India face do-or-die situation against New Zealand in PuneAfter being defeated in the first ODI, India will aim to win the second match and save the three-match series against New Zealand.
An under-pressure India will face their stiffest test in recent times when they try to bounce back in the three-match ODI series against a refreshed New Zealand in the must-win second game in Pune on Wednesday. It is not often that India find themselves in a 'save the series situation' at home, having won the last six in their backyard.
Not many had also expected New Zealand to topple India in the series-opener at the Wankhede but the visitors, playing their first match since the Champions Trophy, did it in emphatic style.
It took a record-breaking 200-run stand from Ross Taylor and Tom Latham to get the better of their formidable opponents, putting New Zealand on the cusp of a rare series win in India.
The way they played spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav was commendable, considering the Australians struggled against the same combination in the preceding series.
The hosts, no doubt, were off-color at Wankhede but the Virat Kohli-led side is expected to come back hard at the Black Caps in Pune. Kohli led from the front on Sunday with his 31st ODI ton but did not get the support from his team.
The Indian captain, who stuck a memorable hundred in his 200th ODI, would like to continue from where he left off. His role will be again crucial if the team has to set up a big total, provided it bats first.
On the bowling front, the spin duo of Chahal and Yadav, who gave away 125 runs and managed a lone wicket, will be keen to make amends. They will have to find a way to stop the likes Tom Latham from playing the sweep and reverse sweeps at will. The Pune pitch was a belter when India played England and another run feast is expected in the second ODI.