The Kiwis are a completely different kettle of fish when it comes to the limited overs format. The Black Caps have been a formidable force in ODI cricket over the last twelve months. Ever since making the finals of the 2015 World Cup against the Australians, Kiwis have been one of the top teams in limited over cricket and gelled well under the command of their skipper Kane Williamson.
So the Men in Blue should expect a tough fight from the New Zealanders in the upcoming ODI series.
New Zealand Squad:
Martin Guptill, Anton Devich, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Latham, Luke Ronchi (wk), BJ Watling (wk) , Corey Anderson, Jimmy Neesham, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Matt Henry, Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner
The NZ ODI team is a competitive unit and looks to have the perfect balance with bat and ball. Moreover their selectors have gone in with the ‘Horses for Courses’ policy by picking up those players who are equipped with good techniques and temperament to do well on sub-continent conditions.
The batting has some elegant stroke makers who can change the course of the game on their own. Opener Martin Guptill will look to provide the impetus upfront with his destructive yet elegant stroke play. Meanwhile Anton Devich making a comeback to the team gets another chance to prove his credentials as an opener for the Black Caps.
The middle order looks strong and compact. Captain Kane Williamson is a class act and will be keen to showcase his range of exquisite stroke-play. Attacking batsman Ross Taylor would prove handy with all his experience of playing on Indian soil. Young turk Tom Latham who would like to make an impression of sorts among the Indian fans. The inclusion of all-rounders, Corey Anderson and Jimmy Neesham provides depth to their batting. Both these men are match winners, capable of producing fireworks at the end of the innings.
The keeping gloves would be donned by Luke Ronchi, who is pretty useful with the bat too. BJ Watling is the other gloves-man in the squad.
As expected, the selectors have gone in for two frontline spinners in Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi who would love to roll their arm over in spin friendly wickets. The Kiwi pace attack looks pretty strong with seasoned seamers in Tim Southee and Trent Boult, who by far has been their best strike bowler. Doug Bracewell and Matt Henry are the other two seamers in the pace department. Meanwhile all-rounders Corey Anderson and Jimmy Neesham would complement the pace attack with their ‘military medium’ pace.
Recent Form of NZ:
The Kiwis post their successful World Cup campaign have gone from strength to strength in recent times. They come into the ODI series on the back of three successive series wins against Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Australia at home. However, the Kiwis lost their overseas series to England and South Africa in 2015 but they both were pretty closely competed.
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.