New Zealand pacer Trent Boult on Friday said the hosts will be targeting to dismiss India’s top-three batsmen cheaply in the second ODI here on Saturday.
India’s top-order trio of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli is arguably the most fearsome in the 50-over format.
“As a bowling unit, we’re trying to disrupt their top order to put pressure on their middle order, it’s probably their secret as well. If we can get three wickets in the first 10 overs, we know what pressure that puts on the rest of the team in the shed,” Boult said.
New Zealand will look to bounce back from their dismal eight wicket loss to India in the opening ODI. Electing to bat, the hosts were bundled out for 157 in 38 overs as India returned to overhaul the target in 34.5 overs
“We were severely outplayed the other day. I think it’s obvious we know where we went wrong. Batsman are looking to right a few wrongs, come out and set a good platform and obviously put a good target on the board and see what happens from there,” Boult said.
The 29-year-old said an opening batting partnership will be crucial for the hosts. Both Martin Guptill and Colin Munro were dismissed cheaply by Mohammed Shami in his first two overs.
“The thing we’ve done well in the past is generally set that platform. (The openers have) given themselves a look at exactly how the wicket’s going to unfold. We know that early wickets in this format kind of kill you. It’s about batting in partnerships and taking the game deep so we can really cash in in those later overs.”
Boult also admitted they may have misread the pitch at McLean Park.
“You want to play the best bowlers who can take wickets. Ish Sodhi has done well for us, but where does he fit in in terms of who you don’t play?
“It is one of those things. We didn’t read the pitch that it was going to turn like it did in Napier, but moving to here, it is usually a good wicket,” he said.
For India, the top-order fired with Dhawan scoring an unbeaten 75 and skipper Virat Kohli hitting a 45.
Asked how the team plans to restrain them Boult said: “Obviously look to get them out, because they’re quality batsmen and when they’re in they’re very hard to get out. They are human and they do make mistakes – we could have got him (Dhawan) out there for 20-odd but we didn’t hang on to it.