1st ODI: India look to continue domination over Kiwis
NEW DELHI [Maha Media]: Rohit Sharma's absence notwithstanding, India will look to continue their purple patch in New Zealand when they take on the hosts in the first of three ODIs at Seddon Park on Wednesday. India skipper Virat Kohli will undoubtedly miss the services of his deputy, but the Kiwis will also be without skipper Kane Williamson for the first two games.
While Rohit being ruled out of the series has to an extent been neutralised by Williamson's injury, the Indians will still want to keep a clean mind when they take the field and not think too much about their 5-0 win in the T20I series. But they have had a good run in ODIs recently as they came from behind to beat Australia in the last series they played before embarking on the New Zealand tour.
On paper, the Indian team clearly looks stronger, but then, cricket isn't a game played on paper and considering the experience of the Kiwi players and the angles that come into play on New Zealand grounds, the Indian bowlers -- led by Jasprit Bumrah -- will need to keep their focus intact.
Speaking on the eve of the game, Kohli revealed that Prithvi Shaw will open the batting as he wants K.L. Rahul to keep wickets and bat in the middle-order looking at the road ahead.
"It is unfortunate that Rohit (Sharma) cannot be part of the ODI series, the impact he has had is there for everyone to see. We do not have any ODI tournaments to look up to, so it is ideal for him to get recovered. In ODI cricket, Prithvi is definitely going to start, K.L. will play in the middle-order. We want him to get accustomed to keep and play in the middle," Kohli told reporters.
For the Kiwis, selector Gavin Larsen said that while Tom Latham will lead the team in Williamson's absence, Mark Chapman has been drafted into the squad on the back of his good showing against India 'A'.
"It's hugely disappointing for Kane, but with so much important cricket still ahead this summer we must take a safety first approach," Larsen said.
"It's great to welcome Mark back into the one-day unit off the back of consecutive centuries for New Zealand A against a strong India 'A' side. Mark's a versatile player who can cover multiple batting positions and his fielding is a real upshot to have in the squad."
Squads: India: KL Rahul(wk), Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli(c), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Prithvi Shaw, Kuldeep Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Kedar Jadhav, Shardul Thakur
New Zealand Squad: Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham(wk/c), Mark Chapman, James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Hamish Bennett, Ish Sodhi, Tom Blundell, Kyle Jamieson, Scott Kuggeleijn