They dominated the Proteas in their first encounter. In the second game, Australia was humbled in a high-scoring encounter. Now, Team India gears up for its third game in Nottingham. It will be a daunting challenge for the ‘Men in Blue’ facing New Zealand who is yet to be beaten in the tournament. The conditions in Nottingham have been rainy and overcast for the last few days.
These are the similar kind of conditions that the Kiwi bowlers relish and would look to do a repeat of what they did in the practice game a few days ago. However, there is a rain threat looming around and the fans will have their fingers crossed. With Shikhar Dhawan injured, India will have a forced change to make for this match.
Ahead of the important game, Kiwi senior batsman Ross Taylor insisted that India continue to remain a dangerous unit even without Dhawan but New Zealand would want to make most of the fact that their opponents will no longer have the advantage of a left-hand, right-hand combination at the top, a factor he feels tends to throw bowling attacks off guard. With Dhawan sidelined, KL Rahul would slot back as an opener alongside Rohit Sharma.
He plays well at ICC tournaments
“Obviously, Shikhar is a big loss to India. The presence, he plays very well at ICC tournaments and has a very good record over here,” Taylor said. “Himself and Rohit Sharma have a very good partnership, and I think they complement each other well because they’re right and left-handed. In terms of our line-up, I think we’ve had a similar balanced side for a long time, and when you do have a right-left hand combination, it does put pressure in different ways on the bowling opposition.”
“A lot of these grounds in the UK have a short boundary to one side, and if you’ve got two right handers or two left handers, you can’t exploit it as much where obviously having the right and the left hand, and the communication becomes very important to target those short boundaries.
“As we see, it’s traditionally a short boundary here. If that is the case, then hopefully we can exploit it with the right, left handers, as I’m sure India and other teams that are playing here will try and do.”
The last time India and New Zealand met in a 50-over game was the World Cup warm-up, in which Virat Kohli and his men were bowled out for 179, with Trent Boult claiming 4/33 and Taylor himself leading the charge with a knock of 71. In that game, Taylor was impressive in tackling the two India spinners in particular and he feels New Zealand are well-equipped in terms facing the spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.