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Both teams have been in top form but India will start this game and the overall series, as favorites. New Zealand seems to be an inexperienced squad and in the absence of their two star players (Kane Williamson and Tim Southee), they will face an uphill task against this Indian team who hasn't lost a single ODI series at home since February 2019.
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Umran Malik, Mohammed Siraj
New Zealand: Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Mark Chapman/Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham (c & wk), Glenn Phillips, Michael Bracewell, Mitchell Santner, Doug Bracewell/Henry Shipley, Jacob Duffy, Lockie Ferguson
India’s recent form against Sri Lanka showed why they’ve been a dominant force at home. The ‘Men in Blue’ have not lost an ODI series since February 2019. In fact, since the start of 2010, they have lost just three bilateral rubbers at home. New Zealand have lost in each of their six attempts on Indian soil.
The Rohit Sharma-led side ticked almost every box in the ODI series against Sri Lanka. The top-order looked in fine shape and when they couldn’t get going in one of the games, the middle-order bailed them out in a tricky run-chase. Moreover, the bowlers put an excellent show as well. In 2020 and 2021 combined, India’s issue was bowling in the powerplay as they had taken just eight wickets in 15 ODIs and they were conceding runs at an economy of 6.07.
But since Mohammed Siraj’s arrival, things have changed drastically since the start of 2022. He has bowled beautifully and has been providing India the early breakthroughs. In the series against Sri Lanka, India did struggle to wipe out the lower order in a couple of games and they will be looking to improve in that aspect. Kuldeep Yadav and Umran Malik have been getting wickets in the middle-overs as well which has only given India a different edge.
Meanwhile, New Zealand were excellent in the ODI series against Pakistan. Their top-order batted really well with the likes of Finn Allen giving them brisk starts and Devon Conway getting the big scores. But the absence of Kane Williamson is a big hole to fill at No. 3. Mark Chapman and Henry Nicholls have performed well in the past and one of them is likely to fill in for the regular ODI captain. Tom Latham will be the key in the middle-order along with Glenn Phillips who is fresh off a blistering knock of 64 not out which helped the Kiwis win the third ODI.
However, the focus will be on their bowling attack which wears a pretty inexperienced look. Lockie Ferguson is the most experienced with 50 ODIs under his belt while Doug Bracewell has played 21 but he hasn't been a regular member of the team either. Meanwhile, the three other pacers in the squad have a combined experience of nine ODIs. Moreover, the spinners Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi and Michael Bracewell are going to be crucial, in the middle-overs.
KL Rahul and Axar Patel are not available for the ODI series against New Zealand. KS Bharat and Shabhaz Ahmed have been named as their replacements. However, Ishan Kishan is most probably going to get the nod as the wicket-keeper and Washington Sundar will be the spin-bowling all-rounder.
Kane Williamson and Tim Southee have returned home after the Pakistan tour. Tom Latham will lead the side in the ODI series. Either Henry Nicholls or Mark Chapman will replace Williamson at No. 3. Meanwhile, two out of Doug Bracewell, Henry Shipley and Jacob Duffy are likely to be a part of the playing XI as New Zealand may revert back to the three-pacer combination after playing three spinners in Pakistan.
Rohit Sharma has been getting some solid starts in ODI cricket over the last one year. The Indian ODI skipper has played 11 matches since the start of 2022 and he has scored 391 runs at an average of 43.44. In addition to that, Rohit is striking at 110.14 which shows that he has been getting off the blocks quickly but those big hundreds haven't really come. Moreover, he has been dismissed in single figures just twice in this period. He will be looking to correct that in this series against the Kiwis.
Tom Latham has a terrific record against India and in India. The left-hander has played and has countered the Indian spinners beautifully over the years. He averages 65.07 while amassing 846 runs at a strike-rate of 98.94 in ODI cricket against India. In India, he has got 450 runs in eight innings which includes three fifties and a ton. With Williamson not a part of this side, Latham will be absolutely vital in the middle-order for New Zealand.
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Rohit is a cricket enthusiast striving to convey the finer details of the game in a capsule. He hopes to present a bird's eye view of the game, as he sees it, to the readers. He is smitten by the likes of ABD but crushes on pace bowlers who can make the ball talk. Email: [email protected]More info on Rohit Sankar
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