- Venue: Seddon Park
- Date: 5 February, Wednesday
- Time: 7:30 AM IST
- League: India tour of New Zealand
After a ruthless annihilation of kiwis in the T-20 series where Indian team completed a historic clean sweep, all of a sudden, Virat Kohli and his men look like an impregnable force to breach. The visitors would be seeking to gain an early lead in a first of the three ODIs that will be played at Seddon Park in Hamilton.
However, the team suffered a major setback after Rohit Sharma’s calf injury ruled him out of the series. Mayank Agrawal was called as his replacement for the ODIs. Virat Kohli’s indication to keep playing KL Rahul as a middle-order batsman also means that Prithwi Shaw is going to make his ODI debut at Hamilton as an opener.
In the bowling department, apart from the ever-present duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini is likely to get a nod as a third seamer, ahead of Shardul Thakur. Ravindra Jadeja should be playing as a sole all-rounder for the team. India might have to pick one of the players between Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal to lead the spin frontier.
The last time India came here for what was supposed to be a five-match ODI series in 2019, they demolished the home side by a margin of 4-1.
And after a 5-0 obliteration in a recently concluded T-20 series, Can they do a whitewash of the ODI series too?
New Zealand Preview
Despite boasting of a strong and highly competitive squad across all formats, New Zealand’s mental strength has plummeted to its nadir after enduring two successive whitewashes in an international arena. It seems as if they have forgotten to win. They do put up a great challenge but too often guilty of choking in clutch situations.
New Zealand’s agony refuses to cease. As if losing their three prominent fast bowlers, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry were not enough, now they have lost their captain Kane Williamson for the next two matches because of a shoulder injury. Mark Chapman has been picked as Williamson’s replacement, and Tom Latham will lead the side for the first two matches of the series.
There will be a huge onus on Tom Blundell and Martin Guptil to give their team a steady start to build up the innings. Tim Southee is likely to spearhead an inexperienced pace attack. The inclusion of Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme adds much-needed stability in Black Caps’ middle-order.
New Zealand will beaiming to forget the past and start this series with renewed vigour and vitality to stand toe-to-toe against the visitors.
India to win the match.
With the Black Caps missing many of their first-choice players, beating this relentless Indian side seems to be an intimidating affair.
Fantasy Team Tips
- Mohammad Shami with seven wickets is the highest wicket-taker for India on this pitch.
- Colin de Grandhomme would be a better option as a bowling all-rounder than Ravindra Jadeja as the conditions at Hamilton rarely support spinners.
- No other player has scored more runs than Ross Taylor in Hamilton. He has two centuries and four half-centuries to his name at Seddon Park. As a senior player, he also has a huge responsibility to step up his game in the absence of Kane Williamson. Expect Ross Taylor to deliver.
- KL Rahul is going to be the most popular choice for the captain’s role. However, going for another wicket-keeper batsman Tom Latham won’t be a bad idea. Especially against India, he has a sensational record of scoring 593 runs in 13 innings at an average of 53.90.
Fantasy Team Prediction
- Wicket-Keeper – Tom Latham, KL Rahul
- Batsmen – Ross Taylor, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Prithvi Shaw
- All-rounders – Colin de Grandhomme, Jimmy Neesham
- Bowlers – Mohammed Shami, Scott Kuggeleijn, Jasprit Bumrah
- Captain – KL Rahul
- Vice-Captain – Ross Taylor