India seeks redemption against New Zealand

Published: Thursday, February 26, 2009, 15:08 [IST]
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India eyeing a comeback in series

Wellington: T20 world champions India would seek to restore their pride after being thrashed in the first ODI as they go into the second T20 game against New Zealand on Friday.

The seven-wicket defeat at Christchurch in the first match must have taken the reputation of Mahendra Singh Dhoni's young bravehearts as kings of Twenty20 a serious beating which they can only rectify by winning on Friday.

A victory will also boost their morale ahead of the five-match ODI series starting on March 3 and put a balm after their second successive loss against New Zealand in the shortest format of the game.

However, the visitors will have to do a lot of catching up as the Kiwis have the distinct advantage of having bowling all-rounders in their ranks, in contrast to India who rely on their batsmen to bowl in the middle overs.

The lack of a genuine all-rounder is beginning to prove quite costly. Only Ravindra Jadeja seems to fall in this category, but the youngster from Rajkot may not find the team management's favour yet.

The defeat at Christchurch could have prompted the Indian think-tank to consider an alternative for Irfan Pathan, who had courageously won India a cliffhanger in his brother's company a fortnight ago in Sri Lanka.

Irfan had emerged on the international arena as a bowling all-rounder, but of late he has been more productive with the bat than the ball.

In conditions prevalent in New Zealand, a bowler of Praveen Kumar's ability would be more effective than Irfan, who conceded as many as 38 runs from three overs in the first Twenty20.

The Teams (from):

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Praveen Kumar.

New Zealand: Daniel Vettori (Captain), Neil Broom, Ian Butler, Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, Iain O'Brien, Jacob Oram, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Grant Elliot.

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