Ahead of the second ODI against New Zealand, former India skipper Kapil Dev on Friday questioned Team India selection in the first ODI which India lost by 4 wickets. The World Cup-winning skipper in specific picked on the inclusion of Shardul Thakur in the squad ahead of Navdeep Saini which proved to be very expensive. Thakur had a bad day as he leaked 80 runs in the first ODI and managed to pick only one wicket from the nine overs that he bowled.
Speaking to a leading news daily, Kapil Dev suggested that youngster Navdeep Saini should be included in the second ODI by dropping Shardul Thakur. Dev spoke highly of the youngster as he stated that Saini possesses wicket-taking abilities and also has the pace which is why he should be included in the squad for the second ODI and not just because he deserves a chance.
Furthermore, he cited the example of pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah and said that when you have bowlers like Bumrah, batsman is wary and play watchfully because whenever they try to attack these bowlers the batsmen lose their wicket.
New Zealand registered a comprehensive victory over the visitors in the first ODI owing to a significant contribution from Ross Taylor. The visitors set up a target of 348 for the Blackcaps to chase after a brilliant century by No 4 Shreyas Iyer. New Zealand began their run-chase confidently with an 85-run opening partnership. Veteran batsman Ross Taylor brought up his 21st hundred in ODIs by scoring 109* from just 84 balls. Apart from Taylor, Henry Nicholls (78), and Tom Latham (69) also contributed their part with the bat in New Zealand’s successful run-chase.
The two teams will now collide in the second game of the three-match series on Saturday. The match will be played at the Eden Park in Auckland and the action will commence at 7:30 AM IST. This is a must-win contest for India in order to stay alive in the series. Adding to it, India has never lost an ODI series in the past 15 years to New Zealand. The third and final ODI will be played on February 11 at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.