After winning a rain affected T20I series, India will again take on New Zealand, this time in the ODI format, with the first of three games taking place at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday, November 25th. The match is scheduled to begin at 2.30 pm local time.
This is the first of three games, with the 2nd ODI scheduled for Hamilton, and the third Christchurch.
Dhawan leads India as captain again
Shikhar Dhawan will lead the India side again, having led the country to a series win over West Indies and was in line to skipper the side again in Zimbabwe, before KL Rahul was parachuted in over his head at the last minute.
He will turn 37 next month and there have been questions about whether he should still be part of the Indian team with the World Cup in mind next year – it is one of the issues that needs to be addressed in the recent BCCI selectorial shake-up but for now there appears no credible alternative, with names such as Rohit Sharma and Rahul back in India.
Dhawan has been written off before and come back, so this could be an ideal opportunity that he should not be written off just because of his age.
New Zealand will welcome back Kane Williamson as captain, He was forced to miss the third T20I because it clashed with a scheduled medical appointment.
Can Pant find his form again?
It has been a tough few months for Rishabh Pant who lost his place as an automatic started in the World Cup squad, and struggled with the bat in the T20 series. However, he scored his maiden century ODI against England in the summer, and this could be a chance to rebuild his reputation again. This could be his chance to re-establish his reputation in this format of the game.
Yadav the star for India
Suryakumar Yadav will carry the burden of expectation on his shoulders for India, who will be hoping that he can translate his T20I form into the longer format of the game. For that same reason, he can expect to be targeted by the New Zealand bowlers who know that, if they can get him out, then the rest of the batting line-up can be vulnerable.
Head to head record
There have been 110 previous ODIs between the two countries, and India leads their current head to head record by 55 wins to 40, with five matches ending in a no result. There has also been one tie between the two countries. India also have a decent record on New Zealand soil, having won 14 previous ODI matches there.
Although the Indians have not had much luck with the weather since they have been in New Zealand, the forecast for Auckland on Friday is for it to be dry, although it will be cool, with intermittent sunshine.
The Auckland pitch is known as one that generally favours batters, with 260 the par score. Fast bowlers may get some movement in the opening overs. The preference for those winning the toss there is to bat first.
New Zealand will have Tom Latham back in the fold having missed the T20I series, whilst Jimmy Neesham will play in the first two matches only because his wife is expecting a baby at the time of the third game.
For India it will be the chance of some of their young guns like Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer and Deepak Chahar to impress again.
Whilst India may have had the better of the T20I series, in the ODI format they are still experimenting and trying to find their best side. New Zealand have a more settled line-up and they have the benefit of playing in home conditions, something that gives them favourite status going into this match.
India will be hoping that some of the younger players they have picked for this match will take the opportunity that has been given to them.
More broadly, with the future of ODI cricket now coming into question, this would be a good opportunity for both teams to show that it still has relevance.
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