With a historic triumph in the ODI series against Australia under their belt, the Indian one-day team would arrive in New Zealand brimming with confidence. However, there is absolutely no room for complacency as New Zealanders currently possess a much better team than Australia and also have great memories from their previous home series against India to draw from.
In 2014, the Kiwis registered a thumping 4-0 victory over the Indians at home. Ross Taylor got back to back hundreds in the final two ODIs while Kane Williamson scored a half-century in each of the five matches. The bowlers also did their job well with a key role being played by the spinner Nathan McCullum.
So, what can we expect this time? It is certain to be a tougher series for India than the one in Australia. The batting line-up of New Zealand is much more potent than the very brittle one that Australia had. Kiwi bowlers were also far more capable than their Australian counterparts in their recently-concluded ODI series.
Let’s look at the biggest challenges that India would face from the host team in the 5-match ODI series.
#1 A Dangerous Opening Duo
Martin Guptill’s abilities are well-known. He is a dangerous batsman who likes to score big and has an ODI double-hundred under his belt. Like his counterpart Rohit Sharma, Guptill possesses the ability to clear the boundary with ease and on his day could be ruthless with his big-hitting.
Colin Munro, the likely opening partner for him, is an even more aggressive batsman who likes to go after the bowling with more alacrity. While Guptill seeks to dig in for long-hauls, Munro would attack right from the start. The battle between him and Indian seamers, especially Bhuvneshwar, would be exciting to watch.