Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal once again tormented the New Zealand batting line-up – accounting for six wickets between them – as India thrashed the hosts by 90 runs to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series at the Bay Oval at Mount Maunganui on Saturday. @ BCCI

Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin reckons that until opposition teams find a way to crack India’s ‘KulCha’ code, they will not succeed against Virat Kohli and Co.

Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal once again tormented the New Zealand batting line-up – accounting for six wickets between them – as India thrashed the hosts by 90 runs to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series at the Bay Oval at Mount Maunganui on Saturday.

Kuldeep was the pick of the bowlers with four for 45, while legspinner Chahal returned with figures of 2 for 52. The home batsmen, save Doug Bracewell, who top scored with 57, offered very to little resistance as New Zealand folded for 234 in 40.2 overs chasing a stiff target of 325. (ALSO READ: Back-to-back clinical performances is really pleasing: Virat Kohli)

“It was yet another dominant performance by the Indian team, especially spinners. No doubt, Doug Bracewell batted well, played the way he naturally does. But the top order also needed to play their natural game. Until you find ways to read Kuldeep and Chahal, you will not succeed. It’s still easier to play a finger spinner but very difficult to bat against wrist spinners,” Azharuddin was quoted as saying by India Today on Saturday.

Opting to bat, India were off to a flier with openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan forging 154 runs. Rohit, who was belligerent in his 96-ball stay, missed out on a century and added 87, while Dhawan made 66. Significant contributions came from Kohli (43), Ambati Rayudu (47) and MS Dhoni (48 not out). Kedar Jadhav smashed a quickfire 22 not out off just 10 balls as Dhoni and he added 53 runs in final 4.2 overs.

“We have a very good team and it has been performing this way for the last 4-5 years now. Not just one day, we have a very good side across formats. The standard of other teams may have gone down a little, but we have just gone from strength-to-strength. Whoever will compete with us, the result will be same,” he said. (ALSO READ: This loss against India is a little frustrating: Williamson)

With the ICC World Cup 2019 just a little over four months away, the BCCI has decided to rest Kohli after the third ODI and the subsequent three-match Twenty20 International series. In Kohli’s absence, Rohit will lead the side.

“Virat Kohli also needs rest. He has been playing continuously for a long time now. He is scoring runs consistently and is also a very active fielder, so it’s good that he is getting a rest,” Azhar said.

Meanwhile, former India cricketer Aakash Chopra attributed New Zealand’s defeat to a technically and temperamentally weak middle order.

“We expected New Zealand to give a tough fight to India in the series. But India have been pretty dominant so far. This Indian performance has come in the absence of two key players in Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya. We have two top-class wrist spinners who don’t need any help from the pitch. The pitch at Mount Maunganui was very flat. But if you fail to read a spinner from his hands, it becomes difficult for a batsman to play. This New Zealand middle order looks technically and temperamentally weak,” Chopra said. (ALSO READ: It’s good that lot of guys are competing for one allrounder’s slot: Kedar Jadhav)

The third ODI will be held on January 28 at the same venue. Both teams then travel to Hamilton for the fourth match on January 31. The fifth and final ODI will be held at Wellington on February 3.