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New Zealand are yet to win a match on this tour AFP

The touring New Zealand team was expected to give a good fight to the young Indian Test as well as the One-Day International (ODI) side. There was no Brendon McCullum to inspire the team this time around which was the case since he was made the captain of the side in 2009. McCullum with his never-say-die attitude lead New Zealand to newer heights across formats en-route the teams rise in world cricket. His most valued feat was when he lead the BlackCaps to the final of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. McCullum retired with New Zealand’s future looking secure in the hands of Kane Williamson, whom he groomed and developed into captaincy material. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs New Zealand, 2nd ODI at Feroz Shah Kotla

Williamson had the world at his feet, scoring gallons of runs across formats and slowly bringing himself on par with the likes of Virat Kohli, Joe Root and Steven Smith. Williamson with his calming aura took over the New Zealand captaincy, with hopes of guiding the team to numerous victories at home and abroad. New Zealand’s first away series in 2016-17 season was against India in India, which was never going to be easy for exuberant yet inexperienced side. Williamson, aware of their record in India, embraced on a 3-Test and 5-ODI series. The Test series was a debacle for the Kiwis, losing all the 3 Tests and handing India a series clean sweep. The ODI series was anticipated to be a more close and thrilling affair but began on a damp mode.

Williamson’s side suffered a 6-wickets defeat at Dharamsala. With ODI specialists coming into the squad as reinforcements, it wore a bleak and a shattered look. The batting once again collapsed like nine pins against a buoyant Indian spin and pace attack. Most of the batsmen including Williamson were guilty of gifting their wickets away. Ross Taylor, Mitchell Santner, Corey Anderson and Martin Gutpill were hoped to put up a more fighting approach but looked only a pale shadow of themselves. ALSO READ: IND vs NZ, 2nd ODI: Visitors need to get Watling into the mix

Anderson can be pardoned because he was playing his first match in India on this tour, but others have been well accustomed to the conditions and should have been more responsible in their game play. New Zealand were not only outfoxed by Kedar Jadhav, but also out-paced by Hardik Pandya and Umesh Yadav. Handing freebies to debutant Pandya and even part-time bowler Jadhav could only be counted as a sin on part of the batting unit. It was always debated that New Zealand batting relies on only one person i.e is Williamson, and going by the current series it looks the same.

Coming to the visitors’ bowling, they relied on Ish Sodhi and Santner to spin Indian batsmen into a trap but failed to do so. Dharamsala pitch was aptly suited for fast-bowlers and playing an extra spinner may have been the wrong way out for New Zealand. Leaving out Trent Boult from the side looked a bad decision from the outset, which was only justified later as Sodhi was taken apart by Kohli and Co. Southee proved to be more handful with the bat this time making a crucial half-century but his exploits with the ball are well known. Doug Bracewell was economical in his spell and will surely be kept in the side for the 2nd ODI. With Anderson not advised to bowl, it became evident that the Kiwis were a bowler short on a good pace friendly track.

ALSO READ: IND vs NZ, 2nd ODI, Preview & Predictions: Clueless Kiwis face daunting task to stop rampant hosts

Coming to the second ODI , which will be played at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi, New Zealand team would be happy and more comfortable playing there. The Kiwis played their only tour game at the very same ground against Mumbai Ranji side. With the pitch expected to be slow and low, Boult will surely make a comeback knowing his record on the ground has been good. Sodhi may surely be asked to sit out. New Zealand might bring wicket-keeper batsman BJ Watling, who played with grit and determination all throughout the Test series and can come in place of misfiring Luke Ronchi.

Anderson will be under the pump to perform but his expertise with the ball played a crucial role in him cementing his place in the squad. Having an already underscoring batting side, Williamson might go for a bowling-heavy side and pick Matt Henry in the XI. Henry in the third Test in Indore was quick and troubled the Indian batsmen time and again, a scene which was missing from the 1st ODI at Dharamsala.

There were only two positives for the New Zealand team from the 1st ODI. Tom Latham and Tim Southee showed that it is not impossible to bat in Indian conditions. Latham displayed how one can be conservative and still manage runs, while Southee broke the myth that Indian spinners are hard to get runs off. If only New Zealand batsmen spend more time in the middle than try to invent new shots, it would be of great help to their own team’s cause.

New Zealand have so far been win-less on this tour to India. The team may look how much ever good on paper, but it has just not been able to get it together on the field and with only four matches remaining, Williamson and Co will eye redemption and revenge against their immovable hosts’.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Anton Devcich, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Jimmy Neesham, Luke Ronchi (wk), Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling (wk).

(Vishal Mehra is a journalist with CricketCountry, who enjoys his weekly dose of anime, monthly viewing of sitcoms, daily playing of cricket once every few hours moon, and currently venturing into table-tennis . His twitter handle is @capturethecatch)