Rahul is not part of the series
KL Rahul is not available due to personal reasons, so Kishan can be given the responsibility of wicketkeeping. He has landed in the middle order in three out of ten ODIs so far, so he has experience of batting at this position. KS Bharath, the other wicket-keeper in the squad, is unlikely to be picked as he has been kept as cover in Rahul’s absence. With the World Cup coming up this year, every match is important and India would like to carry on the momentum they have had against Sri Lanka. The performance of three top-order batsmen and fast bowler Mohammad Siraj against Sri Lanka was commendable.
Among the batsmen, apart from Gill and Virat Kohli, Rohit also scored 83 and 42 but could not score a century. Kohli hit back-to-back centuries and by returning to old form has rung alarm bells for New Zealand. Shreyas Iyer has been ruled out of the series due to back problems. Suryakumar Yadav seems to be getting a chance in the team. The presence of Surya and Hardik Pandya will strengthen the Indian middle order.
head to head
Match – 113
India won – 55
New Zealand won – 50
Tie – 01
Inconclusive – 07
Indian bowlers in rhythm
Apart from Rahul, Akshar Patel has also been given a break, in whose place Shahbaz Ahmed can be a part of the playing XI. It remains to be seen whether the team management drops him or Washington Sundar can be given a chance. So far, India have preferred a finger or wrist spinner i.e. one of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav who also impressed against Sri Lanka.
Whether the two will play together like five years ago remains to be seen. Chahal did not play after the first ODI due to shoulder swelling but will be available for this series. Siraj, Mohammed Shami and Umran Malik will handle the fast bowling front. On the other hand, the New Zealand team does not have stars like Kane Williamson and Tim Southee, but despite this the team is very strong. Stand-in skipper Tom Latham was impressive in the last ODI against India. The New Zealand team has come with high spirits after defeating Pakistan.
Here are the two teams:
India: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, KS Bharat, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umran Malik .
New Zealand: Tom Latham (c), Finn Allen, Doug Bracewell, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Jacob Duffy, Lockie Ferguson, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner.
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