India aim to seal series as Raipur braces for international bow

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India and New Zealand put on a show in Hyderabad in the opening ODI of the series where the visitors staged a dramatic comeback to almost pull off a heist. As much as it’s hard to replicate it in the very next game, Raipur would absolutely wish for something closer to that as they brace themselves to host their first-ever international match. Playing host to an epic game would help them in their bid to secure more international matches in the future going ahead, which could turn out to be a spectacle given the stadium can accommodate over 60000 people.

While another trophy is now within their grasp, India’s major focus will continue to be on building the ideal side for the World Cup. In the absence of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer, the team management would hope the likes of Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav get more time out in the middle. As things stand, these two appear to be the backup for the top five. Unless they grab their opportunities, that scenario might change by the time the World Cup gets closer.

Not often do batters follow up a double-century with another big knock. Can Shubman Gill break that trend? You wouldn’t count that against him given his last three scores prior to the double ton are 116, 21 and 70. While the batting lineup does look extremely strong at the moment, India’s focus will be on their bowlers. A few days ago, they allowed Dasun Shanaka to score big while rallying alongside the tail. And in Hyderabad, they were again on top at one stage but couldn’t get that decisive wicket for a long time which would have put them in the driver’s seat.

While Michael Bracewell has pretty much sealed his World Cup spot well in advance, Finn Allen has some work to do. The selectors ditched Martin Guptill and placed a lot of faith on Allen with the future in mind. Allen has made starts but converting them is essential in the ODI format.

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