But quite on the contrary, the Kiwi batting unit led by Ross Taylor and Tom Latham countered that threat using sweep shots to negate the movement off the pitch.
The spinners had to come together and work as a unit to find a way around the Kiwi batsmen and Axar, the left arm spinner who has been part of the Indian team in the shorter format of the game for a good while now, revealed that they made small variations to their lengths as a remedy.
Axar, who was brought into the playing line up after the first ODI, said, “They played the sweep well in the first game. We were aware that against spinners that was the strategy they were going to work with and we changed our strategy accordingly. We changed the angle by bowling over and round the wicket," said Axar at the pre-match conference.
The young spinner who burst onto the scene after his exploits in the IPL with the Kings Eleven Punjab, pointed out that he was not a substitute for the more tried and tested Ravindra Jadeja, but had in fact made it to the team based on his merit.
"I have got a place in the team and that's why I am playing. I am of the view that if I do well in one game, I will automatically be picked in the next match," Axar said at the pre-match conference.
Axar further added that having a captain like Virat Kohli was really helpful as he had a certain amount of freedom which he enjoyed. "He leaves it to us to decide on what to do. He says that even if the plan doesn't succeed I will back you, which gives us confidence to bowl with a free mind," said the lanky left-arm orthodox.
Patel who has the task of containing the runs against the visitors also added that head coach Ravi Shastri has been helping him more with the mental aspects of the game.
“He says all that is mind game, how to handle situations under pressure. He gives me small tips."
India XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), MS Dhoni(w), Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj
New Zealand XI: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson(c), Tom Bruce, Glenn Phillips(w), Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult
First Published: November 4, 2017, 11:23 AM IST