Thursday, October 20, 2016
Start time 1330 local (0800 GMT)
Kumble backs Rahane to open
In a normal Indian season, this ODI would have been played on Wednesday and not Thursday, but it has been postponed to accommodate the festival of Karva Chauth. This is festival season in India; the Kolkata Test was advanced to avoid a clash with Durga Puja and Diwali, one of the biggest pan-Indian festivals, takes place during the ODI series.
For India, the festivities seem to have extended to the field – they have beaten New Zealand in all four matches of the tour, the Dharamsala ODI being the latest. But it is easier to recover from a loss in ODIs than it is in Tests, even a comprehensive one.
One defeat doesn’t make New Zealand, the World Cup runners-up, an ordinary team, nor will one win make India’s ODI issues go away but there are enough trends to bother one and please the other. Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor haven’t joined the festivities, whereas Virat Kohli’s unbeaten fifty showed he had no trouble putting aside a nine-month gap between ODIs.
Excluding Zimbabwe, New Zealand last beat an international side in March in the World T20. These are the kind of things that begin to stack up; never mind the difficult conditions they have played in or the injuries. India will want to stretch that streak to leave New Zealand needing to win every game to win this series.
India WWWWW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
New Zealand LWLWW
Martin Guptill hasn’t joined the festivities for New Zealand © BCCI
In the spotlight
Ross Taylor‘s miserable tour continued in Dharamsala where he got out first ball, poking at an outswinger. With 89 runs in seven innings, it will take a lot of mental strength from him to turn this tour around.
This series is a great opportunity for Ajinkya Rahane to establish himself in the ODI XI beyond all doubt. KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan are injured, but when they are back, wasted starts such as the 33 in the first game can hurt his prospects.
Suresh Raina has been ruled out of the second ODI too with viral fever, which should mean another chance for Kedar Jadhav. Hardik Pandya, after three wickets and the Man-of-the-Match award on debut, should get another go with the new ball.
India (probable): 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Ajinkya Rahane, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Manish Pandey, 5 MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Axar Patel, 9 Amit Mishra, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Umesh Yadav
After resting for the first ODI, Matt Henry is ready to return to the XI. If it is a normal ODI pitch, Ish Sodhi should be the one making way for him.
New Zealand (probable): 1 Tom Latham, 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Kane Williamson (capt.), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Corey Anderson, 6 Luke Ronchi (wk), 7 James Neesham, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Doug Bracewell, 10 Matt Henry, 11 Tim Southee
Pitch and conditions
The Dharamsala pitch, which offered assistance to quicks early on, should be an aberration. With winter setting in, dew can be an issue so expect the side winning the toss to chase.
Stats and trivia
- MS Dhoni is 61 short of becoming the fifth Indian to 9000 ODI runs.
- Luke Ronchi is third on the list of New Zealand wicketkeepers with most dismissals – 90
- Guptill needs another 144 runs to reach 5000 ODI runs. Only four New Zealand batsmen have done it
“Everyone’s determined to make amends, and there are areas to we can make adjustments in. We’ll be good and ready to go.”
Fast bowler Matt Henry knows New Zealand need to do much better
“I love coming to this ground… It’s a confidence booster. But we’re not banking on our records at Kotla. Numbers are nice to look at, but I think statistics is not how we approach every game, We go out there to win.”
India coach Anil Kumble on his love affair with Feroz Shah Kotla
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo