New Zealand vs India 2020: 3 Indians to watch out for in the ODI series
Team India have begun the new year in a great fashion beating Australia 2-1 after going 0-1 down in the series and then registering a 5-0 T20I series win against New Zealand. The Men in Blue will hope to carry on the same momentum when they go up against the Kiwis in the three-match One-Day Internationals starting from February 5 (Wednesday).
The shocking World Cup exit in 2019 raised a lot of questions about India’s middle-order which has been a point of debate in the last few years. But the injection of Shreyas Iyer in the middle-order following the premier tournament has settled the nerves and Virat Kohli & Co have once again looked invincible. However, the upcoming series will be a tough ask for the No.2 ODI side as they will be playing in alien conditions which will assist the seamers.
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Meanwhile, this Indian side possess the talent to outplay pace and bounce from the equation. The form of Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul with the bat will have the Kiwis on the backfoot. They will be joined by young Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal, who replaced injured Rohit Sharma in the squad. On the bowling front, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have been in the best of form alongside Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur which will give the visitors a kickstart in the upcoming series. Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav will shoulder the spinning responsibilities while Shivam Dube is the only fast bowling all-rounder in the 15-member squad.
The last time India toured New Zealand in 2014 for an ODI series they suffered a humiliating 4-0 loss in the five-match series. The Men in Blue will be keen to rectify their poor record in the land of Kiwis. In a bid to do that, they have made a fantastic start winning their first-ever T20I series in New Zealand beating the host 5-0.
With the ODI series slated to start in a weeks time, let us take a look at the three Indian players who can set the series on fire.
#3. Navdeep Saini
Navdeep Saini has come up the ranks exceedingly well and will be one of the few young cricketers to watch out for in the upcoming ODIs against New Zealand. Since making an impression for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, Saini, who has a fairy-tale story of making it to the state side, didn’t had to look back.
The cricketer from Delhi has clocked 145+ kmph consistently and has a happy knack of hitting the yorker length which helped him during the recently concluded T20I series against New Zealand. Navdeep Saini, who played the last two games of the series, bowled exceptionally well, especially in the fifth match of the series where he returned with two for 23; thus partnering Jasprit Bumrah to register an epic victory.
The 27-year-old will hope to keep up the same intensity and rhythm in the matches to follow to be in the good books of the selectors with important series lined up for the future.
#2. KL Rahul
The story was completely different a year ago. KL Rahul found it difficult to break into the playing XI with Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan dominating the top-order. But the Karnataka-born batsman has completely revamped the plot and is currently in the form of his life. He finished 2019 on a high with consistent runs and has carried his form into 2020 as he finished as the highest run-scorer in the T20I series against New Zealand with 224 runs from five matches.
After playing a pivotal role in helping India secure their first-ever T20I series win in New Zealand, Rahul will look to keep up his form in the three-match ODI series. Besides, the swashbuckling batsman has also shown the maturity to carry the batting unit on his shoulders which will come good in 50-over ties.
However, it will be interesting to see how Rahul handles the pressure of wicket-keeping alongside his job with the bat. So far, he has looked good and will hope to get better in the coming games to seal his berth in the ODI side.
#1. Prithvi Shaw
Prithvi Shaw has been touted as the next big thing in Indian cricket even before he made his international debut. Shikhar Dhawan’s injury meant the selectors handing a maiden ODI call-up to the 20-year-old batting prodigy. All eyes will be on him if any opportunities come his way in the upcoming three-match ODI series against New Zealand.
The Mumbaikar has warmed up with a scintillating knock of 150 for India A against New Zealand A last month. He then followed it up with up another half-century and will look to give his best in national colours.
Prithvi Shaw has been in the news for all the wrong reasons in the last 12 months and the upcoming series will give a chance to redeem himself and make a statement in front of the selectors. A player, who is good both in front and back of the wicket, Shaw will be an exciting talent to watch out for when India begin their 50-over campaign against the Kiwis.Published 04 Feb 2020, 21:52 IST