India to try and continue its good run at home

Jaipur: Young Virat Kohli will be the cynosure of all eyes as a new-look India seek to continue the team`s dominating run at home in the current calendar when they take on New Zealand in the second cricket one-dayer.

In the absence of the creme de la creme of Indian cricket, the dashing right-hander from Delhi gave enough indication of why he is the one to look for in future with a match-winning century in the opening match in Guwahati.

With regular stars such as skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh being rested for the first two one-dayers, Kohli stole the limelight with a fine hundred that paved the way for India`s 40-run win in the series opener.

The young Kohli, going through a dream run having scored two back-to-back tons in Ranji Trophy apart from his second successive ODI century, would be keen to bat the way he has been doing of late at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium tomorrow.

India have a good record at this venue winning six out of 10 matches, the last being a humdinger against South Africa in February when the hosts won by one run.

India have lost just one match -- against South Africa on February 27 -- in the two series it has played at home in 2010.

India won the series against the Proteas 2-1 and pipped Australia 1-0 in the rain-hit series in October.

Going into the second one-dayer against the Kiwis, what would also keep the momentum in India`s favour, is that both Daniel Vettori and Brendon McCullum are still doubtful starters for tomorrow`s match.

The New Zealand skipper is suffering from a sore back, after shouldering the bulk of bowling responsibilities in the three-match Test series, and Mclluum is also down with a similar condition.

Runs from Yuvraj Singh`s blade in the first match were also a welcome sight for the Indian camp.

The southpaw, who was recently demoted to contract B by the BCCI, was not at his flamboyant best but still managed to score 42 valuable runs, often employing the sweep against the slow bowlers to good effect.

Stand-in captain Gautam Gambhir, coming on the back of a decent Test series, looked solid as long as he was there at the crease in the first match.

And, with this being the last home series before the upcoming World Cup, the left-hander would be keen to spend as much time in the middle as possible.

PTI

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