Man of the Match: Mohammed Shami
India will start the series with a win
Our prediction is that India will start the series with a win!
The teams around the world are looking beef up their World Cup preparations. India are on a limited overs cricket tour to New Zealand starting 23rd Jan 2019. India will be playing 5 ODIs followed by 3 T20 Internationals.
This series promises to be an engrossing one. The second-ranked team, India, are on tour to the country of the third-ranked team, New Zealand, who have not lost to any lower ranked team at home since the start of the last year. The last year’s overall stats aren’t separating these two teams by a lot either. India have won 70% of the matches whereas, New Zealand have won 68% of the matches.
India have had a huge boost in confidence recently with their first bilateral series in Australia and New Zealand are coming to this series on the back of a 3-0 thumping of Sri Lanka at home. There is nothing much to separate these sides which only adds to the possibility of a nail biter.
While the cricketing world is talking about England and India as the team to look out for in the upcoming world cup, New Zealand is secretly becoming a team to beat in the ODI format. They have not lost in ODIs at home in last one year except for the top-ranked England team.
New Zealand have recently drawn the ODI series away from home against Pakistan and have thrashed Sri Lanka 3-0 in the home series. After the high scoring series against Sri Lanka, it will be interesting to see if New Zealand go for such batting friendly wickets against Kohli and co.
Ross Taylor is in great form and is second only to Kohli in terms of average since last world cup. He along with Captain Kane Williamson, Guptill, and Nicholls down the order form the backbone of the team. In Boult and Southee New Zealand have the best in the business in helping conditions. Tom Latham, Mitchell Santner, and bowling allrounder Colin de Grandhomme are back in the squad.
Kane Williamson (capt), Trent Boult, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (wk), Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.
Trent Boult, Tom Latham, Doug Bracewell, Colin Munro, Lockie Ferguson, Henry Nicholls, Martin Guptill, KS Williamson, Ross Taylor, Mitchell Santner, TG Southee
India are embarking on a tour to New Zealand after making history in Australia in both Test and ODI cricket. They had a good start to the year 2019. Their middle order has started winning the games for them and Dhoni may have answered some questions regarding his waning ability to win the games for India. The middle order is not settled yet as there have been enough changing and chopping for anybody’s liking.
The tour of New Zealand is their most important ODI tour before the World Cup. New Zealand is a team who is doing as good as India in ODI cricket. India must be looking for answers to some of the questions, especially in the middle order. The KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya fiasco would pose a hindrance as to how many of those questions can be solved in the absence of their first-choice players.
Indian team combination looks good regardless. The top order is among runs and the middle order is finding the voice, especially in chases. The spinners are having their say as well. Exciting series lies ahead.
Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Khalil Ahmed, Dinesh Karthik, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Yuzavendra Chahal, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja
YS Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Kuldeep Yadav, Rohit Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami
This is the first International match at this venue since the last World Cup in 2015. In the last 10 matches at this venue, the average score batting first is around 277. Historically chasing teams have won 60% of the matches at this venue. The conditions support seamers early in the game and become more flat as the game progresses.
The teams winning the toss should choose to field and look to win the game on a small square outfield with conditions becoming easier for batting.
This a battle of the heavyweights. New Zealand are challenging everyone in their own backyard. India have been strongest ever and have achieved unprecedented success recently. These are teams you wouldn’t want to face in the World Cup, however, they are facing each other now making it a series to watch out for.
Our prediction is that India will begin the series with a win against New Zealand at McLean Park on 23rd January.
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