let bloom with an unbeaten 37 from 16 as India posted a challenging 306/7 in 50 overs. This was after Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill led an excellent start with the pair sewing a century standings. Gill was out immediately after reaching his half-century, while Dhawan made 72. Lockie Ferguson dented India’s progress with Rishabh Pant and Suryakumar Yadav scalping in an over before Shreyas and Sanju Samson led the recovery.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the coin toss and elected to field first against India in the series opener. Williamson talked about sticking to the ODI blueprint and says the players are looking forward to the series. Indian captain Shikhar Dhawan said he would have also bowled first but has no problem batting first either. He believes that these ODIs provide young people with a good opportunity to prove their credentials.
After a year of dosing T20 cricket, it’s time to shift focus to the over-50s format as the 2023 ODI World Cup is just a few months away. India and New Zealand will also get in the mood with the 3-match series starting Friday in Auckland.
India, third in the men’s ODI ranking, has automatically qualified for next year’s World Cup as the hosts. It has been a year where their first choice players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah have not been consistent starters in the ODI series largely due to the hectic cricket schedule.
Left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan will once again take over the captain’s armband and will most likely open the innings with Shubman Gill. The duo have amassed three-century stands in eight ODIs this year and would hope to continue their cause with smashing performances in the matches against New Zealand.
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Suryakumar Yadav would aim to replicate his superlative T20I form and 360-degree stroke play in ODIs while Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson and Deepak Hooda would make up the middle order. Hooda can also be the handy sixth bowling option, something India has been missing lately, and can form the spin attack, a three-way battle between Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
In the Pace Bowling department, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur could be tipped to form the bowling attack. But there is a chance Arshdeep Singh, India’s find in T20Is this year, will get a debut ODI cap, and so will Umran Malik.
New Zealand, on the other hand, will hope to see their talisman skipper Kane Williamson come into their own in ODIs. Williamson struggles to get the desired acceleration in T20Is. But with his ability to spend a lot of time in the middle, he can use that to his advantage and rack up big scores in ODIs.
(with IANS inputs)
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