Euro 2020 Special

India vs New Zealand 1st ODI Preview: India Looking to Maintain Momentum


No sooner have Sri Lanka departed then New Zealand arrive to take their place. The Kiwis have arrived in India to play back to back white ball series, with three ODIs followed by three T20Is.

And they begin with the first ODI which will be played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Wednesday, January 18th. The match is scheduled to begin at 1 pm local time.


Recent Form

The two sides met as recently as last November in New Zealand, when India travelled there just after the World Cup.

The home side won the first match by seven wickets in Auckland, but the subsequent two games fell victim to rain.

Subsequently flew to Bangladesh, but would have been disappointed to have lost that series as well, this time by two matches to one.

However, they have just come off a convincing series whitewash against an admittedly poor Sri Lankan side. They won the first game in Guwahati by 67 runs, and the second in Kolkata by 4 wickets. And then they thrashed their hapless opponents by a record margin of 317 runs in Thiruvananthapuram.

New Zealand, meanwhile, have come into this tour fresh from touring Pakistan. The two tests between the sides ended in draws, but, having lost the first ODI in Karachi, they won the next two to clinch the series.


Head to head

The pair has played each other 113 times before In ODI cricket, with the current record showing 55 wins to India and 50 to New Zealand.  The other matches ended in a no result. Typically India have the edge when playing on home soil, however.


New Zealand absentees

New Zealand will be without both captain Kane Williamson and his vice Tim Southee (who has succeeded Williamson as test captain), who have both been rested after their efforts in Pakistan.

The experienced Tom Latham is likely to lead the side in their absence.


India selection dilemmas

India have several selection dilemmas ahead of the series, with who keeps wicket perhaps top of the agenda. KL Rahul will miss these games due to family commitments, and with both Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson unavailable, it appears to be a straight choice between Ishan Kishan and KS Bharat for the gloves.

Having scored a maiden double century in record time against Bangladesh, Kishan can consider himself unlucky not to have played against Sri Lanka, but the selectors may want to have a look at the uncapped Bharat. He has also been named in the squad for the first two tests against Australia, and this may be a chance to blood him into international cricket before then.

With Axar Patel also missing, Shahbaz Ahmed may be given another chance to impress in the all-rounder/spinner role.


The pitch

Although the pitch in Hyderabad is typically good for batting, it is also dry which offers some help to the bowlers in terms of bounce and spin.  Dew is not a factor at this ground in limited overs cricket, but, as the match wears on, it does tend to spin more. The preferred option for the side that wins the toss is to bat first.


The weather

The weather on the day of the match should be dry and sunny, with a maximum temperature of 31 degrees Celsius. There is little or no chance of any rain to spoil proceedings.



One thing that is almost guaranteed is that New Zealand will offer India a much sterner test than they faced in the recent series against Sri Lanka, which was almost too one-sided in the ODI format.

And that is a good thing as far as the home side are concerned. If they have any hopes of winning the World Cup later this year, then they are going to have to beat the best teams, and New Zealand can count themselves among that number.

At the same time, India have built up a head of steam and their batting line-up now looks particularly strong, with Virat Kohli back to his best with two more ODI centuries to his name now.

And with the Kiwis missing two of their most important players, that would appear to tilt the balance in favour of the home side.




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