continue their slight winning momentum they have gained with their first win of the tour players like Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor Luke Ronchi and Mitchell Santner have to return to form.
Squads: India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain and wicket-keeper), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Amit Mishra, Axar Patel, Umesh Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jayant Yadav, Mandeep Singh.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Latham, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Luke Ronchi (wk), Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Jimmy Neesham, Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Anton Devcich, Doug Bracewell, Matt Henry, BJ Watling.