After the three-match test series against New Zealand, India will face the Kiwis in a five-match ODI series starting at Dharamsala on October 16. This series might feature India’s full-strength squad for the first time in ODIs since playing Australia in a five-match series in January this year.
MS Dhoni, who retired from Test cricket will return to lead the ODI squad. A lot of changes are expected from that squad and the fans might also see India’s hero of the 2011 World Cup, Yuvraj Singh, in the squad for the series. But, will he make it to the playing XI? Will KL Rahul play in the ODIs? Let us take a look at the playing XI India should go in with against New Zealand.
NOTE: India’s ODI squad to face New Zealand is yet to be announced.
Rohit Sharma, who scored a crucial 82 in the second innings of the second Test against New Zealand might have just sealed his spot in the Indian Test team after being in and out of the team for a while. He might not have been a regular in the Test team in the past but when it comes to the ODI format, Rohit is always an important member of the team.
Ever since the team management promoted Rohit Sharma to open the innings, the Mumbaikar has been consistent and plundered a lot of runs including two double hundreds. It is quite certain that Rohit will open the innings in the ODIs against New Zealand.
There are few names that compete for the other opener’s slot. Rohit’s long-time opener Shikhar Dhawan is vying for the opener’s slot along with in-form KL Rahul and middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane. There is speculation that Dhawan injured his left thumb while batting in the second Test and might be ruled out of the ODI series. This makes it a two-way battle between Rahul and Rahane for the remaining position. It is certain that both these men will be in the Indian ODI XI, but who will open the innings along with Rohit?
Out of these two men, one will open the innings and the other will bat at number 4 in the batting order. When compared to Rahane, Rahul is capable of accelerating whenever needed and that makes him the right choice in the middle-order. Rahane opening with Rohit will allow Rohit to play his natural game and bat longer.
Openers: Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane