The Indians would be high in confidence after their emphatic victory over the visitors in the test series. The Indians would start as favourites to win the series as they play on home conditions favourable to their style of play. Nevertheless expect a tough fight from the Kiwis who are a much better ODI team than their credentials in test cricket. Moreover, the playing surfaces are expected to be more batting friendly than those in the test series and the Kiwis will stand to benefit if the same holds true.
Rohit Sharma, Manish Pandey, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (captain & wk), Axar Patel, Hardik Pandya, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Amit Mishra, Jayant Yadav, Mandeep Singh, Kedar Jhadav
There has been a lot of chipping and changing in the ODI squad with an intention to make a settled combination for the future. The selectors have given some of the regular stalwarts a break and given a chance to young blood who deserved a place in the national team owing to their stupendous showing in the India A tours and domestic cricket.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni comes back as the captain to lead the ODI team. The top order shall witness some changes as the selectors have gone in with two promising youngsters in Manish Pandey and Mandeep Singh in place of Shikhar Dhawan. Meanwhile seasoned opener Rohit Sharma shall once again look to provide his team with a solid platform upfront .The middle order looks be the strongest part of the batting. Prolific run scorer Virat Kohli shall once again be the mainstay of the batting and look to play the sheet anchor’s role to perfection. Meanwhile talented batsman Ajinkya Rahane would have his task cut out to hold the innings together and step on the acceleration button if required.
Destructive left-handed batsman Suresh Raina’s comeback has bolstered the middle order as the southpaw shall look to play the role of a finisher, which he has mastered over the years. MS Dhoni adds that calming influence to the batting line up and the skipper would look to make some valuable contributions with his quick fire cameos. Dhoni shall once again don the keeping gloves. Meanwhile prolific Ranji Trophy run scorer Kedar Jadhav gets a look into the national team.
In the absence of star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel stands to benefit with his role as a spinning all-rounder. Hardik Pandya is the other all-rounder who is capable of hitting some lusty blows and chipping in with wickets.
The spin attack has taken a bit of a hit with ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin being rested for the first three ODI’s. Test specialist Amit Mishra making a comeback to the Indian team would like to make the most of this opportunity. Meanwhile off spinner Jayant Yadav gets his first opportunity to don the Indians colours. Yadav had a brilliant 2014/15 Ranji Trophy season with Haryana and impressed with his stellar performance against Australia in an unofficial test series.
The pace attack though weakened by the absence of experienced seamers like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Muhammed Shami and Ishant Sharma still looks quite well rounded. In their absence, Jasprit Bumrah who has been a sensation with his spectacular bowling at the death and speed merchant Umesh Yadav would form the nucleus of the pace attack. The selectors have rewarded seasoned campaigner Dhawal Kulkarni for his stupendous showing in the domestic season.
Recent Form of India:
Since the ICC 2015 World Cup the Indians have had a mixed bag in the bilateral ODI series competed by them. The team won the ODI series against fast improving Bangladesh and minnows Zimbabwe in their backyard but were rendered a crushing defeat by the Aussies in 2016 and were upset by the South Africans at home in 2015. So India would like to once again get into the groove at home and win the series against the Kiwis.
India would go in as favourites to win the series against the Kiwis at home but it won’t be easy going for the home side as New Zealand is a decent one day side capable of pulling an upset with their ‘ODI specialists’, who have turned around games on their own. Moreover, the Indians would be missing the services of some of the seniors in the first three games of the ODI so the youngsters shall have to step up their level of play and prove their mantle.Expect a hard fought series with India holding the slight edge over the visitors playing at home. It should be a 3-2 win in favour of India.