New Zealand would have felt great to finally savour the taste of victory on this tour of India, and now the Kiwis will look to continue their winning momentum when the two sides meet in the third one-day international in Mohali. With the series tied at 1-1 and three more matches to play, the result of the 3rd ODI could prove to be the one that eventually decides the winner.
The second ODI, even if New Zealand came up trumps, was a bit of a mess for both teams. The middle order batting of the Kiwis failed miserably after Kane Williamson and Tom Latham set a perfect base, while India's entire batting order left a lot to be desired on a wicket that hardly had any demons in it, even if it was a bit on the really-slow side.
India will know those batting issues need to be sorted out if they are to earn the lead back in this series, and that improvement needs to start from the top. Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane haven't been able to give India really strong starts in this series so far, even if the one in the first match was pretty decent, taking the situation into account.
Rohit, coming off a solid Test series show, when he scored some important runs for his team, would have been expected to take that form and confidence into the ODIs as well, but, so far, the right-hander has been dismissed far too early for his and India's liking.
If India are to post – they are likely to lose a toss eventually – or chase a big(ish) score, runs are essential from the top order, and Virat Kohli cannot be scoring all of them on his own.
While there are issues to sort out in the batting, India's bowling looks pretty good at the moment, with Hardik Pandya and Umesh Yadav forming an impressive partnership with the new ball. Jasprit Bumrah showed why he is such a great death bowler in the second ODI and the spinners – Amit Mishra and Axar Patel – have been decent.
New Zealand must find a way to dent India's pace attack early on and that is where Martin Guptill comes in. The right-hander has not found his mojo so far in this series, and that will need to change if the Kiwis harbour hopes of making India sweat again. There is also pressure on Ross Taylor, so disappointing on this tour, and Corey Anderson, in the team only as a batsman for this series, to score some runs to give New Zealand the impetus they need in the second half of their innings.
3rd ODI schedule: India vs New Zealand.
Date: Sunday, October 23.
Time: 1.30pm IST, 9pm NZT, 9am BST, 4am ET.
Venue: PCA Stadium in Mohali.
India: Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD1, Star Sports 3 and Star Sports HD3.
New Zealand: Sky Sport3.
USA and Canada: Willow TV.
Middle East: OSN Sports Cricket.
UK: Sky Sports 3.