After losing the series in the second ODI, India will be looking to avoid the ignominy of a series whitewash as they take on New Zealand at Bay Oval. Will the Men in Blue conjure a victory in the final ODI?
The Virat Kohli led side has already lost the series after a disastrous batting performance in the second ODI. The Men in Blue would like to give the fringe players a go as they look to avoid a whitewash.
New Zealand, on the other hand, have been the better team by a long mile. They have grabbed the crucial moments and have not allowed this dangerous Indian side to settle down.
New Zealand will be bolstered by the addition of their skipper Kane Williamson and wouldn’t want to miss this golden opportunity to inflict a series whitewash on the two-time World Champions.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Henry Nichols, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (C) (WK), Colin de Grandhomme, James Neesham, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Blair Tickner, and Kyle Jamieson/
India: Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), Manish Pandey/ Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, and Jasprit Bumrah.
Mitchell Santner vs Virat Kohli
With Ish Sodhi being surprisingly called up for red-ball duties in the middle of the series, the onus to remove the Indian captain will be on Mitchell Santner. Virat Kohli looks a bit fidgety against spinners at the start of his innings and the left-armer can capitalize on that.
The spinner didn’t have much of an impact in the first match of the series as he went for 58 runs without taking any wicket. He will look to bounce back at Eden Park, where the drop-in pitch is a bit sluggish.
Kohli, on the other hand, is going through a lean patch given his high standards. The Premier ODI batsman will look to shoulder the responsibility in the absence of Rohit Sharma. He has scored a solitary ODI century in New Zealand and he will look to better that record.
Kohli is the glue that holds the Indian middle-order together and if he is knocked out early, New Zealand’s chances of taking a two-nil lead in the series will get a massive boost.
Ross Taylor vs Jasprit Bumrah
Ross Taylor is New Zealand’s most experienced batsman and he showed his prowess in the first ODI as he scored an unbeaten century to take his team home in a huge chase.
The former captain also has a tremendous record against the Men in Blue. He broke Nathan Astle’s 14-year old record of scoring most ODI runs against India by a New Zealander.
Whereas, Jasprit Bumrah didn’t have a great first match as he went wicketless as India couldn’t defend 347. Also, he looked rusty and bowled 13 wides in his spell.
Still, Bumrah is the leading ODI bowler and India’s best bet to stop the marauding Taylor. India will look to bring their trump card to knock off Taylor early in his innings. If he fails to do so, Taylor can again make the Indians pay.
New Zealand recorded their first series win against India since 2014 on the back of stellar team performance, led by the debutant Kyle Jamieson, who became just the second New Zealander to win a man-of-the-match award on debut.
India, on the other hand, have also lost 423 ODIs in its history, which is the most by a nation after losing the first two matches of the series. Virat Kohli is a proud captain and he wouldn’t want to see his team whitewashed by the Black Caps.
The Bay Oval possesses a belter of a pitch and is full of runs. With plenty of talented batsmen in both the lineups, we may see a high scoring entertaining clash. New Zealand looks strong but the Men in Blue would start as the favourite given their prestige on the line.
We at Cricwizz believe that India will avoid a series whitewash and end the white-leg of the tour on a high and take much-needed confidence into the Test series.