India having snatched a thrilling tie from the jaws of defeat in the third ODI wil look to build on their momentum and aim for their first win of the tour in order to keep the series alive when they take on New Zealand in the fourth ODI, at Hamilton on Tuesday.
As things stand hosts leads the series 2-0 in favour after defeating India in the first two ODIs in Napier (by 24 runs) and Hamilton (by 15 runs), while the third ODI at Auckland finished in a scintillating last-ball tie on Saturday.
This one-day series has been one of the most exciting in recent ears. The series has been well contested with New Zealand and India pushing each other to the edge in every game. India fought back and very nearly managed to win in the last game, but once again, their top order let them down.
It was the trio of MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, and Ravindra Jadeja who helped India out of trouble in the third ODI and India will be hoping for more contribution from their famed top order.
New Zealand, on the other hand, continues to impress as a unit, and Corey Anderson and Co. turns up and plays their part almost every single time. The balance of the side is good, and the morale appears to be on the up. To top it up they are playing in home condtion. If the Black Caps can continue with the consistency they have shown so far in the series, they should wrap up the series in Hamilton. The one thing they need to watch out is that in all three innings their lower middle-order batsmen have let the team down. Hence if they can find some calmness and serenity; especially in the latter part of the innings India will find very hard to turn things around.
The sides have already played one game in Hamilton, and on the basis of that match the pitch is likely to be quite low, slow and docile. Batting first will be the best approach, and with no rain to worry about, teams can relax and focus on simply getting ahead of the game.
India, apart from levelling the series, will also be eyeing to regain their No. 1 ranking in ODIs. Rankings in the short form of the game might not matter much, but for the World Cup champions, it certainly carries some weight.
Brendon McCullum as captain may have been impressive in this series, but his batting efforts have been a huge let down for the Kiwis. He’s scored-card in the last two ODIs reads two zeros and the Kiwi skipper will not want a dip in form especially with Test series around the corner. But, if the former wicket-keepr finds his mojo back Indian fielders will be in for a leather hunt.
Ravindra Jadeja is man of the moment ofr India. His effort of 66 not out with the bat and two for 47 with the ball in the third ODI will almost certainly motivate him to do more of the same.
Where: Seddon Park, Hamilton
When: Tuesday, Jan. 28
Start time: 06:30 a.m. IST
Weather: Hamilton has the all-clear skies for Tuesday. It will be relatively mild with temperatures of around 23 degrees Celsius but no rain is expected.