Today Kuldeep and Chahal took 6 for 82 from their 20 combined overs – a further reminder (that shouldn’t be needed) that despite Jadeja still battling for a spot in the team the two wrist spinners are comfortably India’s premier ODI spin bowlers. #NZvIND
1st ODI, McLean Park, Napier 23 January, 2019
Toss won by New Zealand (decided to bat)
India beat New Zealand by 8 wickets (D/L method)
Man of the Match: Mohammed Shami
Shami after winning Man on the Match: Till now, whatever we have achieved has been a team effort. We enjoy each other’s success and are able to execute our plans. If we have a plan A that doesn’t work, there’s always a Plan B. As a bowling unit, we decide things together. Injuries changed my outlook. I made a comeback after a long time and spent a good time at our rehab centre which is world class. The management and support staff have been really cooperative, as has been my captain who has always encouraged me.
India vs New Zealand Latest Updates:
Catch all the live updates and live cricket score of the first ODI between India and New Zealand in Napier.
Preview: Australia conquered. New Zealand await.
In all likelihood, this will be a sterner Test for Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team. One, it will be longer – five One-Day Internationals compared to the three against Australia. Two, New Zealand are ranked No. 3 and are a team in form, unlike Australia who haven’t won an ODI series in two years. India’s only other ODI assignment before the World Cup is a home series against Australia, which, going by form and history, shouldn’t be much of a challenge. Thus, this New Zealand series will likely be the last set of games for India to test their combinations in largely like-for-like conditions to the ones they will face in England. It’s the same for New Zealand, whose only other ODI hit out will be a three-match series against Bangladesh at home.
To make things more competitive, things are falling in place for both sides going into the series. India are very close to identifying their starting XI for the World Cup; after months of testing, they’ve finally got an in-form middle order. A lot of that has to do with MS Dhoni’s form. The former captain was the Player of the Series with three successive half-centuries, silencing questions on his place in the side. More importantly, India are getting close to identifying the perfect role for him: Numbers 4 and 5 suit him much better than Number 6. Dhoni is the ideal batsman to have in situations when run-rate is not the primary concern, at least initially.
For that, though, India have had to adjust the roles of others in the side. Ambati Rayudu was left out for the last ODI against Australia after two failures. Dinesh Karthik has been made the designated finisher. Kedar Jadhav batted at No. 5 in the only ODI he played, and scored a match-winning half-century. India will be glad that Dhoni, Jadhav and Karthik scored crucial runs in Australia; it means they don’t always have to rely on the top three. But the top three very much remains the heart of the batting unit. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli scored centuries in the ODI series, and India will want Shikhar Dhawan too to join the party in New Zealand. India will also hope to be put in different situations – they batted second in all three Australia ODIs, and will want to test their combinations for when they bat first. Five ODIs against a top class bowling unit should test the Indian batting line-up to the fullest.
The New Zealand series will also be about testing back-ups. Vijay Shankar, the replacement for Hardik Pandya, made his ODI debut in Melbourne but didn’t have much to do. India will also have Shubman Gill as the third opener in New Zealand. The Australia series also possibly made India take another step towards confirming their third pacer. Khaleel Ahmed and Mohammed Siraj were expensive in their opportunities they got, while Mohammed Shami grabbed his chances with tidy spells. In all likelihood, he will partner Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah in the World Cup. India will want to confirm that in New Zealand and also hope the likes of Khaleel and Siraj find form. The man who will have to lead India’s charge is Bhuvneshwar, given the conditions will be perfect for him. The spin unit is as set as it can get. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are threats wherever they play, with Ravindra Jadeja too playing a part.
They will, however, be bowling to the most in-form batting unit in ODI cricket maybe barring England. Every single batsman in New Zealand’s top six – Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls and all-rounder James Neesham – was among the runs in New Zealand’s 3-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka recently. New Zealand scored 371, 319 and 364 in the three matches! New Zealand will be without Neesham for the first three ODIs as he is nursing a hamstring injury. Taylor has been in the form of his life. He scored 281 runs from three matches against Sri Lanka and averages over 90 in the last one year. Taylor’s form and Neesham’s striking at the death, with Williamson holding it all together, were the biggest takeaways for New Zealand from the Sri Lanka series.
Without Neesham, New Zealand will hope Colin de Grandhomme takes up that responsibility. How Taylor and the other middle order batsmen handle Kuldeep and Chahal will be key. They’ve also got back Tom Latham to add solidity to the line up. New Zealand will also be bolstered by the return of Mitchell Santner, who last played an ODI in March 2018. The left-arm spinner is a crucial part of New Zealand’s limited-overs plans given his ability with the bat in the lower order.
He adds depth to an already strong batting unit and strengthens a spin attack that has a quality legspinner in Ish Sodhi. Tim Southee and Trent Boult provide swing of different kinds while Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson provide pace. Overall, this is as close a battle as it gets. Not without reason are India and New Zealand No. 2 and 3 in ODI cricket. As Mike Hesson told Cricketnext, this series is the perfect ‘dress rehearsal’ before the 2019 World Cup.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson(c), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.
India: Virat Kohli(c), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, Shubman Gill.
(Note: This Story has been completely carried over from https://www.news18.com and apaperboy.com has not edited the content)