After being knocked out of the 20-20 World Cup 2022 by England in the semi-final, Hardik Pandya led India to a 1-0 victory over New Zealand in the three-match T20 series. Sadly, India could not get off to a winning start in the ODI series as they lost to the Kiwis at Eden Park in Auckland by seven wickets. India amassed 306-7 in their 50 overs which New Zealand chased down with ease in 47.1 overs. Kane Willamson and Tom Latham stitched an unbeaten partnership of 221 for the fourth wicket to take New Zealand home. India were not penetrative with the ball as they could pick up only three wickets.
Ahead of the second ODI, India rang in the changes to the playing XI. They drafted in Deepak Hooda for Sanju Samson and brought in Deepak Chahar for Shardul Thakur. This was mainly done to add more heft to the bowling. The changes made did not entirely please the former India pacer, Ashish Nehra.
India needs to get their combination right- Ashish Nehra
Here is what he said during an interaction with the host broadcasters Amazon Prime Video, “I hope they haven't picked Deepak Hooda for his bowling. You have Washington Sundar, yes, he bowled well, and picked up a few wickets in the T20Is. He's your sixth option, but not a great sixth option. Two changes India have made today, first thing, I don't feel two wrongs make a right because it's not that Shardul Thakur hasn't done well. But before Thakur, it should have been Deepak Chahar. Now you have gone with Thakur and it is harsh to drop after one game,” he said.
He also went on to say that Hooda is a better choice ahead of Samson considering he was a part of the World Cup squad. But, he was also alarmed that constant changes in the playing XI will put someone like Hooda out of favour in the Indian Team. “Even if you see Sanju Samson, I would have played Hooda ahead of Samson because he was part of the World Cup squad and suddenly he is nowhere. So it's difficult for Hooda as well as Thakur," Nehra added.