The T20I series is done and dusted, with Team India registering a clinical 5-0 win over the Black Caps. The action now shifts to the three-match ODI series, with the first game being held at the Seddon Park in Hamilton.
The hosts will be eyeing a quick turnaround of fortunes with the change in format. It will, however, be a big challenge for the World Cup finalists, who are playing their first 50-over match since the heart-break they suffered in the competition, losing the summit clash on boundary count. They will be without skipper Kane Williamson for the first two games, but stand-in captain Tom Latham will be hoping that he can inspire his team to a clinical showing.
India, on the other hand, have been brilliant in the series thus far. They initially fought off jet lag in no time and then came from behind in the last three T20Is to get across the line, with their youngsters maintaining their calm in nervy situations. They enter the game with an eye for revenge as well – India had been defeated by New Zealand in the semis of the World Cup last year – and will enter the series as favourites, but they should write off the Kiwis ion their home ground at their own peril.
New Zealand Team News, Predicted XI and Key Players
The Kiwis were already without senior players Matt Henry, Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson for the series as they are suffering from an injury, and the recent injury to Williamson further pushes them to the backfoot. They have called up Kyle Jamieson in the team, but he is unlikely to feature in the opener, with Hamish Bennett likely to make the 11.
Colin Munro has been left out of the side, which means that Martin Guptill will have Henry Nicholls as his opening partner for the game. Tim Southee was not in the best form in the T20Is, but seeing the inexperience in the side, he might just hold on to his spot.
Key players – Ross Taylor: In the absence of Williamson, Taylor will have the role of playing anchor in the middle order. He had the most number of runs for the Kiwis in the T20I series after Munro, striking two fifties, and enters the ODIs in good nick. He is also the nation’s leading run-scorer in the format and has a good average of over 54 at Seddon Park.
Martin Guptill: The opener got good starts in the T20Is, but was unable to convert it into big scores. He, however, is a fine player, averaging 53 at the venue with two hundred and two fifties in the format at Hamilton.
Mitchell Santner: Included in the world’s top ten-all-rounders, Santner has picked up seven wickets an economy rate of just 4.68 at the ground. He has a decent record against India too and will be the key in the middle overs.
Predicted XI: Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (c/wk), Mark Chapman, James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Hamish Bennett
India Team News, Predicted XI and Key Players
The Men in Blue too are dealing with injuries, with Rohit Sharma too ruled out from the rest of the tour after a calf injury. Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya had been ruled out as well. Skipper Virat Kohli stated that Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw will open the innings in the first game, which will mean that KL Rahul is shifted down to 5. Navdeep Saini is likely to be picked ahead of Shardul Thakur, with Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav will fight for one spot.
Key Players – KL Rahul: The wicket-keeper has been in sublime form of late, and even bagged the Player of the Series award in the T20I series, finishing with 224 runs at an average of 56. He has done well in the middle order as well and will be a thorn in the flesh of the Black Caps.
Virat Kohli: The Indian skipper is the best batter in the format, and has a fine average at Hamilton as well, averaging 62 at the ground.
Jasprit Bumrah: The number one ranked ODI bowler in the world will be the biggest threat to the hosts with the new ball. He had picked up 6 wickets in the T20Is at an economy rate of just 6.45.
Predicted XI: Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Manish Pandey, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav/Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah