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23.01.2019 07:17

Preview: India’s Kiwi challenge begins with the first ODI at Napier

Team India begin their New Zealand tour with a first of the five One day Internationals at McLean Park in Napier on Wednesday. The Men in Blue will be in an ecstatic spirit after their victory over the Australians and will look to carry the winning momentum against the Black Caps.

After a successful tour of Australia, the Men in Blue will battle the Kiwis in a five match ODI series and a three match T20 series starting Wednesday. This series will be Men in Blue’s biggest test before the World Cup as an inform New Zealand side lead by Kane Williamson will be lethal at home.





Shikhar Dhawan had a rather quiet series in Australia and will use this as an opportunity to move past his shaky form. Skipper Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have looked solid and will be India’s best bet against Kiwi’s pace bowling attack. MS Dhoni has found a new role at the number four spot in the batting order while Kedar Jadhav and Dinesh Karthik will be Men in Blue’s crux of the lower middle order. The all-rounder Vijay Shankar seems to be an ideal candidate for the number seven spot while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami will be looking to continue their steady performances from Australia. The spinning duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have taken a combined 75 wickets since the beginning of 2017 and build a strong case for India’s victory over the Kiwis.

The hosts have been riding on the consistency of Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson lately. Taylor has been in impeccable form having scored 281 runs in the last three innings. The Kiwis have recalled Tom Latham for the ODI series against India who will further strengthen the middle order. However Kiwi’s most prized possession is their fast bowling attack with Tim Southee and Trent Boult being their biggest asset against Indian top order batsmen.

LAST ENCOUNTERS

India come into the series after registering a historic victory against Australia while the Black Caps outclassed the Sri Lankans at home.

India

Opponent

Result

Margin

Australia

Won

7 wickets

Australia

Won

6 wickets

Australia

Lost

34 runs

West Indies

Won

9 wickets

West Indies

Won

224 runs


New Zealand

Opponent

Result

Margin

Sri Lanka

Won

115 runs

Sri Lanka

Won

21 runs

Sri Lanka

Won

45 runs

Pakistan

No Result

-

Pakistan

Lost

6 wickets


 PROBABLE XI

The Men in Blue will have the batting trident of Rohit, Dhawan and Kohli at the top with Dhoni finding solace in the fourth spot. Jadhav, Karthik and Shankar will make up the lower middle order while Kumar and Shami will lead the pace attack with wrist spinners Chahal and Yadav taking control of the spin department. The hosts, on the other hand, have made considerable changes to their side and have brought in Latham and Boult. Martin Guptill and Colin Munro will open the innings while Williamson and Taylor will take charge of the middle order. The pace attack will be spearheaded by Boult and Southee with Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner being the spin options for the Kiwis.

Words: Ritvik Mawkin

Images: PA