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India vs New Zealand | Well Oiled India Seek to Continue Dominance over Kiwis

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: January 30, 2019, 6:31 PM IST

It was supposed to be competitive, but has turned out to be massively one-sided. The India - New Zealand One-Day International series has already been sealed with two games to go, India proving to be the much superior side.

It's now up to the hosts to put up some competition as the teams move to Hamilton for the fourth ODI on Thursday (January 31). The one good news from their perspective is that India will be without Virat Kohli, who has been rested for the last two games and the three T20Is that follow. The bad news though, is that India have had success even in Kohli's absence - they won the Asia Cup without Kohli in the side. India have an able replacement in Rohit Sharma, who will want to make his 200th ODI special.

Kohli summed up India's ODI run perfectly after the third game, saying they were in 'auto pilot' mode. Indeed they are. The top three batsmen - Rohit, Shikhar Dhawan and Kohli himself. Oppositions feel comfortable only if they get past all three of them quickly. Pleasingly for India, the middle order is falling in place this year too. MS Dhoni is getting into some form, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav and Dinesh Karthik have all made runs.

The line-up will see some changes in Hamilton. Dhoni should replace Kohli in the XI if he has recovered from the hamstring injury that kept him out of the third game. In such a scenario, Rayudu could be batting at No. 3, like he did during the Asia Cup. India also have the option of giving Shubman Gill a debut; they can afford to experiment as the series is already theirs. The other box to be ticked in the batting is some game-time for Hardik Pandya. Will he be getting a promotion just to have a hit?

The bowling is complete even in Jasprit Bumrah's absence. Mohammed Shami has stepped up and is fast becoming difficult to drop. He has picked up seven wickets from three matches, giving India the early breakthroughs. Not many teams have had success against Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, and New Zealand have been no exception. To make matters worse for the hosts, Pandya has stepped straight back into the side after a long break with a fine spell (10-0-45-2) in the third game.

New Zealand have managed scores of only 157, 234 and 243 in the three matches. They haven't batted the full quota of 50 overs yet in the series.

Kane Williamson said they have shown some improvement through the series, but conceded they have to do a lot more against a side like India. The problems have started right at the top - the highest opening stand between Martin Guptill and Colin Munro this series has been 23. Guptill has managed just 33 runs, while Munro has 46 from the series. Only if that changes will New Zealand feel easier.

Williamson himself has got the starts but not been able to kick on. It's quite uncharacteristic for a batsman of his ability, but shows the kind of pressure India's bowlers have applied. The promising news for New Zealand though is the runs from Ross Taylor and Tom Latham in the third match. Taylor made 93 while Latham, 51. Only if the batting comes together will the bowlers have a chance. New Zealand have got in James Neesham and Todd Astle in place of Doug Bracewell and Ish Sodhi.

Overall, India are a well-oiled machine that looks good to go for the World Cup. The remaining matches are all about finetuning preparations and getting game-time. New Zealand have some distance to travel, and have to up their game.


New Zealand: Kane Williamson(capt), Trent Boult, James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Todd Astle, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.

India: Rohit Sharma (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, K Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, Shubman Gill, Hardik Pandya.

First Published: January 30, 2019, 9:12 AM IST

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1 India 5007 116
2 New Zealand 3570 108
3 South Africa 4397 105
4 Australia 4566 104
5 England 5490 104
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