Fresh from a dominating performance Down Under by the Men in Blue wherein they won the Test series and the ODI series, and managed to draw the T20 series after rain hampered their chance of clean sweeping in all formats of the game by winning the T20 series as well, India travel to New Zealand to play a 5-match ODI series and a 3-match T20 series that lays as the final overseas frontier before the mega cricketing carnival, the ODI World Cup that is to be played in England and Wales from 30th of May.
A lot of expectations are on the shoulders of the Virat Kohli led side who are expected to win the series by the Indian masses, but one can now write down the Kiwis whom we predict to dominate in this series in all formats of the game as they possess a better-balanced line-up between the two teams and also of the mere fact that they are playing on their home conditions of which they are well aware of than the tourist party.
Along with England, India and New Zealand are favourites to lift the 2019 Cricket World Cup, and thus this series would be an engrossing affair wherein both the teams would get to know each other well, knowing about the strengths and weaknesses before the much-awaited World Cup. Here’s the prediction of the First ODI that will be played in Napier tomorrow:
Top-Order scoring in abundance – One of the major reasons why New Zealand have been so successful in recent years is due to the fact that one of their top-order batsmen boasting of Martin Guptill, Colin Munro and Kane Williamson have went on to score big runs for the Kiwis thus enabling them a foundation to post scores above the par scores that handover the Blackcaps an edge while bowling.
Consistent returns from the middle-order – Another valid reason as to why New Zealand have been so consistent in recent times is because they possess world-class batsmen who consistently are scoring runs for the Kiwis. The likes of Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme are all in red-hot form and have contributed immensely to the Kiwi total, and the same is expected of them in the India series as well.
Misfiring Kiwi attack – Although the Blackcaps bowling unit possesses the likes of Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner, yet they are unable to pick wickets and this has been the major reason why New Zealand stutter in crunch situations. In the series against Pakistan at UAE, the Kiwi bowlers were only able to pick up 22 wickets in the three matches while giving away 710 runs; while against the inexperienced Sri Lankan batting-order, the bowlers gave away 873 runs.
Intimidating Top-Order – The Indian batting unit depends upon one of the top-order batsmen to play the anchor role and the rest of the batsmen play around them. In the past 4-5 years, the Indian top-order batsmen day in and day out have scored the majority of the runs, and the same was seen against Australia and West Indies in the last two series where either of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli or Shikhar Dhawan scored the bulk of runs for India.
Middle-Order back in form – One of the positives from the Australian series was the form of Indian middle-order batsmen who scored the bulk of runs and won India match from crunch situations. MS Dhoni was the highest run-scorer for India in the series and was also adjudged the man of the series, while both Kedar Jadhav and Dinesh Karthik complimented Dhoni well and ended up finishing the match for Men in Blue.
Inability to pick-up wickets during the middle-overs – Apart from the last match in Melbourne where the Indian bowlers picked up wickets in regular intervals, the problem with the Indian bowling lies in their inability to pick-up wickets during the middle-overs after handing over a tremendous start. Since the Kiwi batting line-up is in top notch form and all the batsmen are scoring runs in abundance, the Indian bowlers shouldn’t become complacent after picking up early wickets and should go for a kill in order to win the match.
Since this is the first ODI and New Zealand are well aware of the home conditions along with their well-balanced side, Team CricWizz expects New Zealand to dominate the match and end up winning it. However, whatever the result may be, one thing is for sure that we would see an enthralling contest between two top cricketing nations of the moment.
Also Read, Match Report|Aus vs Ind|3rd ODI