New Zealand has won the toss and decided to bat first at the McLean Park, Napier in the first ODI of the five-match series.
Here is what the captains said at the time of toss:
Virat Kohli: “The bowlers have played a major part in us being a top team than the batsmen really. It’s a batsmen’s game and the crowd come in to see fours and sixes. I feel that our side is very balanced at the moment with good depth in batting and bowling. Pretty relaxes with where we stand as a team. It’s going to be a competitive series. New Zealand are a good side and they play with the right spirit. They are a side that everyone must look upto in terms of carrying yourself on the field. Mutual respect is always there between us”.
Kane Williamson: We’re gonna have a bat. Looks a good surface here and we want to put a score on the board. We know India is a good chasing side but we want to put runs on the board and I’m sure the surface will play the same throughout. Just the one spinner – Mitch Santner is back and also Doug Bracewell is in. It’s about balancing the side, the seam-bowling all-rounder is needed and that’s what Bracewell comes in. I think it will be a fair pitch regardless of whether you’re bowling seam, spin or batting. We were good in the SL series but want to keep improving.
India has come to New Zealand as a confident unit after a successful tour to Australia, where they clinched the Test series as well as the ODI series. The visitors have their bases covered and would like to keep going strong in the five-match series.
MS Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were able to get back into form, which was a big positive of the ODI series for the Men in Blue. Dhoni scored 193 runs in the three matches with the help of three fifties to quash any doubt over his place in the side.
Meanwhile, India will want more from their number four batsman, Ambati Rayudu who had two failures in the series against Australia. Furthermore, Kedar Jadhav and Dinesh Karthik showed good signs of form with the bat.
India will have some good selection headaches as it was a collective team effort from the Indian team in the ODI series against Australia. Furthermore, Shubman Gill can get his opportunity in the five-match series.
On the other hand, New Zealand has always been a side which has punched above its weight. The Kiwis are also high on confidence as they had recently clean swept Sri Lanka by 3-0.
However, Kane Williamson will know that the Virat Kohli’s men are going to bring a stern competition to the table. Ross Taylor is in good form as he has scored six consecutive fifties in the white ball version. Thus, he is going to hold the key for the hosts along with their skipper Kane Williamson.
India is placed in the second place whereas New Zealand is currently in the third place in the ICC ODI rankings. Thus, a good contest between bat and ball is on the cards.
Here is the playing XI of both sides:
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), MS Dhoni(w), Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Vijay Shankar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami.