Watch Cricket: India vs New Zealand – 3nd ODI 2017 Live Stream
In January this year, a new-look England returned to India for a limited overs series after a 4-0 bashing in the Tests looking to reverse their fortunes. When they batted, Joe Root and Ben Stokes took to the Indian bowlers and the smallish ground at the Maharashtra Cricket Association, which is the venue of the 2nd One Dayer between India and New Zealand at Pune.
When India had to chase down 351 to win on that day, they were 63-4 at one stage, in a spot of bother. Out walked Kedar Jadhav into familiar territory. He’s been piling on the runs on his home turf, which included a triple century in 2012 and numerous other three-figure scores in domestic cricket. He knew very well that he had to more than just support Virat Kohli at the other end for India to stand a chance of winning. A 76 ball 120 took the game away from the Englishmen. Kohli, for his part made a hundred of his own and the partnership helped guide India towards the total. But it was Kedar Jadhav’s magnificent knock, who played under pressure after a quiet series with the bat against the Kiwis in 2016, which made a statement.
He has another chance to redeem himself – at the same venue, on his home coming, in front of his family, against opposition who he couldn’t quite make a mark against the last time they were here. He registered a fifty against Australia at Bengaluru but has otherwise hasn’t had much more to boast about in recent times.
Kohli was India’s lone ranger in the previous game in his innings of 121. Despite his fighting knock, he lacked the requisite support at the other end to push India to a match-winning score. What they got at the end, was only competitive. Tom Latham and Ross Taylor played too well to miss out on the total.
In Mumbai, the Kiwis bowled with discipline as they restricted run scoring in the mandatory power play. Mitchell Santner stuck to the basics on a pitch that wasn’t turning square. He bowled his full quota without leaking too many runs. He ably supported the likes of Boult and Southee who were lethal, particularly in their initial burst. Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav bowled well initially, but a combination of a relatively unfriendly pitch for spin and a set duo of Latham and Taylor meant that they were taken for runs.
Adam Milne, our tearaway speedster, showed promise but was a tad expensive in his spell despite giving it his all. He’d hope that Wednesday provides him with better opportunity to #PlayBold.
What would Pune offer?
The MCA ground isn’t too dissimilar from Mumbai, both grounds offer a bit of bounce to the bowlers and with short boundaries on all sides, once batsmen are set in the middle, they’re likely to make big runs. Pune, though, has a reputation for providing unpredictable surfaces. Remember the T20I against Sri Lanka in 2016 when the fast bowlers had a field day? It was one way traffic and the ball seamed and bounced all match. But then, earlier this year, Steve O’Keefe tamed the Indian batsmen in the 1st Test when the ball was dragging along the surface and spun from Day 1 itself. It would be interesting to see what kind of surface is on offer especially since the pitch is usually an unknown commodity.
Catch all the action of the 2nd ODI on Wednesday, 25th October, 1:30 PM onwards from Pune.