The T20Is are done and dusted and it is now time for the ODIs which start on Wednesday. It is a small ODI series consisting of just three ODIs which starts at Hamilton. India had the best possible start to the tour as they completely whitewashed the hosts in the five-match T20I series.
It seemed as if the Kiwis had forgotten how to win because they were in a winning position in all of the last three games but couldn’t win a single one. But now the focus shifts to the 50-over game with both teams having announced their squads. India had a huge setback as their star opener and vice-captain Rohit Sharma has been ruled out of the remaining New Zealand tour. Mayank Agarwal has been called up as his replacement. So, India will miss both their first-choice openers for this ODI series. New Zealand too will their frontline pacers for this series. So, there is a lot to look forward in this series and let’s have a look at three of those things.
#3. Who will be India’s third pacer?
India’s top two pacers are fixed in the team and they aren’t going anywhere. Jasprit Bumrah got back into rhythm and showed everybody why he is the No.1 ODI bowler. Mohammed Shami proves to be expensive at times but he picks up wickets in bulk. These two are forming a formidable pair in the ODI set up. But the question to be asked his who will be the third pacer? Navdeep Saini or Shardul Thakur?
Both the bowlers have done fairly well in the T20I series and so it will be difficult to choose between them. In the last ODI series against Australia, Saini was preferred over Thakur but at the start of this T20 series, Thakur was the first choice. Most people will agree that Saini is a better bowler but Thakur has that extra ability with the bat in hand.
It is a difficult choice to make and it will be interesting to see who is picked in the first ODI at Hamilton.
Also see – ICC Women’s T20 world cup winners list
#2. How will New Zealand’s new-look pace attack perform?
The Black Caps don’t have their regular bowlers as they will miss the services of Trent Boult, Matt Henry, and Lockie Ferguson. The Indian team will be relieved that there is no Matt Henry because he caused immense damage in the World Cup semi-final with the new ball.
Due to their unavailability, the Kiwis are going in with an inexperienced bowling line-up. Hamish Bennet and Scott Kuggeleign, who were part of the T20 series and now will be part of the ODI series, have played their last ODI three years ago in 2017. New Zealand has gone in with an uncapped player Kyle Jamieson. Tim Southee, who isn’t in great form, will have the responsibility to lead this pace attack.
It won’t be easy for these bowlers who would are still smarting from the 5-0 defeat and so it will be interesting to watch as to how they make a comeback in this series.
#1. Who will open for India?
Before the tour started, Virat Kohli had mentioned that they would keep Rahul in the middle-order in the ODI format as he is going to keep wickets as well. But now that Rohit Sharma isn’t available the whole equation changes.
India has two options. They could once again ask KL Rahul to open the innings along with Prithvi Shaw or else give debut caps to Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal and ask them to open with Rahul staying in the middle-order.
This is a dilemma India will face in the first ODI. In both cases, Shaw will make his debut and it will be intriguing to watch theyoungster against a quality opposition. But it will also be interesting to see as to who partners him at Hamilton on Wednesday.