In a close first ODI against New Zealand in Hyderabad on Wednesday, India won by 12 runs. Shubman Gill’s double hundred gave the hosts a daunting 350 target for the Kiwis.
At 131/6, the Indian bowlers had New Zealand in trouble. Michael Bracewell and Mitchell Santner responded with 162 runs for the seventh wicket.
Shardul Thakur’s yorker stopped Bracewell’s 140(78) from taking the Kiwis home. Due to their match-ups, both teams would believe they had their chances to capitalise.
Let’s examine three match-ups that could decide the second ODI at Raipur:
Michael Bracewell vs. Kuldeep Yadav
Michael Bracewell destroyed practically all the Indian bowlers and threatened to steal the game.
Bracewell hit Kuldeep Yadav for four and six. However, his problems against Abrar Ahmed in Pakistan will give Kuldeep hope that he can halt the southpaw.
Kuldeep was superb in the first ODI against the New Zealand middle-order and will be keen to ensure the Men in Blue hold Bracewell at bay in Raipur.
Mitchell Santner vs. Virat Kohli
Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi has dismissed Virat Kohli six times in international cricket. Kohli seemed poised to score big without Sodhi in the opening game. Mitchell Santner’s left-arm spin disqualified him.
Spinners’ line and length have eluded the former Indian captain. He often plays down the wrong line and hangs on the back foot instead of negotiating the delivery.
Kohli has scored 145 runs against Santner in 205 ODI deliveries and been removed twice. The second ODI will reveal how the star hitter handles Santner’s threat.
Lockie Ferguson vs. Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill and Lockie Ferguson would have squared off in the nets several times throughout the IPL. The youthful right-hander hammered the pace in the opening ODI.
Gill reached his double hundred with 43 runs off 33 balls from Ferguson in Hyderabad, including four boundaries and a hat-trick of sixes. The speedster has similarly dismissed the Indian opener, so both will feel they can dominate each other.