After enduring losses in the first two games of the first two ODIs, the Men in Blue will be looking for ending the ODI series by winning the third and final game in Mount Maunganui.
Meanwhile, the Kiwis would want to take the revenge of the 5-0 thrashing they received in the T20 international series by sweeping the ODI series without letting India win a single game.
Let us take a look at both the teams and what they need to do to win the final game.
The one thing that has come back to haunt the Virat Kohli-led side is the “crumbling” middle-order. Shreyas Iyer has been doing most of the work in the middle overs but none of the other batsmen are scoring much runs for the team. The middle-order is exposed because the top three batsmen of the side haven’t been performing well. The reason for India’s success in the white-ball cricket have been Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Virat Kohli.
But if they got out cheap then India has a great chance of scoring just under 200 runs against good opposition. The absence of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan is probably the biggest difficulty for Team India right now. Sharma, Dhawan, and Kohli were doing most of the scoring for Team India in the recent past and their absence is clearly showing in the ongoing ODI series.
Rohit’s performance has been one of the key things for India in the past 12 months. His average in the white-ball format was over 57 and he played some match-winning knocks to make a flying start for India.
KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer have been the only saving grace for the side. They have done making runs and taking the team to a modest total. In the first game, they took India to 347 but still lost because of superlative performance by the Kiwi batsmen.
One more area of concern is the rhythm with which Jasprit Bumrah is bowling. To be honest, he is not looking at the bowler he used to be. Since his return, he has been 5 ODI games and had taken just two wickets. In the last two games, Bumrah has been bowling at an economy rate of 6.70, which is quite shocking.
If India has to win this game then Bumrah needs to find his mojo back.
After a humiliating loss in the T20 International series, the Kiwis have made a strong comeback into the series. Despite the absence of skipper Kane Williamson, the Kiwis have played well and turned their shortcomings in their strongest part.
Both the openers have been giving some really good contributions at the top of the order. In the first game when everyone thought New Zealand won’t be able to win the game, they steal a victory from India’s hand. Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls have scored more than 50 runs for the opening wicket in both the game.
In the first game, they stitched a 85-run partnership while a 93-run stand in the second game gave them a good foundation. After that, batsmen like Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, and Kyle Jamieson have been instrumental while batting. They would be hoping for another great partnership at the top of the order to make it 3-0.
The only area of concern for them is the health of their bowlers. Mitchell Santner, Scott Kuggeleijn, and the hero of the second ODI, Tim South, have not keeping up well and there is a lot of suspense if they will be able to play in the third game or not.
As a result, Ish Sodhi and Blair Tickner have been included in the squad for the final game.
On the other hand, it is being reported that Kane Williamson will be back to lead side after being unavailable for the first two games of the ODI series due to a shoulder injury.
The Black Caps will be aiming for a clean sweep in the ODI series.
India – Virat Kohli (capt), Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (wk), Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, and Navdeep Saini.
Probable XI – Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohl (c), Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Manish Pandey, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Shami, and Yuzvendra Chahal.
New Zealand – Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Latham (wk), Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Jimmy Neesham, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tom Blundell, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Hamish Bennett, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson, Ish Sodhi and Blair Tickner.
Probable XI – Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson / Tom Blundell, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mark Chapman, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson, Hamish Bennett