New Zealand are 1-0 up against India    AFP
New Zealand are 1-0 up against India AFP

India‘s victorious run was seized by New Zealand as the visitors won the first ODI of the three-match series at Mumbai, taking the 0-1 lead. Virat Kohli yet again displayed class: he hit his 31st ODI century, but his lone efforts could not save India’s sinking ship as Tom Latham and Ross Taylor’s match-winning partnership took the Kiwis to victory in the penultimate over of the match. As India head to a must-win match, here are some ‘clash of the titans’ which are be expected in the Pune ODI.

Rohit Sharma vs Trent Boult: The Indian batting line-up, let alone Rohit, was troubled by Australia’s Jason Behrendorff in T20Is. As my colleague Kaustubh Mayekar reminds me, Rohit had vowed of being careful against Trent Boult, given the amount of potential the left-arm seamer has. However, Rohit rather chose to lose his cool in the first match, opting for an unnecessary shot that cost him his wicket. Boult has had the taste of success once, and will be eager to test the ‘hitman’ again.

Virat Kohli vs ‘data not found’: Come on! Look at the form the cricketer is enjoying. He seems to be the superhero who destroys whatever hits him. Throw Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand whichever team you want, for that matter at Kohli, and he will throw you back centuries, records, aggression and a wicked smile. New Zealand are probably trying to figure out how to battle Kohli, and so are we.

India vs New Zealand, 2nd ODI at Pune: For once Virat Kohli will bat to save a series
India vs New Zealand, 2nd ODI at Pune: For once Virat Kohli will bat to save a series

Indian spinners vs New Zealand: One weapon that India rest assure whenever a team from the other hemisphere visits is their spin attack. Even if the pacers fail, India take extra care to stop the runs in the middle-overs, thus controlling their opponents’ run rate. But Latham and Taylor ruthlessly hammered the young duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in the last match. It is time for them to put in effect what they have seen, what they have learned.

100th India vs New Zealand ODI (2nd of series, at Pune), other statistical highlights
100th India vs New Zealand ODI (2nd of series, at Pune), other statistical highlights

Confidence (India) vs Confidence (New Zealand): Well, India did a lot of hard work to earn an ‘unbeatable’ tag and indomitable confidence in the recent past. New Zealand peered through that, adding the word ‘nearly’ in front of ‘unbeatable’, defeating India at home. Both teams are brimming with confidence. The match will decide which team will turn that confidence to positive result and not get carried away.