India key players for India vs New Zealand series are set to make their mark. As India’s focus now shifts onto New Zealand against whom they’ll be playing a five-match ODI and 3 match T20 series, the main concern for the side is ensuring that this series provides another chance to tick off all departments ahead of the world cup. The larger picture in sight is the 2019 ICC cricket world cup and with New Zealand’s pitches playing similar to those of England, the Indian cricket side will be looking to test out their entire squad and help gain further insight into the best combination possible for the world cup.
The series is also a massive opportunity for this Indian outfit to continue with the same momentum gathered in Australia and build on it even further. They don’t have a particularly impressive record in New Zealand with their tainted record seeing them win just the solitary ODI series in the country in 2019. However, this Indian side is in a different nick altogether, having at its disposal some real-world beaters who can easily put down New Zealand in the series. Ahead of the first ODI on 23rd January, we take a look at the India key players for India vs New Zealand series who can help India conquer another coveted series win.
India key players for India vs New Zealand series
The Indian captain once again showed his grace and the sublime, scintillating touch he is in against Australia with a successful century in the second ODI while chasing to help Indian restore parity in the series. What grabbed headlines was not only the fact that this was Kohli’s 24th century while chasing, taking him to 5,000 runs in Australia but also the manner in which he constructed. Showing immense grit and determination, Kohli took the accountability on himself to see off Australia’s stiff target and the country will be hoping of much the same from him.
The series also offers Kohli an incredible opportunity to overtake the flamboyant Virender Sehwag’s record of the most runs on New Zealand’s soil. He is just 4 runs behind the magnificent Sehwag, who scored a staggering 1157 runs in 23 innings against the Black Caps whereas Kohli has 1153 in 19 innings. With two centuries in the series, Kohli can also top the charts for the most centuries hit by an Indian in New Zealand, one that Sehwag currently sits at the perch of with 6 100s to his name in his illustrious career.
Having hit a century in the first ODI and contributed with runs throughout the series, Rohit kept contributing to India’s total at the top of the order, seeing off the new ball and putting on vital stands with Virat Kohli. The middle-order is a major concern for India and on pitches where the ball will misbehave, frisk around and deviate massively, he will need to contribute with the bat and stick around with Kohli to ensure the following batsman have a relatively strong platform to build on from.
In impeccable touch with the ball against Australia, Bhuvneshwar Kumar ensured that the team didn’t miss the services of their ace bowler Jasprit Bumrah too much. He was in scintillating form, getting the ball to dance to his tunes, moving in the air before cramping the batsmen for room on hitting the pitch to move either ways courtesy of an immaculate line and length.
India needs much of the same from him as Bumrah has been rested for this series as well. His ability to mix up his deliveries, immense variation and ability to bowl as per the situation of the match is a massive plus point for India and Indian captain has used him judiciously well. On pitches conducive to pace bowling, expect Bhuvneshwar to be right on the money yet again.
Must Read: ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 India Schedule
The all-rounder’s role is all but certain to be his yet again in the ODI series against New Zealand and Jadeja needs to ensure that he comes up with the performances. He was good with the ball in Australia, bowling at a good economy in the middle overs with his captain bowling out the entirety of his spell in one go but Jadeja lacked that bite to get the crucial breakthroughs for India.
He wasn’t asked to bat much against Australia, coming in for just the first match. However New Zealand’s pitches and bowling line-up is much stiffer and sterner and will test the Indian batsmen to no ends. Jadeja’s role with the bat could well come into play on more than one occasion and if he stick out with the tail and add the finishing touches to India’s innings then India can be hopeful of putting on good fighting totals.
One of the biggest takeaways for the tourists from the Australian series was the way Shami bowled. In astounding spells, Shami worked the ball up to nab himself a good number of scalps while making sure that the run rate was kept in check. Along with Bhuvneshwar, the duo formed a dangerous duo for India, working extremely well in tandem and if we can see the same Shami in New Zealand then his side in the world cup XI will be all but confirmed.
India key players for India vs New Zealand series
India ODI Squad: Virat Kohli(c), Rohit Sharma, 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