22nd Jan, 2019
With the World Cup less than five months away and only 10 matches to play, the Virat Kohli-led side would want to make the most of every ODI they play. The 5-match ODI series against New Zealand is of utmost importance for the men in blue as the pitches here are similar to what they’ll get in the World Cup. What makes this an exciting ODI series is that New Zealand, along with India, are among the favourites to lift the cup in England. Both India and New Zealand are somewhat similar in how they’re playing and the balance they have. Both are led by two batting stalwarts in Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson, and both the sides have potent bowling line-ups that can take the game away from the opposition on their day. The only parallel between the two sides is India’s top three batsmen. Make that four, if Dhoni continues to play at no. 4 for India.
India would be on a high after their first bilateral ODI series win in Australia and would want to continue the same momentum going into the series with New Zealand. Virat Kohli would want to try out as many combinations and solve the no. 4 dilemma for India to zero in on their best playing XIs ahead of the World Cup. As of now, MS Dhoni seems to be doing a pretty good job at no. 4 for India, which allows Kedar Jadhav to play and give an extra cushion to India’s bowling. With Ms Dhoni returning back to his exploits, India has got their middle order sorted for now. With a 2-1 historic win over the Aussies and Dhoni being the man of the series with 2 not outs, Virat Kohli would be a happy man. Ravindra Jadeja and Vijay Shankar are the two able all-rounders in the team in the absence of Hardik Pandya. Though Shubman Gill has been added to the squad against the Kiwis, it is highly unlikely that he’ll get a game.
India’s bowling looks on top with Bhuvneshwar Kumar returning to form and Mohammed Shami being his able partner. Yuzvendra Chahal is likely to picked over Kuldeep Yadav, looking at his match-winning 6/42 in the decider.
Talking about New Zealand, their batting also revolves around Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, with Martin Guptil being a quality opener. Though Colin Munro hasn’t had a great outing with the bat, expect him to fire against India as he loves playing against them. With Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson, New Zealand has an edge over the men in blue when it comes to the fast bowling department, especially with Bumrah not being around.
All in all, it promises to be an exciting ODI between India and New Zealand, and expect this one to go down to the wire, with both teams playing quality cricket and New Zealand having the home advantage. The 1st ODI is set to be played at Napier tomorrow.
Here’s the ODI squad for both the teams.
Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Vijay Shankar, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Khaleel Ahmed, Shubman Gill
Kane Williamson, Martin Guptil, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Henry Nicholls, Tom Latham, Matt Henry, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Mitchell Santner, Doug Bracewell, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson.