After sealing the series in the third one ODI at the Bay Oval, India will be looking display the same level of rutheless and go 4-0 up when they clash against New Zealand in Seddon Park on Thursday.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli has been rested for the final two one ODI’s and the T20’s to manage his workload ahead of a busy Indian summer. Rohit Sharma will be leading the side in his absence.
The visitors are expected to test their bench strength in the remaining fixtures. Talented 19 year old Shubman Gill could be in line to make his debut in place of Kohli.
Former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni who was out injured for the third ODI is likely to return to the playing XI. That means one among Dinesh Karthik and Kedar Jadhav will be expected to make way for the veteran. Jadhav might get the nod ahead of Karthik given his all round ability- he’s also the only batsman in the top six that can bowl in this squad.
The opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit have been in fine batting form. Mohammed Shami, who has won two Man of the Match awards in this series, is likely to be rested. One among Khaleel Ahmed and Mohammed Siraj is likely to take Shami’s place. The spin twins- Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, have been sensational so far, although there’s been a trend of teams being able to play them better as the series goes on. It’ll be interesting to see how the Black Caps handle them at Seddon Park.
Having already lost the series, New Zealand only have pride to play for. The batting has been a problem, with only one 100+ stand (Latham and Taylor in the 3rd ODI) across the whole series. In comparison to India’s openers, both Colin Munro and Martin Guptill have been very ordinary so far. Guptill’s past records will give him more breathing time, but Munro needs to get going sooner rather than later if he wants to board the plane to England later this year.
Ross Taylor showed some glimpses of form in the previous ODI with a fantastic 93. Williamson has got starts but has not been able to convert them into big scores.
The Black Caps have added all rounder Jimmy Neesham and spinner Todd Astle to their squad for the last two games, with Doug Bracewell and Ish Sodhi axed.
India’s Likely XI.
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav/ Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Khaleel Ahmed/ Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav
New Zealand Likely XI
Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (capt.), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), Henry Nicholls, James Neesham/De Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Todd Astle/Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult