Can New Zealand upset India in their first warm up game?
Our prediction is that India will win their first warm-up match against New Zealand.
The time is approaching for the ICC World Cup 2019 and the teams are beginning their preparations for the world cup with a couple of warm-up matches each starting 24 May 2019.
India and New Zealand will play their first warm-up match at the Kennington Oval in London. Both the team are in the top half of the ICC rankings and have several individual players in the top player rankings as well. Though India looks a stronger team on paper, they would do well to not underestimate this brilliant New Zealand squad under the captaincy of Ken Williamson. The encounter will give an idea about both teams’ playing combination for the world cup.
India last played an ODI in the month of March 2019. The players have had been busy with the IPL since then. A couple of warm-up matches before the big event will give them the much-needed opportunity to regroup on the field before the start of the big event.
India has had a phenomenal couple of years in ODI cricket. Their win-loss ratio is second only to England as India won 41 of the 59 ODIs played during this time. It will be interesting to see who India opts to send in at number 4. There are multiple candidates for the role, but KL Rahul looks more likely to start at this position. It wouldn't be a surprise if Vijay Shankar gets sent in at this position as a tryout or to hold back revealing the plans for the main event.
New Zealand would be a great opponent to play in the warm-up game as India would be tested every department, be it seam, swing or seam bowling. India is likely to play all first choice bowlers including Bumrah, Shami, Kuldeep.
V Kohli (c), RG Sharma, JJ Bumrah, S Dhawan, MS Dhoni (wk), RA Jadeja, KM Jadhav, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, HH Pandya, KL Rahul
New Zealand, the fourth-ranked ICC team, has been one of the tough teams in recent times. They have the fourth highest win-loss ratio with 19 wins in 34 matches. New Zealand played their last ODI against Bangladesh which they won by 88 runs.
Out of the 8 bilateral ODI series played in the last 2 years, New Zealand has won 4 and drawn one against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates. The 3 series defeats have been against the higher ranked team; India - 2 series defeats and England - 1 series defeat. New Zealand needs to get better at defeating teams who are placed higher to them in the rankings. It's a great opportunity for them now as they look to start the world cup preparations with a warm-up match against the high ranked Indian team.
New Zealand is likely to play all their first choice players. It will be unlikely for uncapped Tom Blundell to get a game.
KS Williamson (c), TA Boult, C de Grandhomme, MJ Guptill, TWM Latham (wk), C Munro, JDS Neesham, HM Nicholls, MJ Santner, TG Southee, LRPL Taylor
The Kennington Oval in London is one of the prime ODI venues in England. The average score batting first at this venue is 297 in the last 10 innings with the highest score reaching as high as 398.
In the 2000s, chasing teams have won 62% of the completed matches at this venue. Thus, the team winning to the toss should look to Bowl first and should look to chase the target down on this batting paradise.
Despite being the warm-up matches for the world no team is expected to take this encounter lightly. Especially since both the team are playing ODI cricket after a couple of months' break. India looks a strong team on paper or otherwise and New Zealand would do well to give them a fight on this batting friendly wicket given the batting prowess India possess.
Thus, our prediction is that India would win the first warm-up match against New Zealand at Kennington Oval on 24th May 2019.
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